Yesterday, I went back to one of my favourite places in the whole of Dorset, the holloway named Hell Lane.
The conditions for this walk were the best as the path is very waterlogged most of the time; after weeks of dry weather, it was time to pay this magical place a visit.
Hell Lane is also the name of my fourth novel (more info HERE), and quite a bit of the action will be set there. It will be a "retro" detective story with at its core the history, myths, legends and superstitions attributed to the place.
Below are a few shots of the holloway. The path starts in the beautiful hamlet of Symondsbury near Bridport and takes you all the way to North Chideock.
It begins as a rather beautiful bucolic path but soon plunges into the undergrowth and takes you into another world... The vegetation is abundant and makes you feel as if you had stepped out of the English countryside and into some exotic jungle-like universe. The sun peering through the leaves and branches created dancing lights onto the leaves and the sandstone and shadows followed us as we made our way under the cover of the trees.
You feel that you are witnessing a bit of the Underworld whilst you make your way along this very special holloway: the entangled roots of the trees are exposed and create complex natural sculptures. You can easily imagine these turning into the slithering, grasping tentacles of otherwordly beasts...
Also of interest, and this time man-made, are the eery crowd of inhuman faces, symbols and names etched into the golden sandstone... A magical bestiary which might hint at the preternatural quality of Hell Lane...
You eventually emerge from the holloway blinking into the sun, almost surprised by the glorious green hills that surrounds the sunken path...
And you wonder whether Hell Lane is indeed real...
I think therefore I write.
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