WE’RE a bit lost, but the views are fabulous. Following our noses, we find a tumbledown fingerpost pointing us towards Lewesdon Hill.
Hawthorn boughs, laden with blossom, arch and twist over footpaths. Pine cones fall by the wayside. Hazelnut shells cluster underfoot. Ferns unfurl.
Celandines strew the winding footpath. We clamber over logs. It’s warm and quiet up here, save for the trillings of birds.
Bindy’s having a whale of a time, chasing squirrels, taking great flying leaps in the long grass. She surprises a pheasant, which squawks indignantly and clatters off.
We climb over a gate into a field of long grass. It smells wonderfully of silage up here. We teeter down a ravine and meet two teenage boys splashing about in a stream.
‘Where’s Lewesdon Hill?’ I ask. ‘Oh, we got lost too,’ said one of the boys. ‘It’s just generally that way – up,’ he points. ‘But we had to climb over a lot of barbed wire fences,’ he adds, doubtfully.
Undaunted, we clamber on. Cabbage Whites flutter amongst the gorse bushes. Lichen protrude fatly from misshapen tree trunks. Boughs are carpeted in moss. It’s spongy, cold and wet to the touch.
Lewesdon Hill is flat and green and dappled with sunshine. There’s a happy hum – of flies, and bees, and lazy things enjoying the sunshine. Can we really be at the highest point in all of Dorset?
Lurking in the leaves, we find an Easter egg! Must be left over from happy hunting yesterday. I pick it up. It rattles. Something’s inside – sweets? We leave it where it is for little hands to find.
Soon, it will be bluebell season. Already a haze of mauve hangs over the banks of these ancient, sunken lanes.
…a quarter of a mile down is Stoke Knapp. We meander down violet and primrose-strewn country lanes back to Broadwindsor. Truly, an enchanted village.