Each time I've flown over the UK, I've looked out the plane window down at the English countryside and admired the order of the wood and stone fences, the lush green fields and pastures, the dots of villages. Whenever I've been here before it's been driven by work, which kept me in London, with a few side trips but nothing of any real length, but this trip is pure vacation and that has given me the opportunity to be out of the city. The friend I am visiting was my boss for a while at my old job. She was layed off shortly after I was. Her new job is located off the coast of Southern England, in Poole, Dorset, and so she kept her house in London and rented here. On Saturday, I got my first true hands-on taste of the English countryside and coast.
Corfe Castle is just beyod these grazing sheep. The castle was built over 1,000 years ago. Though a mere dot in this photo, it is absolutely enormous. Crumbling but still stately. The wind seems lonely at the castle, full of secrets and sorrow.
We drove through the countryside to Worth Matravers, in Purbecks, parked the car and set out for what I thought would be a little stroll but soon realized was a lengthy hike.
Yes, I did walk across all that green. It is part of the National Trust, which is preserved and open to the public.
We walked down hills, through pastures, around villages, up hills, across a retired quarry where the stones that built St. Paul's Cathedral are from, up more hills, down more hills and right up to the sheer cliffs on the edge of the country. This area is known as the Jurassic Coast and is a Geologist's playground with rocks dating 65 million years. For me though it was simply breathless. And not just because I had walked the bottoms of my feet off to get there.
Tread softly, breathe deeply.
Needless to say, I slept like a baby that night.