Micro Event: Minterne Magna and the Cerne Giant, Dorset
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3 people waitlisted
This walk starts and ends at the tiny village of Minterne Magna, which lies between Sherborne and Dorchester and makes its way along undulating woodland and downland trails to pass the Cerne Abbas Giant, a hill figure near the village of Cerne Abbas. Made by a turf-cut outline filled with chalk, it depicts a large naked man with an erection and is typically described as a giant wielding a club. The figure is listed as a scheduled monument and the origin and age of the figure are unclear. The earliest mention of it dates to the late 17th century although early antiquarians associated it, with a Saxon deity, while other scholars sought to identify it with a Celtic British figure of the Roman Hercules. Archaeological evidence that parts of the drawing have been lost over time strengthen the Hercules identification. Regardless of its age, the Cerne Abbas Giant has become an important part of local culture and folklore, which often associates it with fertility. It is one of England's best known hill figures and is a visitor attraction in the region.
On arrival in the rather pretty little stone village of Cerne Abbas there's a rather nice old inn to pause for a while before the return route up the valley until our walk ends up back at Minterne Magna. Here a private country house has a garden open to the public - a garden described as “a corner of paradise” and Voted as ‘One of the Ten Prettiest Gardens in England’ by The Times. Admission is £6 and Cream Teas, Cakes are available to (optionally) round off our afternoon. (Dogs are welcome in the outside dining area, providing they are on leads).
Dogs are welcome to join us on this event but we do ask that you adhere to the Countryside Code at all times (see Keeping Dogs Under Effective Control). If your dog is uncontrolled and strays in open land frightening other animals or livestock, the leader is supported by the OutdoorLads board of trustees to ask you to leave the event as this is not acceptable behaviour.
Micro Events – IMPORTANT: Please read the following before you sign up to this event:
- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
- All are required to practice social distancing – staying 2m (not 1m) apart at all times, including the lunch stop.
- Please join events within around one hour’s travel from your home, rather than travelling longer distances to get there.
- Unfortunately, there won’t be any planned pub / café stops en route or at the end, and please don’t share sweets or snacks with others – we’re sorry!
- Public transport use to the start point is discouraged, as this is a non-essential journey. No car sharing to the start point unfortunately either.
- Please bring your own hand sanitising gel for your own use throughout the day. Use of face coverings is at your own choice.
- Each person can only attend one OutdoorLads micro event a week. (Leaders to leave at least three days between events they lead.)
- On walks, one person to hold open gates and allow everyone to walk through – so minimising surfaces that multiple people touch.
- Be aware that opportunities for toilet stops may be minimal if facilities are closed.
- Please, please cancel at your earliest opportunity if you are unable to attend or are unwell, so that we can allow others to take up these valuable event spaces.
- Much as it's difficult - no handshakes or hugs!
Micro Events Participation Statement
OutdoorLads draws your attention to the fact that travelling and being away from home increases the risk of receiving and transmitting Coronavirus, whilst it is present in the UK. You are likely to choose not to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst there is a risk of Coronavirus transmission. However, should you choose to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst the risk is present, you must be aware of and follow the law and government guidelines, both when travelling to and from events as well as when participating in events.
Please note that every person participating should be aware of (and accept) that those members perceived as ‘in charge’ or leading the event are not experts, do not need to be experts, and are not regarded by OutdoorLads, or themselves as experts, but are amateurs with some experience in the event type and who are happy to impart their knowledge. Any advice given should be considered with this in mind by the recipient.
By signing up to and attending an OutdoorLads micro event, you are confirming that you have read, understood and accept the content of this statement.
Please see our website for more information including an FAQ about our micro events.
All images are licensed for re-use under Creative Commons. Courtesy of Geograph and Andy Martin
Group walking down a hill - Group walking down a hill _AM.jpg; Cerne Giant - geograph-1593650-by-gillian-thomas.jpg; Dorset_Fontmell Down_AM.jpg; Cerne Valley - geograph-5519511-by-Derek-Harper.jpg; Cerne Abbas _AM.jpg; Minterne Magna - 20180911_161512.AMjpg
What to bring
For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:
Boots: Hiking boots that are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support, are important as soon as you encounter any mud. Cross trainers may suffice in good weather and flat routes.
Socks: Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.
Walking trousers: (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than Jeans which are heavy and cold when wet. From April to October shorts are usually a better bet.
Waterproof over-trousers: essential in any significant rainfall. Breathable ones are best.
Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt, and in cooler weather an outer layer consisting of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece.
Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather. You get what you pay for with these. Breathable fabrics are advisable.
Hat: essential in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely. Place valuables in water proof bags inside.
Sunglassses: April- Sept: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eye
Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems. A hydration bladder is easier to use than bottled water, but higher maintenance.
Food: a packed lunch will be required unless otherwise stated. In addition carry energy bars or similar to counter 'sugar lows'.
Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget these!
Food & drink
Bring a packed lunch and water.