A Dorset Adventure in Five parts – Day three

Cerne Abbas

Tuesday was cloudy and not as hot as Monday but when you are going walking that is no bad thing.

I had been to Cerne Abbas Giant viewpoint on the way back from Weymouth last summer and shared a couple of pictures. The rather hard to see Giant. However this time I was aiming to visit the village and walk round the Giant’s Hill.

I left the Bay Tree shortly before nine to go to the bus stop. The bus was due at 0925 and since the English Senior bus passes are not valid before 0930, I hoped to pay for a short distance and then go for free but the bus driver was very kind and just let me use the pass.

When we got to Cerne Abbas I got my bearings then walked up Abbey Street to look at the church. The church was not outstandingly beautiful but it had a few features of interest, I especially liked this carved Madonna and Child and this amazing pulpit. There were also some interesting texts on the wall (This photograph is full size so if you are interested you can click on it and enlarge it till you can read the three texts between the arches.)and since this is a craft blog I had to photograph these kneelers made by local women. There were four kneelers but this composite picture allows you to see all the designs.

After this I moved on to look at the Abbey Guest House. Abbot’s porch and St Augustine’s well. Apparently it is iron rich (Chalybeate) water like at Glastonbury but unfortunately, unlike Glastonbury (at least many, many years ago when I was there), it is not drinkable. However it was a pleasant spot to sit for a few moments and contemplate.

Now it was time to walk up Giant’s Hill.

There is a fence round the Giant itself to preserve it. I wonder if once you could walk right up to it, like once you could clamber at will over Caerphilly castle, walk right up to the stones at Stonehenge, that stood in lonely splendour off the side of the road, or sit of an evening by Chalice Well in Glastonbury to drink the Chalybeate water, which is quite delicious! I have done all these things in my lifetime. The second time at Glastonbury, just two years after the previous time, the well was fenced in and you had to pay to go in during ‘opening hours’! I suppose it all makes sense and yet I find it sad.

Anyway back to Cerne Abbas.

This photograph shows what may be all that is visible of the giant from the path.

I had not started walking up the hill till about 11 o’clock but in spite of talking it gently I was making good time and I decided to follow a route to take me all around the hill. Not the full figure of eight walk shown on the Village Map but enough to still get me back to the village for lunch. It was so pleasant up there in the sunshine that I wondered if I should have bought something in the shop and had a picnic but it was too late to go back and start again.

Luckily, unlike the walk my granddaughter and I had done to Hardy’s Monument the way was well sign-posted and I even found myself walking along a bridal path through the middle of a field of rape. (You know: those fields of yellow flowers you see so often these days!). The path was well trodden earth but very narrow and the plants flopped over from both sides in many places.

At the other side of the field the path, though narrow and steep, went through a wooded area and allowed me a view over Cerne Abbas from the other side of the hill. Because it was so narrow, I wondered if the path was really used for riding but thought this could be evidence that it was. Further on I found even more proof. Luckily I didn’t miss the sign that directed me to turn left back towards the village. I walked back through the cemetery and took this picture before I went through the gate.

There was a village café so I went in to get some lunch. I had intended to have soup for lunch but as I wasn’t especially keen on the soup on offer I ended up being seduced by the thought of pie, though I suppose it was the fact that it included ‘veg’ that really sold it to me. Vegetables often seem in short supply in restaurant meals. Here a generous helping of carrots.

The buses were very infrequent and I had a choice of a bus at 1410 or waiting for another couple of hours. I decided that I was already quite tired so it might be wiser to take the earlier bus. I got to the bus stop in good time and was amused by wheeling swallows while I waited. No photographs I am afraid they were moving much too quickly.



6 thoughts on “A Dorset Adventure in Five parts – Day three

  1. Lovely to take a virtual walk with you along paths I know so well.
    Yes, you used to be able to go onto the Giant. i think it was fenced in sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s. I have sat on the most prominent feature at Beltane with a ‘friend’! Wild times! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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