A beautiful autumn day greeted our band of 9 as we assembled at the Swan Inn in the picturesque village of Abbotsbury. A short stroll through thatched cottages with pretty gardens lead us upwards where we climbed up to the Dorset Ridgeway path. Enroute we were rewarded with commanding views first of Abbotsbury and its many historic buildings and then Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon stretching towards Weymouth.
Finally reaching the summit yet more wide reaching views greeted us: Weymouth and Portand to the east and the vast expanse of Lyme Bay to the west as far as Torquay. We ambled along the ridgeway past old fortifications to reach the impressive hillfort of Abbotsbury Castle. Here we descended steeply through meadows and farmland to reach the sea at Chesil Beach.
After a lovely picnic on the beach in glorious autumn sunshine we followed the beach back towards Abbotsbury enjoying a welcome ice cream enroute. A stroll through the village (with some also exploring St Catherine's hilltop chapel enroute) led us to tea rooms where we enjoyed delicious homemade cakes and tea.