RECENT NEWS > Sampling the delights of rural Dorset Summer 2019
Sundown on Weymouth harbour.

Sampling the delights of rural Dorset Summer 2019

Spiders and sunsets, harbours and holiday makers.
Six lady members of the club headed South to Dorset recently for their annual three-day, summer exploration of areas of common interest. Choosing, unusually, to go self-catering, they stayed in a charming, if somewhat quirky, Dorset cottage in the hamlet of Nether Cerne, and used a nine-seater people carrier as their preferred mode of transport. The accommodation was not without its problems, but the co-operative efforts of the group successfully solved the issues with hot water systems, resistant locks and keys as well as dealing with the various wildlife that lurked in cupboard and corners! The transport was comfortably roomy, reliable and flexible, and only a little difficult to turn around in restricted spaces!

Dorset is a county full of contrasts and surprises, and the suggested itinerary provided the group with plenty of choices both coastal and inland. The journey down gave the opportunity to explore Sherborne with its Abbey and Castle grounds, as well as to enjoy a relaxing lunch at the Castle Garden Café. A pleasant evening was spent exploring the delightful village of Cerne Abbas- although we never did get to see the giant in all his glory, largely due to poor light and the fact that the planned seven-year facelift of his unique delineations has not yet taken place.

The group made the decision to spend the two full days we had in the area exploring the coast over the other possibilities on offer of inland sorties to Dorchester, its surrounding villages and all the literary and biographical associations with Thomas Hardy. Many vowed to return for these at a later date, so no doubt the suggestion sheets will not be wasted! It was a wise choice as, with temperatures elsewhere reportedly climbing to record highs, we were pleasantly cooler in the coastal breezes. The rocks and shingle of the Jurassic coast from Osmington Mills to West Bay proved challenging, but together with the views at and from Portland Bill, provided lots of opportunities for experimentation with filters and formats, the results of which we look forward to seeing at our regular club evenings. The sun obligingly popped out in a timely manner to light up our initially disappointing view of St Catherine’s Chapel above Abbotsbury revealing a glistening Fleet and gleaming Chesil Bank beyond. Later, despite dire warnings that Weymouth was “heaving with visitors”, we successfully navigated its streets, enjoyed a meal at a pleasant central venue, and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Harbour in the evening sunlight.

The journey home on Saturday took in a stroll around the lovely gardens at Minterne Magna, home of Henry, the current Lord Digby, a stop at Barnes Cross for the Victorian Letter Box, and a look inside the lovely little Caundle Marsh Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, before a picnic under the tree near the churchyard. A final stop at the Old Mill at Sturminster, with its weir and nine arch bridge over the River Stour, completed the trip, and left us with lots to think about when planning future excursions.

Jenny Short 28/07/19