Chaldon Herring (or East Chaldon)
We started this circular walk in Chaldon Herring (seeming more popularly known as East Chaldon) at the pretty village green and walked east along the road to turn onto a winding track towards the dramatically named Daggers Gate. The path followed a level route between rolling grassy hills.
At the top of the next section there was great view back which revealed clearly the sinuous nature of the path. It was very green, but almost completely lacking in wild flowers.
As we neared Daggers Gate, this changed and we began to see flowery set-asides beside arable fields. We had so far seen just a couple of Small Heath, Speckled Wood and Holly Blue, but suddenly there were Small and Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, a Painted Lady (Only about the third or fourth I have seen this year) and - at last! - a Clouded Yellow, the first of the year.
Daggers Gate turns out to be a farm where you turn sharp right to follow a path which runs parallel to the South West Coast Path a few hundred yards inland. There is a hedge on the left so you can't see the sea. There was however another nice flowery set-aside with views inland.
All of a sudden you emerge onto an open grassy hillside with the Isle of Portland on the horizon and the curve of Swyre Head visible to the left. You are above Scratchy Bottom.
Further on, there is a great view down to Middle Bottom.
And after a while a the whole coast back to the east past Lulworth as far as St Alban's Head is displayed as you look back.
We had read that various sculptures were on display, although we only noticed this one.
Just inland from White Nothe the path turns right, further inland and another, unnamed bottom stretches away to the right.
Just before the handsome Sea Barn you turn right towards West Chaldon. We were so entranced by the barn that we overshot the turning.
The path crosses hay fields as it heads towards the hamlet of West Chaldon, with the mound of High Chaldon in the background.
It remained only to walk along the road back to Chaldon Herring.
Conditions: mild and bright at first, becoming cloudier as the day went on.
Distance: 6 miles.
From: Pub Walks in Dorset by Mile Power (Power Publications). Great walk, but the sketch map and descriptions were not precise enough to keep you on track, we would have been lost both metaphorically and literally without the OS map.
Rating: four stars.