For the last few days the weather has been sunny and hot here. Sunday was no exception, and we knew that many of the places we go to walk Jade would be choc full of families enjoying the great outdoors. The roads would also be clogged with traffic. Hubby suggested we make for Badbury Rings, so I packed a bottle of water and we drove around narrow back roads and lanes to get there. I was glad I wasn’t driving when we met vehicles coming the other way, but we got to see more of the countryside than we had before. Everything looks wonderful when the sun is shining.
Badbury Rings is an Iron Age hill fort dating to between 800 BC and the early years AD when the Romans invaded Britain. These forts were encircled by deep ditches and rising earth ramparts outside each one. Badbury Rings is a very good example of one that has survived well. It is now maintained by the National Trust and is open free to members and the public. I took my camera on Sunday, but an aerial photo gives the best view of it all. You ‘ll see a few of those if you search for it by name on Google.
Last time we went there we had walked the high outer rampart. This time, when we left the car park we walked along an old cobbled track through the field with the fort on our right. Could it have been part of the network of Roman roads around the area? The spectacular views to our left beyond the point-to-point course were towards our previous local haunts in North Dorset.
There are plenty of walking options, but it was too hot for us to go far with Jade, so we stayed inside gates and stiles and went uphill towards the fort where the wooded centre offered some welcome shade.
In the middle an engraved metal disc directed us to other landmarks. Looking south west we could just make out a glint of Poole Harbour and the line of the Purbeck Hills beyond.
We went right over the fort and probably through the centre of the site of the bailey that would originally have stood there, to come out at the entrance near the car park we had started from. As we passed between the ramparts I saw a lone figure in the outer ditch and stopped to take a picture that gives you an idea of the scale of the outer earthworks.
Back at the car, Jade had a good long drink, and I stopped to take photos of the horse jumps on the other side of the fence.
I remember going to a point-to-point once back in my young days, and losing a few bob on each race. Perhaps one day we’ll come to see the racing here and I might win it all back.