Conkers and blackberries in Osmington

RIOTS of ripe and fruity riches dot the hedgerows, playing hide and seek with coastal villages hewn from Portland stones.

We head for lunch at The Smugglers Inn at Osmington, nestled in a hollow just outside the basin of Weymouth Bay.

We can’t wait to scamper along the coast path to Weymouth, down mossy lanes, gnarled with tree roots and leaf mulch underfoot, leaves turning golden, brown and ruby every which way we turn.

Each hedge is a playden for badgers, foxes, terriers. We wonder if they ever stop to watch these gentle hills roll down to the still blue spread of the sea.

Trees are blasted backwards by the winter winds. Portland glooms darkly, a misty isle full of vague forboding.

Ahead and plunging down, the very edge of the land is scalloped away as the sea takes little bites out of it. The pale gleam of beaches lingers, like a smile. The sun beams down on ruffled waters. All is calm.


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