Mileaters: A very Plush walk.
On a gorgeous late October morning, 12 Mileaters (plus Olly, to keep us from straying) set off from near the former Fox Inn at Folly, north of Plush; one has to wonder why there was ever an inn here, being a hamlet of a few solitary dwellings.
Leaving the thought of ancient pints behind us, and with future ones awaiting us later, we headed off eastwards up the Wessex Ridgeway, diverting down past Nettlecombe Tout hill fort to visit the atmospheric Dorsetshire Gap - a meeting place of old drove roads in the middle of the woods.
Retracing our steps back up the hill our leader David then promptly marched us down the other side into Lyscombe Bottom for a reviving drinks break at the restored 12th Century Lyscombe Chapel, and ruined priest's house (what led to the priest's ruination?) A divine location!
Our pace up the climb out of the valley was obviously too slow for Olly and he decided to round up a few tardy sheep instead. No damage done to sheep or humans , we eventually arrived for a breather at the top of Hog Hill with great views all around of ancient landscapes - strip lynchets, tumuli and cross-dykes in the foreground, the expanse of Blackmore Vale to the north and even a view of the distant Needles to the east. A view certainly worth lingering over.
It was then all downhill to complete our 5 mile circuit and back to "The Brace of Pheasants" for a well-earned reward. Many thanks to David for a great walk.