Monday, 22 June 2009

A day in Dorset.

Today, we decided to take a trip to Dorset, its one of my favourite counties, with lovely countryside. The drive along the old coast road, was like being on a switch-back ride, up and down the hills, with stunning views across the fields, woods and out to the coast. Honeysuckle and dog roses choked the hedges, and wild flowers nodded on the banks. Evenually, we arrived at our destination, West Bexington, a lovely little village beside chesil beach, which is a huge shingle bank which runs for eighteen miles. From the beach, you can see right up the coast to Portland, which looms a dark shape on the horizon. We set up camp on the shingle, there were already several fishermen down their, all set up with their bivvys.

After a coffee break, I left Pete to fish, and I set off to explore the surroundings.

I followed the little shingle path that runs beside the shingle bank

The shingle was very pretty, decorated with mallows and wild parsnip

There were also lovely clumps of greeny-blue sea kale

some were covered in seed pods like little gooseberries...

I was hoping to see some Horned Poppies too, as you dont always see them on every beach, and I certainly wasnt disappointed, as they were growing everywhere, they have a wonderful long seed pod in the Autumn, up to twelve inches long..

Sea-bindweed, grew like a pretty pink and white trumpeted carpet over the shingle.

and spiky teasels guarded the pathside.

On the other side of the path were lovely views across the fields, a group of crows were morosely squawking to each other from posts.

There were also lush green reedbeds, which rustled in the gentle breeze, and where Sedge warblers kept up their insistent chatter. In the distance I could see Swyre, a tiny village of white painted houses, set amongst the fields.

I crunched on along the little winding path, it was very warm although the sun was hidden by the cloud cover, and the odd skylark rose into the air and sang. The murmur of the sea rose above the huge shoulder of the shingle bank, although I couldnt see it.

There were lots of bees and butterflies around the flowers..

it was an enchanting place...

suddenly I spotted the end of what looked like a log of I climbed to the top of the shingle bank only to discover it was a ships mast...I was totally amazed, it was enormous...and so forlorn, I wondered how it came to be laying their, and what happened to the ship and crew...I guess I`ll never know...

I slipped and slithered down the shingle bank, and walked on, in the distance I could see Golden Cap, one of the highest cliffs along the Jurrasic coast, it was misty, and looked as though it wore a gauzy veil.

the edges of the path were softened by grasses, beige, white and silvery..

I decided to walk back, it was definately time for a mug of tea, and I`d been gone nearly two hours, so I headed back, I noticed on the far hill in the distance, The Knoll which was an old customs look out post. When I got back to camp, Pete said he`d seen a pod of dolphins chasing me to miss it..

We had a picnic lunch, and mugs of tea, it was lovely and peaceful listening to the suck and boom of the sea, and the cry of the gulls overhead, much refreshed I decided to have a walk in the opposite direction, to see what delights that would hold...there was a pretty row of chalets set back from the path.

I thought the blue and white one was very pretty, what a lovely peaceful spot to have a house, and very wild in the winter, when storms rage along the coast line.

This path is part of the South west coast path, it runs for hundreds of miles along the coast-line. There were lovely grey boulders amongst the shingle, covered in lichens..

and hedges of Hawkweed...

and also the lovely little restharrow, with its dainty pink flowers

the clouds were beginning to break up, and the sun shone through, it was very hot..

the stones down this end of the beach were much bigger, so I collected some pretty blueish ones, there were lots of shells and driftwood, and a nest of fish eggs like rice krispies all stuck together

I also noticed this stone, which had been quarried, I wonder how it got there, such mysteries...

Weighed down by all my beach combing, I decided to head back for a cold drink, and a spot of sun-bathing, a nice end to a lovely day.


Cathy said...

Wow, what a beautiful place to visit. No wonder you love it.

Pat said...

Very nice...but you should have included a photo of you, too.

Piecefulafternoon said...

So very many things to see when you take the time. I enjoyed this so much.