Posted by: dorsetcpre | March 1, 2010


You do not have to travel far out of the conurbation, just north over the Stour, and you will find some lovely tranquil rural places. We have chosen just a few quiet places that you can visit individually or treat as a circular walk if you wish. Stout footwear and a street map is all you need.

We start at Hampreston, a lovely quiet village, a few houses, a church and a primary school, that is all. Parking is by the church. Crossing the churchyard to the far corner, turn right into the field. The style is a bit awkward, either take in the view or cross it and turn left, walking along the river terrace. Below you is the flood plain. Towards the end of the terrace is a broken style, negotiate it then turn right and onto a gravel track (Highmead Lane). Just up the lane turn right into Longham lakes. These have been formed by gravel extraction and you can see another adjacent to this taking shape. Near the Angling Centre you exit and turn right. Park in Longham to visit these lakes, the entrance to them is on the bend opposite the white cottages.

The path is narrow and muddy but interesting. Exit near Longham Bridge, crossing the road with care. Public parking is available by Bridge House, and inside, refreshments. Take the footpath just passed the Hotel to Dudsbury. Follow the rivers edge, climbing up to Dudsbury Heights, follow the path to the Iron Age hilltop fortress, the centre of it is a guides camp. Turn left and walk to Christchurch Road.

Turn right and there are three inns. To resume the walk turn left, take the narrow path next to number 129, to Poor Common. Head north then west, it’s muddy once you leave the gravel tracks to join Ringwood Road, otherwise park/walk through the estate. There is also parking in the lay by on Ringwood Road. Cross the road, opposite the Angel Inn is Angel Lane. Take the lane, at the T-junction turn left into Pompey’s Lane and go passed Coneygar Farm, follow the path over the wooden bridge. Left will bring you out opposite Highmead Lane, you can retrace your steps to Hampreston. Right will take you onto Stapehill Road, turn left back to the crossroads and Hampreston. Enjoy.

Janet Healy, Trustee

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