Of lush countryside, lovely meadows, two hill forts…….and a butterfly at last!

7 Jul

Well as I sit at my desk typing this blog, the rain is pouring down outside – yet again!!!  It’s been one on those years so far in England, just rain, rain, and more rain with just the odd better day in between.  Ah, the good old English summer – lazy, hazy, crazy days – don’t you just love ’em!  We wish!  Actually I don’t mind walking in the rain if it starts raining when I’m already out, but there seems little point in going out if it is raining already…….but I miss walking when I am trapped in by the weather.  Still, without it what would we English have to talk about ;)!

I did manage to get out recently for a great walk through some lush countryside and some beautiful meadows, not to mention a couple of hill forts and an old mill.  It started with a lovely woodland walk with some gorgeous dappled sunlight filtering through the foliage (sadly the sun wasn’t to last long though 😦 )

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Through the dappled forest

And part way through the woodlands I came across a rather unusual tree that was playing host to a whole load of ferns.  Walter De La Mare’s poem, The Listeners, refers to ‘the forest’s ferny floor’ but maybe this should be changed to ‘the forest’s ferny trees’ ;)!  The tree was still living but was clearly decaying and moss covered, giving the ferns a foothold – or is that ‘root-hold’!

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The forest’s ferny trees

Out of the woodlands, my route took me down another of those oft seen ‘Smuggler’s Lanes’.  I haven’t been able to establish whether it really was a smuggler’s route or whether it was just named that because it was quite a secret and hidden path.  It wasn’t near the coast but I guess contraband needed to be taken well inland so it might well have seen illegal traffic in the long ago past.  Ah, if only those trees could talk, I’m sure they would have many a tale to tell!  For me though, it was just the beauty of the path that I enjoyed.

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Smuggler’s Lane

I told the story in my last blog entry of my ongoing battle with butterfies that taunted me constantly as I tried to photograph them.  Well on this walk I fooled them and I actually managed to grab some shots before they took off rather than after!!  The picture below shows a Meadow Brown butterfly wearing his rather nice fur coat.  He clearly knew what the English summer was going to be like ;)!

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Meadow Brown

There were butterflies everywhere along this route, partly because the hedgerows were so thick with plants and flowers, I saw so many different varieties.  It is amazing when you look at these delicate ‘flying flowers’ to think that some of them actually migrate and have flown a thousand miles to get here.  They don’t look capable of flying that far or indeed of flying in any specific direction – as the poem says, they have a definite gift of ‘flying crooked’!

The hedgerows themselves were thick with wild flowers and were so beautiful to walk through, it was a delight, especially in the warm summer sun.  I think it is difficult to capture in a photograph because you need to use all the senses to fully appreciate the beauty, to feel the sun’s warmth, to hear the birds and the rustling of the leaves and to feel the gentle breeze.  I did take a couple of pictures though……and tried to find a different angle too :)!

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Hogweed

For some plants, you have no choice but to lay on the ground, like the Common Spotted Orchid below.

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Common Spotted Orchid

This was a real walk of variety and the next part took me up onto the hilltop, well in fact, up onto two prehistoric hill forts.  The first was covered in lovely meadow grass and wild flowers – it would have taken me a long time to identify all the different varieties.  And the views from the ramparts were spectacular on this clear day.  There were cattle and sheep grazing and I thought, ‘What a great place to eat’ – so I joined them!  I ate sandwiches of course, not grass ;)!

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Across the ramparts

Then it was down into the valley and up onto the next hill fort and an even bigger surprise.  At the top was a fantastic field of poppies.  It was a photographer’s paradise!  And clearly a few had been there before me as quite a lot of the flowers had been clumsily trampled down :(!  Well of course I managed to take one or two pictures as well although I am always careful where I tread.  The code of the country says ‘Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time’ but sadly not all observe that!

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The poppy field

The colours were really vibrant in the now hazy sunlight, although despite their beauty, it is still quite difficult to get a satisfying composition for a photograph.  I guess you are always left with the feeling that you just haven’t done it justice – well how can you!  Further along the hill, there are more ramparts, and well defined ones too.  It seems hard to imagine that these ramparts were dug out by men with primitive tools.  As you stand looking at the views though, you can see why they ‘built’ the fort and with the wind whipping up from the valley, you can perhaps imagine a little of what life must have been like up there in those bygone days.

