I have no pictures to show of the walk up to the top of Little Doward. It’s a matter of a head-bowing trudge with the added burden of numerous false summits ie just when you think you’re approaching the top another summit emerges. The thought occurs that had I been part of a bronze age attack force I’d have given up before reaching the hill fort that crowns it. Another thought comes with it. If this is Little Doward you can forget its big brother.
There was one useful and unexpected spin-off arising from the head-bowing trudge. Halfway up, we hit the ‘elephant’s graveyard’ of sweet chestnuts. There were hundreds and hundreds of them, shells opened just waiting to be picked. Two things stopped us. We’d stumbled upon them too late, most of them spoiled. The other thing was we had no bags to carry them, and would we want to carry them up the various hills. But next year. At the right time. We’ll be there, perhaps hiring some Sherpas.
Horse chestnuts not so nice. Note the difference in casings.
But at the top you step on to pure magic, an unspoilt terrain unchanged from the C18th and a sense of what that Bronze Age hill fort controlled.
The viewing spot.
Two to three thousand years ago this would have been surrounded by a stockade. The tree line indicates where.
The land that time forgot
Not lakes, but mist
Mist and silhouettes as we walk down hill
Trees in a fierce winter sun
Light on wood
Before entering the forest you pass through a gorge that resembles a gatehouse.
Mist and magic
Putting your best foot forward
Grasping on for dear life
And now we face another walk up a very steep hill. I feel like that beetle.