New walk in Dorset – Dorset Cottages, part of the Dorset Royal Chase inn to inn
It was a small but interesting party who set off keenly on Saturday morning to walk through North Dorset’s spectacular countryside in England.
Julia Killick (CBE) and Lynn Bann are Foot Trails newest volunteer trail guides, responsible for walking our trails through to check for quality and importantly any changes on the ground. Which occur surprisingly often if unchecked.
We were also joined by Jane Gould, landlady of The Inn at Cranborne, part of our new Dorset Royal Chase inn to inn experience, and David and myself.
We had a job in hand, training for Julia and Lynn and double checking the suitability of the walk for our new Dorset Royal Chase.
The sky hung in a deep blue for most of the day. Occasional white cloud pulled across pockets of the sky in wispy feathery streaks, looking as if it had been teased like sheep’s wool.
Isn’t it beautiful was a frequently heard phrase. We picked out our favourite thatched cottages, a constant feature here, and were somewhat spoiled for choice.
As the walk continued we talked about what a great trail means to Foot Trails. And David guided Julia and Lynn on the finer points of the skill and knowledge needed to both create and write a great walk.
“These are great.” said Julia. We’ve followed walk books before and given up completely with them.
As the day progressed our walking fell into the familiar, easy rhythm which occurs when one has been going for a while. Our eyes darted skywards many times at the beautiful melodic call of the SkyLark. We spotted many, fluttering high in the sky until tired from their efforts they plunged rapidly downwards to the grounds to return to the nests. (SkyLarks are ground nesting).
We discussed responsible business, the power and necessity of nature to the world, we even touched on politics. That’s the beauty of a great walk in great company. There’s time for proper conversation, discussion. Exchange of opinions.
We paused at a farm cafe David and I have known for many years to enjoy a delicious lunch of local produce. Just as our guests will. Catching up and chatting with the owners we talked about rural business, the changes over the years and they were thrilled to hear we are introducing the trail. Foot Trails bring people to rural areas in a responsible way and this really does contribute significantly to rural communities and economies. Something we are very proud of.
I hope you enjoy this small selection of photos that we took on route. We particularly loved the invitation to play Pooh Sticks in one of the villages and when pausing for our morning tea by the church we heard a lady practising the organ and singing. No-one can plan these sort of moments on a Foot Trail. They just occur naturally, surprising us. But that’s the joy of taking part in an experience that’s authentic and not manufactured for tourists and visitors as so many things are.
For more information about Foot Trails new Dorset Royal Chase email firstname.lastname@example.org with the words Send me a Dorset Royal Chase brochure