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On the hill fort

Dropping off the hill, my route passed through probably the worst part of the walk and yet there were still lovely things to see.  I had to walk through a farm and as often is the case, farms=mud!  And there was mud aplenty!  Not only that but I had to plough my way through the most overgrown footpath that I think I have ever walked!  It led me the next day to make a few phone calls to see if the path could be sorted which is something the local authority will do if you report a problem.  However it was not that simple.

There are a number of types of byway – 1) the public roads, 2) public footpaths and 3) all vehicle public routes (these fit somewhere between 1 and 2 and are often farm tracks or old lanes/drove trails.  My overgrown footpath fitted into category 3 which is dealt with under roads and highways and whilst they have a budget to maintain the public roads, they have no budget to maintain the lesser routes such as mine.  So basically there is a budget to maintain the roads and there is a budget to maintain public footpaths, but there is no budget to maintain the routes that fall between the two extremes!  Ah well, I tried.

I did in the end make it through the overgrown lane and came out into a clearing where there was an old mill – I suspect that the overgrown lane once served the mill.  This is now a private dwelling but as I looked at it, I could just picture in my minds eye the miller leaning on that stable door getting some air and clearing his lungs of the flour dust that would have filled the mill in those days.

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The old mill

Apart from the old mill, one of the other lovely things I passed on this part of the walk was a gorgeous barley field.  These fields are always great to see but especially so when there is a bit of wind and as you stand watching the barley waving its heads in the breeze, you can almost feel you are standing before a huge lake with gentle waves washing across the water.

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The barley field

My walk was almost completed but there was one more crop to pass, another cereal crop which I thought was particularly picturesque with those curving tramlines running through it.  The sun had long since gone by now but at the end of a great day in the Dorset countryside it made a beautiful sight.

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Down the tramlines

Another magical day in Dorset, and one to be savoured as I look out at the still falling rain!

Thanks for stopping by and reading the ramblings of The Dorset Rambler.

Your friend

The Dorset Rambler

The pictures on this blog are all the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be copied or reproduced without permission.

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143 Responses to “Of lush countryside, lovely meadows, two hill forts…….and a butterfly at last!”

  1. cobbies69 July 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    At least this way I stay dry, not so healthy though….great post.. 😉

  2. patricksfotos July 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Thanks for such a wonderfully evocative blog post Terry – I feel as if I’ve experienced it with you! Great photographs too!

  3. Photography by Gisele Morgan July 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    wonderful images, if anything, it has been the greenest summer with all this rain 🙂

    • thedorsetrambler July 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

      Thanks Gisele. You are absolutely right, every cloud has a silver lining 🙂

  4. travellingbag July 8, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    I love the way you don’t just walk, you also look and you see. 🙂

    • thedorsetrambler July 8, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      Thanks travellingbag :)! I do make a deliberate effort to walk with my eyes open to what is around me because so often we take it for granted and we miss so much. It comes partly from being a photographer.

  5. hanginoutwithGod July 8, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Just delightful, Terry. The photos are magnificent!!!! I don’t think I could possibly choose a favorite. But there is something really special about the 5th photo — the one wildflower plant that you shot at an upward angle. That really is special. I don’t think I’ve ever seen ferns growing on trees like the one you showed us, and I know I’ve never seen a field of poppies like that one. The closest thing I can remember is a huge field of sunflowers that I drove by once. It was so gorgeous I don’t think I could describe it accurately in words.

    I’m sorry you are having too much rain. I wish we could go “halvies.” We are having such a drought and temps from 105-111 for weeks. I would trade a couple weeks of sunshine for a couple weeks of rain in the twinkling of an eye. In my neighborhood, one one whole tree died in the yard across the street from me, and the neighbor next to that house has lost at least half of one of his trees already, with another one looking serious. I’ve never known drought conditions so bad that whole trees were dying. We had really been praying for rain, and last week, we finally got some on two different days. But it definitely was not nearly enough, and the hot dry weather kicked right back in. So we are back to praying again. We were all so miserable that I started posting some great pictures of rain on my Facebook page, and people were begging me to post more. People kept saying that they never dreamed they would want to just sit and look at a photograph of rain. One lady said she wanted to print them out and stick one on every one of her windows.

    • thedorsetrambler July 8, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      Thanks Sandra, you are very kind and generous in your comments :)! The picture you like is unusual because you don’t normally see the flower from that angle – as a photographer I’m always looking for a different angle. Sorry to hear about your drought – I hate it when trees die :(! We have finally got a dry day today :))
      Bless you.

