We left London in the rain and much as Mr Hegarty explained that we were driving out of the stormy weather, it did however, continue all along the motorway with torrential outbursts and showers.
As we reached Dorset rain clouds receded and the sun fought through sufficiently, allowing the girls to settled into their rooms.
After an introductory talk and a fire drill it was immediately into activities with archery , shooting range and low ropes in rotation during the afternoon – and – the rain held off!
There was was an excellent tea of bangers and mash and a birthday cake for Georgie followed by an early trek up a steep hill, giving fabulous views of Poole harbour in the distance as well as Colfe castle which looked very forbidding in the evening gloom. The girls were thrilled with this walk, mainly because when we reached the summit they had 4G and the strong reception allowed Snapchat, Instagram and phone calls home! Returning back to base they had hot chocolate, showers and downtime, which allowed the staff to watch something of the England match, which Mrs Mercer managed to feed onto her iPad via Bluetooth, using a very dodgy signal on her phone! Apart from the odd horse fly bite and blister, all are well and settling in nicely.
The sun was up bright and early on day 2, just like the girls. After an early breakfast we split into two groups with some taking the van down to Dancing Ledge, where there was abseiling and rock climbing, while the other group went to Durlston to start a cliff top hike.
Durlston rocks tell part of the story of the about the formation of the Jurassic Coast . All along this coast lines the remains of tiny and not so tiny prehistoric mammals can be seen, revealed by the impression they have left on the Purbeck Limestone. This story is part of a 135 million year saga.
There is a wealth of flora and fauna while the sea and cliffs attract a wide range of sea birds, all of which the girls could spot with our guides as we journeyed to Dancing Ledge.
The sun beat down at last as we scrambled down the hillside to abseil and climb.
The coastal walk allowed us to explore the geological development of the area and made us realise we are but a blip on the billion year transformation of this coastline.
The climbing and abseiling was popular, even if the hill top hike was a bit challenge for some, simply because of the heat and general tiredness. Our evening walk to Colfe Castle allowed amazing coastal views across to Purbeck Island and down to Poole harbour – and of course the castle itself is stunning as the sun sets, casting the shadow of a bloody history across the grassy moat.