There's something cooling about walking beside water I always think.
The noise from the motorway was harder to ignore however - I was glad I was down here amongst the greenery and not thundering along above!
...we were at the cottage and what is more it was a cafe! How lovely was that as by now it was time for something to eat and a bit of a sit down. Apparently this is called Lock Keepers Cottage and during July and August is a cafe and the rest of the year can be rented as a self catering holiday cottage.
After a leisurely lunch we caught the little ferry boat with one other person and a dog, which sure enough would not be running after 3.15 today, and crossed the river Exe to Topsham.
On Tuesday we decided to do a walk which Mr M had found on the internet - we needed somewhere that would be shaded as it was set to be hot again. We duly set off after breakfast for Maiden Newton less than 15 miles away from where we would start our walk.
Chalk stream, Dragonflies and St George and sounded just about right for a hot day. We wandered along the banks of the River Frome which burbled over the pebbles and looked most inviting being very clear and clean. This was of course the chalk stream mentioned in the walk title. We also noticed many dragon flies en route although I didn't manage to get a photo of any of those!
About 11.00 we decided to stop and have our elevenses having come across this bench in the shade.
After our refreshments - a flask of tea and a slice of cake I'd made for just this sort of picnic (notice the designer lunch bag - a recycled frozen pea bag!) - we set off again.
Here we crossed a little ford - the walk description had said it might be muddy in places and so it was even in the current heat when all around is dried to a cinder - it would require wellingtons to walk this route in the winter I think.
...across this little bridge..
..alongside the river again....
with views of typical Dorset countryside here and there.
There was even a little "beach" just here though it wasn't really sand.
This time we decided to go to Weymouth - knowing that once the school holidays begin it will be heaving with holiday makers and we usually give it a miss then till September. There were still plenty of people on the beach although nobody watching the Punch and Judy just yet.
We were headed for the Rodwell Trail - an old disused railway line between Weymouth and Portland which we had walked this time last year almost to the day but this was another shady walk. It's obviously been a long time since any trains stopped here!
We enjoyed the walk, level and easy and much of the early part at least being in the shade.
We stopped for lunch at Sandsfoot Castle where we were lucky enough to find a table in the shade of a tree at the little cafe hut and we sat enjoying our sandwich and drink looking out across the harbour.
The castle was built by Henry VIII - well probably not him but his minions! - after the Reformation as he feared attacks from the Catholic continent and had several such castles built along the south coast - mustn't it be awful to be powerful and rich but afraid of attack all the time? I'd rather be me!
The Trail continues along the coast to Ferrybridge where we got a bus back to town and then home in time for Mr M to watch some more of the Tour de France with his cup of tea...
The Road to Tholonet by Monty Don which I can recommend if you are interested in France, the French and gardens.
Was decreed a "domestic day" as it was too hot to go far although I did walk the half hour walk into town keeping in the shade but I nearly expired on the bus coming home and wished I'd decided to walk back as well as I am sure it would have been cooler! No photos as Thursday involved some indoor games sorting out my photos, some ironing, and some sitting in the garden with yet another cup of tea and my book!