Our walk began in Broadmayne, 3 miles east of Dorchester, 20 in all turning up including 3 new walkers. Under heavy cloud and a little rain, climbing southwards up onto the ridgeway revealed splendid views out over Weymouth Bay towards Portland and so we took a break at Margarets seat to admire the view. The seat is a stone seat in memory of Margaret a local lady who used to enjoy walking here to enjoy this view. We then descended to the village of Sutton Poyntz at the bottom of the valley for a carvery lunch at the Springhead Pub. Incredibly popular, packed out as always on a Sunday, the food was excellent and the staff were extremely friendly and accommodating, while other walkers enjoyed their picnic outside by the duck pond in front of the pub.
Lunch finished, we then set off eastwards in wonderful sunshine as the clouds parted, along the valley under a huge chalk silhouette of King George the third on horseback, carved out of the hillside in 1808. Legend has it that the King was not amused since he is seen riding away from Weymouth instead of to it, being his favoured place to bathe in the sea.
One walker bravely attempted to reunite a lost sheep with the flock in the next field but gave up, sheep behaving as they do! No sheep whisperer he!
We then arrived at the charming village of Osmington full of beautiful cottages, eventually moving onto higher ground for great views of the surrounding valleys walking towards the hamlet of Poxwell ('Pokes-well' from Roman times) with a beautiful Jacobean style Manor house built in 1613. This was home to the Trenchard family from 1669 until 1970 and some of you will know that it features in one of Thomas Hardy's classic novels, The Trumpet Major.
A further 2 miles walk inland saw us heading back towards Broadmayne after 7.3 miles of walking, eventually to a lovely cream tea at Andrew's home.
Great views, great walking, great company, eventually great weather, a great pub, rounded off by a great afternoon tea! Who could ask for more!
Andrew, walk leader for the day.