The long hot summer continues….
The scorching summer of 2018 will be one to remember. Hopefully for our guests they will recollect carefree days and nights of eating al fresco in the garden, impromptu picnics and BBQ’s on the beach with lots of laughter. Here on the Symondsbury Estate we have the best of both worlds. This year we have walked through fields of gently munching sheep and climbed to the top of Colmers Hill. This iconic landmark has a collection of Caledonian Pine planted during World War I and added to in the 60’s by Sir John Colfox. It must surely be the most painted and photographed hill in Dorset!
I dragged along my son, who it must be said, wouldn’t normally count early morning countryside hikes as a top priority. As a keen amateur photographer however even he ended up waxing lyrical at the sheer beauty of his surroundings. To keep body and soul together I craftily assembled an assortment of goodies from the Symondsbury store. We counted two buzzards circling overhead, deer in the distance and bright eyed unconcerned rabbits. Once settled on the top we could look down onto the estate and see panoramic views of West Dorset, East Devon and the clear blue sea on the horizon.
‘Rather a brilliant idea of mine’ I remarked and felt secretly pleased I had managed the ascent without too much puffing and panting. However, looking down and seeing the large cream umbrellas being erected at Symondsbury Kitchen and sensing we were in for another day of sizzling sunshine, my mind began to wander. I visualized a glass of chilled rose on our eventual return.
As if reading my mind, he whips out the trail map I insisted on getting and starts to plan a long detour back. At this suggestion I pull rank, that is the rank of older and wiser, and promise we will do an evening walk later in the week. We sit in a companionable silence both lost in our own thoughts. ‘I feel on top of the world’ I think to myself, terribly corny I know, but it’s a funny little feeling of contentment and satisfaction at merely doing something so easy and simple whilst waves of wellbeing wash over you. A combination of inhalations of pure fresh air and stunning scenery.
He jumps up enthusiastically, (honestly this is quite a rarity) and he hasn’t glanced at the blessed phone once. “Let’s go to the beach!” he cries and, in that split second, I see the curly fair-haired toddler I used to take to the beach who would sit contentedly for hours counting the smooth rounded stones. “I saw people paddle boarding yesterday” he continues, and his eyes are alight with excitement at the prospect. “You can have a go too” he continues as if for good measure. “Oh dear” I sigh, putting on my best impression of a deflated balloon. Nevertheless, he grabs my hand and we run helter skelter through the ferns down the hill whooping with delight like two young(ish) children.
It takes five minutes in the car to the beach. Eype beach, to be precise, mentioned as one of Britain’s top forty beaches in The Telegraph. Son does appear to be in the most marvellous mood. His sister informs us she is gracing us with her presence too. Heavens, what is happening?
After our swim we lie back and feel the heat seeping through our weary bones from the pebbles. ‘You’ll deserve that glass of wine soon and some lunch’ my son remarks. My ears prick up instinctively but to my surprise I languidly reply, “no hurry, we have all the time in the world”.
And the truth is, I feel we have………. The magic of Dorset.