Discover Dorset: Cerne Abbas & Wildlife Watching

Each month should call for a new adventure, if only time and money allowed. However, I am on a journey through someplace new again this month, as I venture down to the Jurassic Coast of Dorest in South West England. My reason for visiting is that of a studious nature, as I am technically here to write well, watch wildlife and improve my writing on said subject in question. Although I’ve always wanted to visit Dorset, so now is my given chance!

I’m lucky enough to be staying in a quaint residential farm, surrounded only by grassland and endless fields. Run by the Dorset Wildlife Trust, Kingcombe is a tranquil setting for such an occasion as a writers retreat and I would highly recommend the area, so long as you have access to a car. Local facilities are within a reasonable walking distance, but the country lanes are narrow and winding and I think it to be both safer and easier were you to have an accessible mode of transport.

Cerne Abbas is a location, perhaps best known for its large chalk drawing of a man, but the village itself is worth writing home about, arguably if not more so. I started off by climbing the facet of chalk drawing first. From the rolling hilltop above the Cerne Abbas Giant, you can enjoy unspoilt views of the surrounding country, feeling far the post-industrial era. My feet crunched in the grass underfoot through the wheat leaf stems and wildflowers, as red admirals and white butterflies danced about the air. The warm blue skies above were littered with cotton whisps of cloud, but with no threat of rain; it was glorious.

I took my time to find my footing going down and drove the short distance to the near-by viewpoint of the giant. It was for the most part clearly visible, but I couldn’t help but feel somewhat disappointed. In discussing the fabled myths of the giant etched upon the hillside, I came to wonder if it really mattered how the giant had come to appear, as the landscape continues to remain distinctly unchanged. Although, it’s aesthetic appeal on the landscape remains up for debate.

With a necessary visit to the giant complete, I took to the town of Cerne Abbas  (within the Cerne Valley) to have a passing wander round. The town is quintessentially English and boasts an eclectic array of architecture, from tudor style houses to cosy cottages, as even a manor house. Many houses round these parts still show case a tradition of thatched roofs and here the shop front windows still hold old-worldy charm. I broke up the day with the most delicious lunch in the local tea-room, dining al-fresco in the country garden out back.

The afternoon was spent writing back in the gardens of Kingcombe and in the evening I experienced my first attempt at spotting badgers in the wild. It struck me that there is rich environment to be explored across the county. But it was also clear that I had only scrapped the surface. With more antics planned for later in the week I’ll have more to report, though I’m keen to learn if you’ve ever been to Dorset. Maybe you live here? Flipping through a local brochure it appears there’s much yet to see! I’d love some recommendations. Even if I don’t visit on this trip, I’d been keen to come back again!

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