Tolpuddle Walk - 6th June
This very pleasant walk of around 5.5 miles, undertaken by 13 Mileaters and 2 four-legged friends, started at the Martyrs' Tree on the Green in Tolpuddle (said to be the old sycamore where the Tolpuddle Martyrs met). The thatched shelter here was given to the National Trust as part of the Tolpuddle Martyrs' centenary celebrations in 1934, by Sir Ernest Debenham.
The route meandered through peaceful meadows of the river Piddle and in June is filled with summer wild flowers – the bridleways and lanes are edged with pink campion, white cow parsley, elderflower and white and pink dog roses. Our paths were scattered with foxgloves and in Sares Wood, by ancient burrows and sink holes – we had fine views across Crossways to Chaldon Down.
We took our somewhat windswept coffee break at the memorial stone to a World War 2 Rifleman (see picture). Walking through pleasant woodland we eventually descended back into Tolpuddle, past Southover House (now a conference and wedding venue), where we enjoyed an excellent lunchtime repast at the Martyrs Inn.