DAY THIRTEEN

And there it is. top left, The Manor House, where Mrs Partridge serves a wicked breakfast. I know that it’s hard to believe, but the MW runs along the pavement in the foreground before turning a sharp left. I thought that the ‘photo on the right was worthy because it was once the home of Benjamin Jesty. (WHO?) Well, Benjamin was apparently the first man to vaccinate using cowpox.

Although Yetminster was in ‘spitting distance’ of Abbotsbury, for the average walker, there remained the problem of accommodation and connection. If I had lived in Abbotsbury I would have struck out for home. However, I wanted to be in my own bed, two days hence, and therefore had to adjust my walking to fit into British Rail’s timetable. This meant that if I made Maiden Newton, I would be in Abbotsbury in time to connect with a train that could take me home. Realistically, this was after noon the next day. I could therefore enjoy the final stages more openly than before, taking my time, hence this photograph of Chetnole Withy Bed, that was alive with the joys of spring.

Following the path, through wooded and field areas, you come out at the right of the picture of the Welcome Inn, as seen here. Along the last 500 metres or so, you have been following a steep ditch to you left that abounds with wildlife. Crossing the A37 road, (pictured), you find yourself in the grounds of Melbury House. (In my opinion one of the most boring ‘Stately’s’ in the country)

For some reason this thatched cottage is deemed as being an important dwelling, as the ‘Ill Fated’ Duke of Monmouth once stayed here. Personally, I think that the barrel was being heavily scraped in an effort to find something outside of Thomas Hardy’s remit, to attach to the estate.

NEXT

HOME