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Summer solstice 2019 from Badbury Rings

This year I went with my walking group to watch the sunrise on the day of the summer solstice (June 21). We had chosen Badbury Rings, the iron age hill fort between Blandford and Wimborne. For only a limited amount of walking uphill you get a very fine, uninterrupted view over the surrounding landscape from... Continue Reading →

Blandford bridge, crossing the Stour

Blandford bridge in the early morning sun A moment. But in the still, sun-poured early morning it stretches out, flowing imperceptibly like the water under the bridge, beckoning towards the future and the past. Blandford’s history is fundamentally tied to crossing the river. The name of the town derives from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Blaen-y-ford’ describing a... Continue Reading →

A sparkling lunch at Langham Wine Estate

If you’re a wine enthusiast or just enjoy a good glass of fizz, a visit to the Langham Wine Estate is for you. This award-winning winery produces its sparkling wines using only grapes grown at the vineyard at Crawthorne in Dorset, between Blandford and Dorchester (take the marked turning off the A354). You can join... Continue Reading →

Sunshine brunch at Parterre

We have to admit to being a bit in love with Parterre at Keyneston Mill. There’s nowhere better to meet for coffee or brunch, especially when the sun’s shining. Or on the weekend strolling through the gardens before pastry indulgence at the Scented Botanist Café. The gardens are dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants,... Continue Reading →

Fontmell Down Circular Walk

This is a very good National Trust walk with stunning views across the Blackmore Vale, the landscape at the heart of Thomas Hardy country. Walking along the open expanse of downland here, you can also find many species of butterflies and wildflowers; in early spring, for example, the slopes are carpeted in yellow cowslips. A... Continue Reading →

Dorset dark sky

The sky was clear - remarkably clear - and the twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body timed by a common pulse. Thomas Hardy Far from the Madding Crowd

Daffodils

And here come the daffodils, early bloomers lighting up the woodland paths in all their super-charged yellow glory. These ones (I think!) are Narcissus Jetfire, their orange trumpets sexting like mad. As they sway in the breeze it feels like you’re watching spring once more bursting into life. Few capture the scene of a swathe... Continue Reading →

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