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Piddlehinton Circular Swim/Walk, 11th May 

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Over the 30 days prior to the Piddlehinton walk only slight smatterings of drizzle appeared round these parts for an hour or two on just 4 days. Then on one day between 10:00 and 15:00 there was a proper downpour accompanied by robust gusts of wind. That day and that timeslot was exactly when 18 plucky and un-cowered Mileaters headed off on a trek which began with tracing the Piddle beside the floodplains from Piddlehinton to Piddletrenthide.

Turning up the hill into the headwinds we passed Duntnole Coppice and Kingrove Bottom, soon after which we encountered some distracted cows and calves trying to pluck flying seaweed out of the sky (OK so that bit might be a slight exaggeration). 

Along the edge of an oilseed rape field still giving us some colour we strode, and then we cut into Incombe Wood where the bluebells were being flashy with their bright hues still on display. A wet coffee break in the woods preceded our march on to meet the four Mileaters who were on a shorter version of the walk. We arrived at the allotted meeting point to find them – absent. Demonstrating an utterly genius level of lateral thinking, this team had decided to conduct their walk not in the elements with the rest of us but instead around the dry and serene walls and vaults of Cerne Abbas’s church!  They did, however manage to hook up with us at the Thimble Inn for a great lunch in what soon became the pub’s steam room. 

Congratulations to Malcolm and Keith who were the first to spot the retired and almost hidden double decker bus, winning the coveted Mars Bars. They are in the post, chaps…

Despite the very English weather, there was a lot of laughing and joshing as ever and truly welcomed hot showers and baths awaited the stoic Mileaters as the sun of course came out once we all got home.

Chris Evans

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