  6. Rustic Recluse July 9, 2012 at 3:55 am #

    Wonderful, DR, so glad to read & see your posts again. Smuggler’s Lane? How intriguing and the shot is so much like a fantasy. So how did you trick the butterflies this time? I love the angle of the Hogweed photo too – they’re reaching for the skies in all directions, and somewhere in the process they’ve decorated the skies too. The poppy fields are amazing – so bright and vibrant it adds such great colours to the dull sky. You made a simple barley field look more inviting than ever – everything else here, is as usual, amazing. Hope you get a good day for walks again!

    • thedorsetrambler July 9, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      Thanks so much RR :)! I think this butterfly just took pity on me 😉

  7. hillsofnottingham July 9, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Utterly gorgeous. This weather has left everyone soggy and grey, it is good to be reminded of sunny skys and landscapes, green and verdant.

    I am now looking forward to our trip to the SW in August all the more

  8. hiraman July 9, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    Great post. It was lyrical. The pictures created the perfect mood. Keep writing.

  9. Helen Cherry July 9, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    Absolutely beautiful photographs of a very lovely part of the world..

  10. Karen July 9, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Beautiful photos!

  11. rishabhsrao July 9, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Wow, wonderful pictures! Nice post!

  12. thegreatgodpan1 July 9, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    beautiful……………..

  13. emmalaw July 9, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    Beautiful. I love the poppies, it must be so pleasing to find them on your travels.

  14. worldnosh July 9, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Great light! Those paths are so inviting

  15. skinhairsurgery123 July 9, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Lovely pics… nice photography .. ❤

  16. thescentofapples July 9, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    I love the pictures! I like the fact that you still have time to bond with nature and be as one with them. You took us to an amazing journey through your blog.

  17. sangsiluetsenja July 9, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Reblogged this on sangsiluetsenja.

  18. captivexpressions July 9, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Beautiful, every photograph is a visual delight.

  19. whisperingsweetnothings July 9, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    love, love, love your blog – thank you for sharing and allowing me a trio down memory lane!

  20. Asturian Diary July 9, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Lovely post and gorgeous photos. Hope the weather improves for you soon – it really does seem to have been a terrible summer in the UK so far 😦

  21. arlene1027 July 9, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Great pics and it looked like you enjoyed your walk. I will surely do the same if I find something like that here where I live.

  22. Eagle-Eyed Editor July 9, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Congrats, Terry, on being Freshly Pressed. Your blog posts are such a treat to read…they provide me with the opportunity to virtually visit the British countryside whenever I like. Thanks for that.

  23. APOML July 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    How pastoral!

  24. Pit July 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Wonderful pictures of a gorgeous countryside. Gives me more ideas what to visit when I’ll be in England again. Hopefully (fairly) soon.
    Couldn’t you send sone rain our way?
    Best regards from a drought-stricken southern Texas,
    Pit

    • thedorsetrambler July 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      Thanks Pit. Yes, I’d gladly swap a bit of rain for a bit of sun. 🙂

  25. Ann July 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Such amazing photos and the places are so beautiful! I really loved every single photos! The places are just mesmerizing! 🙂 Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  26. Summer Buckets July 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Great post and fantastic pictures. I’ve been wanting to go on a nice walk for a while now and this post has motivateed me to do this 🙂 Thanks

  27. markalan July 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    I find the photography on this blog to be absolutely stunning! Love it! Great job! I want to jump on a airplane right this moment and visit!

  28. Juraj July 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Nice pics!

  29. hanginoutwithGod July 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Hey, Terry — I just saw the new “Freshly Pressed” page, and I immediately recognized that picture. Isn’t this the second time you’ve been “Freshly Pressed”? Congratulations!!! And I just want to say that I’m pretty proud of myself as well — for already knowing about and appreciating your blog before today’s honor!

    • thedorsetrambler July 10, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Hi Sandra. Yes, the second time in FP although I am not sure exactly what that means – whether blogs are selected or just random. As you know, I’m a bit green still with blogging. Thank you for your kind comment. At the end of the day I just share my pictures and write about my walks. I don’t feel I do anything special so I’m just glad that some people seem to enjoy it 🙂

      • hanginoutwithGod July 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

        I’ve just been thinking. I am an editor and graphic artist for a publishing company. One of my jobs is creating greeting cards, and I am allowed to create cards personally outside of company time. I often do so for friends and family. Your photos cause my fingers to absolutely “itch” to get to work on cards with those pictures on them. I’d really like to create a set of (blank inside) greeting cards with some of your pictures and a scripture verse. If you and your wife still use regular mail (as opposed to e-mail) so that you would be likely to use them, I’ll create a set and send them to you — not for a fee — just for fun. However, if you rarely use regular mail, you probably wouldn’t care about having something like that. Let me know if you think you would use them, and you can always click on my gravatar and go to my “profile” page to get my pesonal e-mail. Then you could e-mail me your mailing address so that it’s not on here.

