We were but 8 as we set off on one of our leader Gareth's favorite walks in North Dorset, in ideal walking weather. In the early stages we were held up by a shrew, which wouldn't be tamed but hogged the limelight for several minutes to have pictures taken of it.
The main attractions were the hillforts of Hambledon and Hod Hill, which between them have a history stretching form Neolithic to Roman times. With sweeping views and two fairly stiff climbs under our belts, it was picnic time atop the second of the two hills.
Then it was downhill through lush vegetation, passing gardens in full bloom, finishing with afternoon tea amid the steam age nostalgia of Shillingstone Railway Station.