This was another interesting walk with some lovely sights and some scary sights, some great weather and some rough weather, some good paths and some not so good paths, and it’s all in a day’s walking in Dorset!
It started off well enough with some lovely sunshine and some lovely villages, with buildings constructed in the beautiful warm coloured stone that typifies the area. Two of the villages had churches that shared the same name – St Mary’s. The first was at a lovely unspoilt and fairly unknown village, unspoilt that is apart from the cars which had to be parked in the country lane as few houses had any parking spaces – when this village grew up along the valley, cars didn’t exist! The whole place had a feeling of unity about it because of the similarity in the way the buildings were constructed and it was a really pleasant and easy stroll along the village streets.
The first St Mary’s Church
Not long after the first village, the second one came along – or at least, I came along to it! Still the same lovely stone, and another St Mary’s Church, except this one had a community attached to it. A Christian community was set up here some 50 years ago in what was once the local manor house next door to the church. The community is open to anyone but particularly those who have hit some crisis in their lives and who need a bit of time out from the emotional pressures of life. Their days are based around working the 12 acres of land, prayer times, meal times and leisure times and the various residents and guests spend weeks, months or even years here finding healing and restoration. It is truly a lovely place where many have been blessed.
The second St Mary’s Church
As I was passing this community, I got talking to the postman who told me that he always tries to time his deliveries so that he arrives here around lunch time. Apparently the people regularly eat their home grown lunch sat outside in the garden and the postman often gets invited to join them! I think I would do the same !
There were some ‘interesting’ parts to this walk!! The picture below shows one of them – my route was to take me through a field which had a notice on the gate saying ‘Bull , Keep Out’! Virtually right beside that notice were three waymark arrows indicating that a public footpath passed through the field. I was just about to ignore the notice and cross the field anyway (well nothing was going to get in the way and spoil my walk) when I noticed that the farmer had provided a diversion via another field. I guess that is to his credit although I am still not sure how legal it is!
Hmmm, is that legal??
One of the other ‘interesting’ things on this walk was the very old and semi derelict cottage in the picture below. It had something sinister about it in the fading light and I quite expected to see Norman Bates mother in her rocking chair and to hear the tearing of a shower curtain !
The Bates Motel??
And then virtually next to that was the barn below. Now I blogged last time about how I like old barns but I don’t think I have ever seen such an old higgldy piggldy barn as this one! It has certainly seen better days!! I’m sure you can appreciate why The Bates Motel came into my mind as I hurried through this part !
A higgldy piggldy barn!
This walk included several hill forts (which I crossed in pouring freezing rain !) and some fine ridge walking too with great views all around. None was better than the evening stretch which took in some wonderful woodlands as the path climbed up to the highest point in Dorset. The woodlands were particularly lovely in the evening light as the sun set.
The lovely evening light
Further along this ridge I came across the house with two views! It stands right on the top of the ridge in the middle of nowhere with the most amazing views down both sides of the ridge. The owner was out exercising his dogs and I got chatting to him about his dogs, and about a red kite that had just flown over. He was a country gent and his dogs were gun dogs. Now I’m not in favour of shooting, and I’m not given to jealousy, but I did envy him the position of his house!
The house with two views!
The view to the front
The view to the rear
It was beautiful walking along that ridge as the sun set and the light faded. The pouring rain of earlier in the day had long gone and it had turned into a lovely balmy evening and I was serenaded by the birds as I walked. What better music could there be to end the day!
The stroll into the evening
Well, I had to finish up with a picture of a gate didn’t I !
Thanks for stopping by and reading the ramblings of The Dorset Rambler!
The Dorset Rambler