When we were last down Arne I bought a small book from their new shop and cafe called “Short Walks in Dorset” published by Collins [2015] ISBN:0008101566 and endorsed by the Ramblers assoc. All of the 20 walks are 5 miles or under in length and can easily be completed in less than 3 hours. It looked like just the job for me and there are some walks close to home and other parts of Dorset, including the coast. I’m hoping it might encourage me to explore different places.

The first walk I went on was one near Badbury Rings, an Iron Age Hill Fort, probably the shortest and easiest in the book. Of course I have been to Badbury Rings before and driven through the Beech Avenue many times but never actually taken a walk round the historical area that it is set in. Most of the land is part of the Kingston Lacy Estate and managed by the National Trust.

Although the book told us to start at the car park on the road we decided to begin the walk at the main car park close to the rings and headed up the track towards the ancient Oak wood. When we got above the rise of the hill we noticed the fields looked blue we speculated on solar panels etc. and then we realised that it was a crop Linseed/Flax. It was just coming out and we managed to get some images and we were so lucky that the clouds and skies were spectacular.





We walked round the small woodland called The Oaks where which lead us onto the old Roman road, The Ackling Dyke [Wikepedia –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackling_Dyke ] which went from Dorchester to Old Sarum near Salisbury, it was a great highway for around 300 years. This took us back towards Badbury Rings past Kings Down farm.

Kings Down Farm

The walk from the book wanted to send us to the road and the Beech Avenue back to the car park but we decided to cut back into the rings themselves to look at the flora and fauna on the rings. It was sunny and we weren’t disappointed and saw may chalkland flowers and insects.

The Rings
Six Spot Burnet moth on Field Scabious


The delicate Harebell
Meadow Brown Butterfly
Pyramidal Orchid
Field Scabious
Small Tortoishell on Thistle
Little Skipper

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