Rambling up Hambledon Hill

Well perhaps not a ramble exactly but I liked how it sounded along with Hambledon Hill. For this ramble we're popping back to January last year when we had a week in Dorset. It was pretty chilly then, but we had a lovely cosy cottage with a real fire, and occasionally we ventured out.  

Hambledon Hill was so close to our Dorset base that it would have been rude not to see it close up. It's an Iron Age hill fort and is one of the most iconic sites in Dorset according to the National Trust. It rises steeply to 190 metres above the Blackmore Vale and provides spectacular views - I perhaps should have read the 190 metres bit before we left, as it was quite steep. MOH helpfully asked what I'd expected as the clue was in the name...

Hmnnnn.

 IT DOESN'T LOOK THAT STEEP DOES IT?

IT DOESN'T LOOK THAT STEEP DOES IT?

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Before we reached the path to take us into the Nature Reserve, I spotted several clumps of snowdrops.

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We went through the gate and then up. And up. I deployed the let's-stop-and-take-a-photo trick several times, but it was quite chilly so we didn't pause for long. The photo below though gives an indication of just how steep it was.

 IT'S LOOKING STEEPER NOW, ISN'T IT?

IT'S LOOKING STEEPER NOW, ISN'T IT?

As we got closer we could see the ridges, or furrows or whatever the proper name for them are, which weren't visible from street level. They were quite intriguing, more on those soon. But first the views, they were spectacular. It was windy up there and at times we were hanging onto our hats.

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 MOH HAD TROUBLE IN THE WIND WITH HIS EAR FLAPS

MOH HAD TROUBLE IN THE WIND WITH HIS EAR FLAPS

 A TREE IN THE MIDDLE OF A FIELD?

A TREE IN THE MIDDLE OF A FIELD?

The ditches - I'm going to stick with that name for the ridges we'd spotted earlier - were actually quite large, from a distance they had been quite deceptive. It was quite strange to walk through them, although they did provide some respite from the wind.

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A completely fascinating place, and one I was glad we visited despite my original prediction that it was just a hill. It seems it's much more than that. Having had our fill of the wind, it was time to find our way down. And of course we couldn't just go the way we had come. Instead we headed down the other side, which while a shorter walk it was, yes you've guessed it, much steeper.  

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Mammsaurus HDYGG