  30. Red Toenails July 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    I absolutely love how soft some of these photos are. Very beautiful.

  31. jgadrin July 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Just lovely… Thank you for sharing such beautiful images.

  32. aimeerebecca July 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Just taking it all in! English countrysides are so beautiful 🙂 lovely pictures!

  33. JD Hunter July 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Lovely pictures…oh to be there in person!

  34. bellesogni July 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    I can’t even imagine (and I’ve got a pretty good imagination too!), how absolutely wonderful it must be to actually stand there in person and see those scenes with my own eyes. I don’t understand how anyone can see such things and not believe in a Creator.

    • thedorsetrambler July 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

      Absolutely bellesogni, I totally agree, and an awesome Creator at that!

  35. Kari Andrews July 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    So beautiful, love it.

  36. win July 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Reblogged this on wincharles.

  37. Sarah D. July 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    This makes me want to go rambling in Dorset, too! Thanks for the beautiful photos and commentary.

  38. kapoxxy July 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Reblogged this on Kapoxy Communication and commented:
    i find this quite good

  39. Pedro Alvarez Fotografía July 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    Preciosas imágenes.

  40. Binti July 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Thanks for share with us..

  41. cibobook July 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    wow so lovely to be here, eyes got refreshed!!

  42. jerrymennenga July 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Such a nice respite to join you on your walk. England is lovely and it’s nice you have meandering trails that don’t run into barbed wire and signs saying do not trespass. Thanks for the trip.

  43. Newfoundland Traveller July 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Reblogged this on newfoundlandtraveller and commented:
    Awesome countryside and lovely description!

  44. atorosketches July 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Magnificent! Thanks for sharing!

  45. Annica Photography July 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Really nice photos!

  46. . July 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Very nice post! I used to live in England and I love the Dorset countryside ( and its cream teas). Now that I now live in Canada, I am also discovering different trails and terrain for walking.

  47. Constance V. Walden July 9, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    Nice calming photos. Thanks for sharing them. I like the rolling hillings. Connie
    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

  48. حجاج يوسف July 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    quel beau paysage hyrique…….merci de nous le faire partager

  49. Alex Jones July 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    Great photos of a beautiful part of Britain.

  50. OneWeekToCrazy July 9, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Beautiful photos! I’ve never been to the English countryside, but I would love to experience it–cheers to you!

  51. aquarianmist July 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Hi Terry, loved your blog. It reminded me of my schooldays in the 1950’s in Rutland near the village of Tixover. A far cry from the stark reality of the Australian outback of droughts and flooding rains, kangaroos and every venomous creature on the planet.

    Paul (ex-patriot Yorkshireman) aka aquarianmist.

    • thedorsetrambler July 10, 2012 at 6:55 am #

      Thanks Paul, you are very kind 🙂 Dorset is usually so gentle compared with where you live, and so scenic.

  52. Hayley July 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Is this near ellisfield? Looks a lot like it! 🙂

    • thedorsetrambler July 10, 2012 at 6:57 am #

      Hi Hayley. No, not Ellisfield. This walk was through the heart of Dorset.

  53. girlrefined July 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful photos!

  54. blackwidow12 July 10, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    How lovely, thank you!

  55. unsouthernbelle July 10, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    This is lovely! The barley, the unsuspecting butterfly, and the walk. Thank you for sharing!

  56. Richard McCargar July 10, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Lovely photos, and congrats on being freshly pressed.

  57. Po' Girl Shines July 10, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    Love the beautiful poppie photos!

  58. MulledThoughtsandCider July 10, 2012 at 3:16 am #

    I love that final photo. The composition is SUPERB! All of them are great, but that final one makes me want to travel down the path to see where it goes. Great job and congrats on being FP.

  59. extraordinary777 July 10, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    So much greenery! Vry lush ^.^

  60. ღ ‏LeeNa766hi ღ ‏ July 10, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    love the photos ^^

    • thedorsetrambler July 10, 2012 at 6:48 am #

      Thanks LeeNa 🙂

      • ღ ‏LeeNa766hi ღ ‏ July 10, 2012 at 6:55 am #

        yww ^___^

  61. TheDorsetFinca July 10, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    What a fab blog! I can see some familiar sights in your beautiful photos. I’ll be heading over to Bloglovin to click the ‘follow’ button!

