Another great walk on another beautiful spring day in Dorset with fabulous views, gorgeous scenery, wildlife, wet tarmac, confusing signs and barbed wire ! It all makes for a memorable day in the hills and valleys!
The day started with one of the loveliest meadows in the country, although it was just too early in the year despite the warmth of the sunshine. In a few more weeks and throughout the summer, this meadow will be covered in wild flowers and butterflies and will be a great place to spend some stress free hours. The signs of the re-awakening of the landscape are already there with butterfies and some early bluebells but the best is yet to come!
Climbing up through the meadows, I came across some of those strange and quirky names that always intrigue me – names like Dirty Gate, Mary’s Well Lane, Lot’s Corner, Burnt Bottom – you wonder where the names come from, especially the last! That took me up onto the ridge and several miles of amazing Dorset views – with the sunshine and little breeze, the day was perfect. The route along the ridge took me past a huge communications plant with its 26 massive pylons and a whole network of cables linking them – it was like some gigantic spider had woven its magic. Sitting on top of the hill, you would think these pylons would be unsightly and incongruous but they somehow have an elegance. Someday, there may well be windfarms on these hilltops but I don’t think the same sentiments will apply to them!
During the afternoon, I came across one of those magic pieces of hidden Dorset – a really lovely ‘secret’ hamlet, so well manicured thanks to its manor house which faces onto the lane. It is one of those hamlets that looks as if it has just come from the hairdressers – pristine and neat! And a lovely place to walk through!
And then, shortly after that, another hidden delight which I only spotted through a gap in the hedge as I walked down a valley. It was a beautiful lake with bright golden orange trees around it and the reflections in the mirror like surface doubled the pleasure. It really was a magical place!
Climbing back up onto the ridge, the route took me up the most amazing sunken footpath. Climbing upwards between the exposed roots and ferny banks was like walking in a rain forest. In a few weeks this area will smell strongly of wild garlic……but it will be lost on me as I have no sense of smell !
There was one strange part of this walk and that is when the path opened out onto a tiny country lane which was in the middle of nowhere. Unusually, the road had just been resurfaced (very odd for such a little used road) and I had to walk along it to reach the next part of the walk. The problem was that the tarmac was still very tacky and every time I put my foot to the ground, it was sticking to the road surface!! I had visions of becoming stuck fast and perishing like a fly on fly paper ! It was only a short ‘road trip’ though and soon I was back on country tracks through the valleys.
The other strange thing I encountered was some confusing footpath signs! I came across a stile with a sign on it pointing to the left and since it was on the stile itself, I assumed it meant to cross the stile and turn left. However, I discovered later that the intention was in fact to turn left without crossing the stile and the only way to get back on track was to either retrace my steps back to the stile or to climb over two barbed wire fences. I chose the latter! Fortunately, although I may be getting on in years, I am still agile enough to climb fences without breaking anything or taking chunks out of my legs!! Ah well, it all makes for an interesting and memorable walk……..or should that be obstacle race!!
Thanks for stopping by and reading the ramblings of The Dorset Rambler!
The Dorset Rambler