I am extremely lucky to live in the beautiful county of Dorset, with The New Forest National Park just over the border in Hampshire too. This weekend I went for a walk in the spring sunshine up to Old Harry Rocks with my family and many other walkers and tourists. There was a slight chill to the breeze, but otherwise it was a lovely sunny day to walk and take photos. Luckily, it was a clear day too, so we could appreciate the expanse of ocean that stretched out ahead of us, as boats, both fast and slow, went back and forth across the relatively calm waves.
The water at the base of the rocks was clear and inviting, although it would have been freezing cold. My brother and I snapped away as our mum stood a little further back; she’s not keen on heights, and we probably worried her a bit as we looked down from the edge to get the best shots. The rocks were quite busy with visitors but we all took turns to stand or crouch down at the best spots to get the photo we wanted.
Once we’d had our fill of Old Harry, we walked up the hill towards Ballard Down, greeting fellow walkers and grazing cows on our way. The cows were predictably indifferent to us, and seemed to offer a withering glance at a tourist as he photographed them. Further on up the climb, we began to observe the bright colours of hang-gliders silently drifting through the blue sky above.
The view down into Swanage Bay was wonderful; as was the sight of Poole Harbour on the other side. No camera could really do them justice, but we tried; if nothing else, but to record the moment and remember being there on that day. To recall the sights, the birdsong all around us, the waves below and the smell of cows (maybe not that last one so much).
Just a simple walk like this, to be out within nature and away from the four walls of our homes, laptop screens, phones and traffic flow was healing and rejuvenating. There are times when I long to immerse myself within woodland, to feel small in a vast landscape and be reminded not just of the beauty nature provides but connection it offers us with our true selves, away from the ever-powerful call of the virtual world we increasingly live in. We need a break sometimes, to re-charge with the earth.
We planned the next walk on the way home. I’m already looking forward to it.