This delicious little Dorset morsel was recommended to me a few weeks ago by a friend. Even the name ‘Culpepper’s Dish’ sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
The dish is located just outside the village of Briantspuddle, which is easily found off the dual carriage way leading into Dorchester.
Those of you who (like me) enjoy information concerning the whole car parking situation, will be pleased to know that there is ample free parking just across the lane from the dish. The only thing that you need to be a little bit conscious of, are the two giant boulders that stand, like sentries, either side the entrance. Access to the car park can solely be gained through this narrow squeeze, so it’s best to leave the bus behind and come in a reasonably slim vehicle!
… the view looking down into the dish …
I was quite staggered at how beautiful this hollow is, with the greenery of the trees providing a frame. It looked almost like a scene from the Jurassic era, all primeval and untouched. According to information from the waymarking.com website, this natural hollow is 290 yards round and 47 yards high (approximately 265m x 43m) and is classed as an SSI or Site of Special Scientific Interest.
It is named after the famous herbalist Nicholas Culpeper due to its resemblance of a large pestle and mortar. There is a particularly interesting website explaining a little more about the site and its connections to Culpepper, here.
… long tree branches reaching down, like arms, into the bowl …
As it’s still early spring, we were able to see a good mixture of evergreen trees and new deciduous shoots appearing. We didn’t venture down into the bottom of the dish (although there is a path) as it looked very steep. Instead, we happily pottered around at the top and enjoyed the view looking down.
… new emerging shoots …
I would definitely recommend having a little mosey on down to this spectacular site. A perfect place to take friends or the dog for a walk and there are lots of adjoining footpaths. The only thing I would mention is that this is good deer tick country, so a firm pair of boots and long trousers are a sensible plan. In fact, as we were walking back to the car, I had to pick a couple of my trousers – luckily, I think that’s as far as they got. Phew!
Enjoy your weekend x