A Pictorial and Descriptive Guide to Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester, Lulworth, Swanage, Sherborne, Etc

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The downs of Dorset, bare and treeless though they be, have a beauty of their own, and this notwithstanding that they are of a scale which is almost insignificant as compared with the neighbouring moors of Devonshire. Nor are there in Dorset such sharply-cut and towering peaks, or such precipitous cliffs, as may be found along the Cornish and Devonian coastlines, so that at first, perhaps, the visitor finds little more in the scenery than a barren and featureless monotony. Yet after a short acquaintance the grassy, undulating downs of Dorset, from Swanage on the east to Lyme Regis on the west, have a singular fascination. So far as physical exercise goes, the tourist may get as hard a day's tramp over these waving hillocks as he pleases, while the other great attraction of nature is the wide encircling belt of sea. In true historical antiquities, literary associations, ecclesiastical and domestic architecture, South Dorset is abundantly rich, and not the least charm of this strip of sea-washed country is the impression it gives of being hoary with age, as if things had gone on exactly as they do now, not merely since the days of the saintly Aldhelm, but from the time of the quasi-mythical King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. Here time has indeed travelled with slow and tired wings.

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