The Dorsetshire Gap

From the little hamlet of Mappowder, named after a tree, explore the high valleys of the Blackmore Vale. Wander along medieval trackways with evidence of settlements covering thousands of years scattering the surrounding hills. Discover the medieval junction of the Dorsetshire Gap, once a hive of activity full of travellers and livestock, that is no more than a shadow of is former self, hidden under vegetation and away from the modern day world. And, from up high, compare the Valleys of the Small and Great Dairies as named by Thomas Hardy.

Distance: 6.25 miles/10km

Duration: 2/3 hours

Ability: Medium – a few steep climbs.

Max Height: 720ft.

Min Height: 328ft.

Total climb: 550ft.

Terrain: Track, path road and field.

Map: OS Explorer 117 Cerne Abbas and Bere Regis

Start Point: Lay by opposite the church. (Postcode: DT10 2EH, Grid Reference: ST735060, What Three Words: folds.knots.satin).

How to Get There: Leaving Dorchester on London Road, turn left onto the B3143. Stay on the road for just shy of 7 miles and when in Piddletrenthide, turn right, signposted for Plush. Follow the road through Plush and on into Mappowder, the layby appearing on your right, just after the church.

Dogs: In accordance with the Countryside Code and any notices on route.

Refreshments: None on route but nearby are The Antelope Inn in Hazelbury Bryan and The Green Man in Kings Stag

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