Saturday was forecast to be really hot and I figured we could best avoid crowds of people by staying at home (nah!), or head (slightly) inland for a walk in an area I expected would be deserted, and of course….another hill summit, yay! What’s more, kiddos agreed to accompany me and doggo which is a rare occurrence these days, it was (mostly) pleasant to have their company. 5.1 KM, Total ascent 151 M.
Todays walk started in the pretty village of South Poorton, just South East of Beaminster, Dorset. We walked along Ridgeback Lane towards Spring Hill Farm. There is a geocache published at the start of the footpath that runs behind the property, but we couldn’t see it, are a bit out of practice and the area was a little overgrown with nettles, so we abandoned our search.
The footpath is clearly one not well travelled as it too was a little overgrown. The path descended quite steeply to the valley floor, and it looked like we were walking along a stream. Panic set in, as I could not print out the map before we left home as printer had gone on strike. Downloading the route to my phone for offline use had not really gone to plan either! We consulted the map and agreed we were indeed on the footpath so continued along our way. I was glad of the boys company as it was a little spooky along the overgrown path…..
After finding a cache, the path veered up the Ridgeline a little so we were out of the Valley floor and treated to spectacular views! We were a little anxious about passing by a large herd of cows but they barely moved, probably too hot and could not be bothered!
We tried to search for another cache but could not locate it, and I noted the previous log said this loop was in dire need of TLC, which is a shame as I reckon this would be a popular route with cachers (but appreciate it would be a pain to maintain, hence why I have no published geocache!). I decided to give up on the cache hunting and just enjoy the walk….
After the boys struggled over a style, I opened the gate and walked through (hehehe) and then I realised we had gone past the turning we needed as the map took a while to catch up with our location, Doh! After much stropping over the fact I had made them walk further than they needed to, we retraced our steps. After struggling up a fairly steep incline to the top of the ridge, we sat a while at the top enjoying the glorious vista before and behind us…..
After a rest and some much needed refreshment, we continued our journey along the ridge line back towards Ridgeback Lane. The route was fairly clear and then just stopped abruptly at a hedge row. More arguing over map reading ensued when kiddo #2 found a gap in the hedgerow (it was the official gap, just overgrown, and kiddo #1 was wearing shorts! 🤣). We made it back to the road and kiddo #1 had stomped off in front in a sulk. I could see the summit I was heading for (forgot to take an approach photo!) and was toying with the idea of abandoning the summit for another day as it was really hot and we had run out of water. But as I got to the gate leading to the summit of Spring Hill, I found renewed energy and didn’t think it was that far (30 metre gradual(ish) ascent, I think). Kiddo #1 had stomped off and kiddo #2 was also chucking a strop and refusing to walk up any more hills…..but I just had to go bag it…..
After several attempts to get a photo of doggo not looking behind me or trying to lick my nose, I retraced my steps to kiddo #2 and went off in search of #1. We found him at the car….
I’m so glad of my decision to go inland as I suspected the coast would be busy. I was not wrong, I could not believe the number of people in groups out on the causeway by Weymouth Harbour when we were driving back. I totally get how people have had their lives disrupted and their desire to get out and enjoy the good weather we are currently enjoying. I’m not judging, I get it, we went out to enjoy the weather too and travelled further than I would have a week ago (18 miles). I just worry that people have stopped taking care to try and keep their distance from others and control the virus, this whole covid thing is not over yet, sadly.
The boys have since admitted that they enjoyed the walk, and the views from the top of the ridge and are considering joining me on my quest to walk up Pen Y Fan…..Though we have made a pact not to set off on a 2 hour walk at 11 am on the hottest day of the year again (and was a slightly rookie mistake, I know). Getting up early is not likely for any of us as we all like lots of sleep, but late afternoon would be more ideal…..and then I could spend the first part of the day doing something productive, rather than go for a walk and then collapse on the sofa until it’s time to cook dinner…..
Until next time…