Twenty two participants arrived at the starting-point to find the car-park full and absolute mayhem all around; a leader’s worst nightmare! It soon became apparent that the occupants were the parents of scouts and cubs who were being picked up after camping overnight nearby. As they moved off we were able to fill their slots in the car-park. Once prepared, our leader gave us a brief history of the long-closed Somerset and Dorset railway line – complete with sound-effects – along the trackbed Trailway of which we would walk for the first two and a half miles. The level path made for easy going to Stourpaine before making the ascent of Hod Hill, followed by an even steeper climb onto Hambledon Hill. We stopped for lunch on the leeside of the hill where it was pleasantly warm and the views surely the best in Dorset. Although the skies darkened at times the predicted showers didn’t materialise and we continued down into Child Okeford, thence across the meadows to our starting-point. More than half of the group then repaired to the Shillingstone Station Project tea-rooms to take refreshment before departing. It was pleasing that we had so many guests from the neighbouring groups of Devon, Somerset and Hampshire. We hope that they enjoyed the day and will join us again soon.
David C, walk leader.