A Walk on the Waterside

I have been pondering how many people consider going for a walk a form of outdoor play.  I don’t mean the go for a walk to the shops type of walk, but where you set out to have an adventure and a voyage of discovery.  The sort of walk that’s a bit of a treasure hunt.  The one when you never know what you are going to see, encounter and find.  Then there is the fresh air, exercise and huge dose of Vitamin ‘N’.  I find that my son must walk at least 3 times as much as me with all the running ahead and running back.

We have a book entitled Waterside Walks in Dorset, but the weather has been too wet to give some of them a try.  Riverside walks by their very nature often tend to be located on boggy land, so I reckoned that the recent dry period would have dispensed with any wetness under foot.

Our chosen walk was along the river Stour which flows from Stourhead in Wiltshire into the sea at Bournemouth.  It would be a good walk to try with little children as most of time you were crossing the river rather than walking along the river bank.  So there would be no safety worries with small children

What did we find on our recent expedition?


  • A really long thin concrete bridge with a metal fence wandering over not only the river, but a garden.  Very unusual.  We assumed that maybe this garden often flooded.
  • A buzzard feather – at least that’s what we thought.  This generated lots of discussion about its origins and was tightly held onto by my son throughout the duration of the walk.  It now holds pride of place in the ‘feather ‘ collection.

Rose Bay Willow Herb

  • Beautiful bankside foliage.  This Rosebay Willow Herb is such an attractive plant.  We also found some ripe blackberries.  They were in a very sunny spot and had ripened early.  It was a real treat to be snacking on them so early in August.

rope swing over river


  • The highlight the walk was this swing over a small tributary of the Stour.  It was close to a small ancient church, but no houses.  So we were not too sure who had placed it there.  Thank you to whoever took the time to do so.
  • A small dead completely intact rodent, possibly a shrew. – no photos here!


bridge over Stour


  • A lovely ancient road bridge back across the Stour.

All very low key you may think.  Yet it was a lovely walk and we all very much enjoyed playing in the countryside.  Never mind the teddy’s bears picnic if you go out for a walk today you never know what you might find.


I am linking up this post with Coombemill’s #Countrykids




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