June and July are the best months for picnics. With any luck you get a run of those glorious hot days when the sky is as blue as jay’s wing and the countryside is green and lush. There are no wasps yet to bother you and the birds are still singing in the woods.
Length: about 6 miles • Time: three hours • Terrain: Steepish climbs and descents on tracks that can get muddy; walking on shingle. Sturdy footwear required.
Discover a lovely village once a centre of power for prosperous medieval monks; explore a dramatic prehistoric hill fort; enjoy unsurpassed views of the Jurassic Coast and crunch along the geological phenomenon of Chesil beach.
The oldest and perhaps the oddest place in Bridport is The Chantry, down South Street. In medieval times it was lived in by two priests who used to get through nearly 50 pints of beer a week and eat lots of salted fish, peas and beans. When they had guests such as the Rector of Bridport, they used to order even more ale. We know this because the priests kept meticulous records of their spending.
With the classic 1967 film of Far from the Madding Crowd being re-released this spring as well as a completely new version in cinemas from 1 May, it seems that once again Dorset is under the spell of Thomas Hardy’s novel
The Yarn loves John Schlesinger’s romantic 60s romp starring Julie Christie, Terence Stamp and Alan Bates and many local people will remember it being filmed on location in the area. Published here for the first time, Nick Gilbey shares the photos he took of the production as a film-mad teenager following the crew in his trusty Robin Reliant three-wheeler.
Now then. If you live in the Bride Valley, could you have a look in your under-stairs cupboard for a vital part of Long Bredy’s fingerpost? The parish council is having a go at restoring the village’s traditional old and rather weary signposts.
An important mission, because one wrong turn in that neck of the woods will send you merrily on your way to Abbotsbury and the dragons there be beyond, when you wanted to get to the great metropolis of Dorchester.