A walk around Godmanstone and the Cerne Valley
On Januray 30th fifteen hearty Mileaters and three dogs braved anticipated zero temperatures to walk a five and a half mile circuit from Godmanstone Church. We hadn’t needed to worry; snowdrops and a light snowfall together with crystal clear blue skies made for a morning that was , at times, utterly beautiful.
Having followed the Cerne to Nether Cerne and visited the 13th century church there, with its lovely golden original stained glass window, we crossed the A352 and made the long ascent to the top of the ridge, and The Turning Point. Here a carved block of Portland stone, hidden in a coppice, marked the turning point by a local landowner and farmer to purely organic practices, back in the 1980’s.
We then descended to the hidden valley below, along a grass track with yellow gorse in flower. At Bushes Farm Katy tolled the bell, a sculpture to commemorate the families who once farmed this remote place.
Then began the long climb back up to the ridge and down across fields to re-cross the A352 and the river at Forston farm, where an enthusiastic dog failed to keep us away. At this point there is no longer a right of way along the river, so to cries of dismay we had another short but steep climb up towards Cowden Hill and then back down to the river valley and the church.
Lunch was at the very welcoming Sun Inn.