This was my first visit to Badbury Rings. Despite the fact that I'd been to college in Bournemouth some 25 years before, and was now here for the day taking my eldest son to an interview at my old college, I'd never made it out here. It was one of those bitterly cold days when you're not sure quite what the weather is going to do - one minute snow showers, the next bright sunlight. The approach to the Rings is quite spectacular in itself as you come along the Blandford road through an amazing avenue of tall, mature beech trees bereft of their leaves at this time of year and then swing into the carpark past three of the large Bronze Age barrows to your right. It's only a short walk from the carpark to the Rings and as you progress up this fairly low hill you'll notice a fourth barrow on your right and beyond the ramparts away from the other three. It reminded me very much of Danebury in Hampshire which is also on a fairly low hill, multivallate and with a small wood planted within its enclosure. The entrance differs to that at Danebury, and to its enormous neighbour at Maiden Castle nearby at Dorchester, in that it goes straight in towards the centre instead of zigzagging, so you can imagine they must have had some formidable gates here to prevent an easy ingress. Having walked anti-clockwise around the inner rampart to the Northern side you can see a couple of hundred yards off what looks like a low bank running roughly SW/NE which I guessed to be either a fourth defence or boundary marker. This is infact the Ackling Dyke, a Roman Road which takes a turn to the left just North of the Rings and continues towards the Dorset Cursus. Another interesting thing on Google Maps is the cropmark of what looks like an echo of the Rings reflected in the line of the road.