A walk in the Purbeck Hills

Friday 20th September 2013

Today, since Jez didn’t want to come for a walk and it was a sunny day, Max and I took ourself off for a walk in the Purbeck Hills, or, more specifically, to West Hill and Knowle Hill that lie to the west of Corfe Castle.

Corfe Castle from the west

My plan was to take mainly landscape photos, but unfortunately it was quite hazy and it soon clouded over, so the photos are not quite as good as I would have liked.

We set off from the main National Trust carpark at Corfe Castle and followed the footpath around the back of the castle, so that we were to the west of it. Initially we walked along the bottom of West Hill, but we soon turned up and climbed to the top of the hill where I took this view of the castle and Corfe Castle village.

Corfe Castle from West Hill

I’ve included that photo as it has the castle in it, but I actually prefer this one of just the village.

View over the village of Corfe Castle from West Hill

This is the view of Poole Harbour from West Hill. This islands you can see in the middle of the photo are Round Island and Long Island. Brownsea Island is the large island on the right of the photo.

View of Poole Harbour from West Hill

The ridge that we walked along turns into Knowle Hill and you walk west, and this is the village of Church Knowle taken from roughly the mid-point between West Hill and Knowle Hill.

View across Church Knowle from Knowle Hill

Max was really enjoying himself running around the top of the ridge, especially as there were rabbits up there. I’m not sure this section was particularly good for his grass allergies though.

That's not going to help his allergies!

And this shot is from a little bit further along still: looking south west in the direction of the village of Steeple.

Looking east towards Steeple from Knowle Hill

I had planned a 4 mile walk, but some people we met told us a herd of cows were blocking our route (which in the even they weren’t, but never mind), so we ended up taking the longer way round and walked to the end of the ridge at Stonehill Down where there is an old stone quarry (to the right in this photo).

Old quarry at Stonehill Down

Max was just about to roll in an old dung pile in that shot!

We walked down that hill you can see and eventually turned back towards Corfe Castle along the Purbeck Way, the first part of which is a wooded track. Max was pleased when he found a pond there.

Max in the woods near the Blue Pool

But not quite so pleased when, given the state of it, I wouldn’t let him go in it.

Pond in the woods near the Blue Pool

And here he is on his way, walking over the little wooden bridge.

Max crossing the bridge

We continued to follow the Purbeck Way, but the path got narrower, muddier and almost impassable in places due to fallen trees like this one.

Fallen Tree blocking the Purbeck Way

Basically you had to be able to limbo dance on muddy slopes to get through.

This tree fascinated me though – I wonder how it came to grow like that.

Now how did it grow to be that shape?

We got back to Corfe eventually, although it turns out our route had been 5.25 miles long. Never mind. Apart from that section of the Purbeck Way it had been a lovely walk. And I’ll leave you with a panorama of the best view: Poole Harbour from the top of Knowle Hill.

Poole Harbour from Knowle Hill


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