Lewesdon Hill

One of the few densely wooded hills in this part of the world, this is a wonderful spot to visit in May, when the woodland floor is carpeted with bluebells and ferns, and the tree canopy is just bursting into fresh leaf. It’s a bit of a hike to get there, so the bluebells don’t suffer the sad fate of more accessible locations, which are increasingly crushed flat by thoughtless people taking selfies – one of the less savoury aspects of photo sharing. “Leave only footprints” is no consolation to a flattened plant on which your footprint is irrevocably stamped.

The top is crowned by an Iron Age hillfort, just one of several nearby (Lambert’s Castle, Coney’s Castle, Pilsdon Pen to name but three). The Celtic tribes who built them certainly had the facility for picking wonderful spots to settle – though no doubt their criteria were very different.

Local poet David Bushrod features the hill in one of his books, imagining it as his final haunt – I can think of much worse places to spend eternity!

And when my spirit shall be free
To wander like the breeze,
I think that it will settle too
Like mist about these trees.

You can either park in Broadwindsor and walk from the north, or by the roadside at Buck’s Head on the B31262 Bridport-Broadwindsor road. Be prepared for some steep slopes and wonderful views between the trees from the summit.

Beaminster DT8 3JZ, UK