  62. Alyssa July 10, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    Wow, love these photos…the hills, meadows and flowers. Really captivating! Congrats on making this post to freshly pressed, by the way. 😀

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  63. highfashions July 10, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    What a lovely series of pictures!Love this, and I just idolize your style and character!

  64. Joanne July 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Beautiful! Wish I could be there!

  65. backpackerina July 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    I love meadows and miss them so much! These photos are absolutely lovely!

  66. quixotree July 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Well, thank you, Dorset Rambler. As a Dorset lad now in exile (in the Middle East) I loved your ramble with photos. I was born in Dorchester, and grew up in Shaftesbury (several millennia ago) and my father was born just below Hambledon Hill (Child Okeford). Was that one of the hill forts I spotted? Wonderful post – I am definitely following…

    • thedorsetrambler July 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      Thanks quixotree, you are very kind! Glad you enjoyed it and you are right 🙂 – Hambledon and Hod in fact! Lots more to come 🙂

      • quixotree July 11, 2012 at 4:10 am #

        Ah, the Blackmore Vale. Truly God’s own country. Enjoy it but don’t forget your wellies!

      • thedorsetrambler July 11, 2012 at 9:05 am #

        Thanks quixotree – I fancy its a wet suit needed at the moment 😉

  67. pureartisandecor July 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    I love your photos. Especially the poppy fields.

  68. citraciprutworld July 11, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    ini sangat indah… padang rumput itu menghipnotisku.
    n_n
    I love your prairie photo.

  69. missionabspossible July 11, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    Love these pictures! Such serenity. So calming as well. Nicely done!

  70. cocacolababy87 July 11, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Hello! I’m VERY new to the blogging game, and this is my first comment. I went for a walk yesterday in the rain, and still there was so much beauty. This post highlights all we take for granted in the world. Thanks Dorset Rambler!

    • thedorsetrambler July 11, 2012 at 9:07 am #

      Thanks for your comment cocacolababy 🙂 I consider myself very much a newby too – keep blogging 🙂

  71. Lori Lipsky July 11, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Loved rambling with you. I especially enjoyed hearing of the lush green all around since we are experiencing terribly dry weather here in Wisconsin, U.S.A. Thanks, Dorset Rambler.

    • thedorsetrambler July 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

      Thanks Lori 🙂 Sorry to hear about your drought – we should swap for a couple of days!

  72. radhiyahh July 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. Those images are captured beautifully, just like how I’d always imagined the places to be and where I’ve always wanted to be. You’re lucky! 😀

  73. Barb Bohan July 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    You have such a way with words. I love the pics too!

    • thedorsetrambler July 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks Barb, you are very kind 🙂 As a fairly new blogger its nice to have some encouragement 🙂

  74. Val July 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Lovely photos, especially the poppies. If it’s any consolation it’s not just England that’s been having all the rain, we’ve had it here in Wales too.

    Is that Maiden Castle?

  75. Kate Walsh / designhouse9 July 12, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    I love the shots of the poppy field especially. Looks like beautiful countryside. I want to visit now and see it for myself. 🙂

    • thedorsetrambler July 12, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      Thanks Kate 🙂 I think everyone should visit Dorset sometime :))

  76. rinceagusgra July 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    I absolutely love all of your photos. It makes me want to go on a photography adventure of my own 🙂 Not to mention visit England.

  77. Romantic Asian Guy July 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    Aww I LOVE the countryside and meadows! The greenery is captivating and you managed to capture some spectacular shots, especially your first photo–WOW!

    Hopefully your post will inspire more people to take a walk in the woods. What a great way to work out AND enjoy the beauty of nature!

  78. salebit July 13, 2012 at 3:28 am #

    Reblogged this on Salebit's Blog.

  79. stefano July 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Great story and thanks for sharing. When I see your pictures my first thought is England is beautiful!!! About the rain, well I understand you guys but lets change we do really need some fresh air here in Italy it’s really to hot and almost unbearable!!

    • thedorsetrambler July 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      Thanks Stefano – it seems everyone has our share of sun as well as their own 😦

  80. saleyhaahsan July 25, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Reblogged this on The Shop Floor's Blog and commented:
    I love this blog and I love Dorset. I am a massive Thomaa Hardy fan .

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