Banbury Hillfort, Okeford Fitzpaine and Belchalwell

Starting at Okeford Fitzpaine, a village full of timber framed buildings, thatched roofs and medieval doorways, make your way to the Iron Age Hillfort of Banbury; one of many hillforts that follow the River Stour. While enjoying the views across the Blackmore Vale and beyond, wander across the open landscape to Belchalwell, a small settlement with an 12th century church to accompany its intriguing name. Return to Okeford Fitzpaine under the shadow of Okeford Hill, tracing the footsteps of the Roman elite while gently kicking any mole hill for the chance to discover Roman coins. But, as the sun sets, beware of the black dog that guards a gate!

Distance: 5 miles/8km

Duration: 2 hours

Ability: Easy.

Max Height: 420ft.

Min Height: 250ft.

Total climb: 180ft.

Terrain: Path, track, road and field.

Map: OS Explorer 129 Yeovil and Sherborne

Start Point: Outside St Andrew’s Church. Okeford Fitzpaine (Postcode: DT11 0RE, Grid Reference: ST807108, What Three Words: cowboy.district.whirlpool)

How to Get There: From Blandford, head north on the A350. Turn right after the traffic lights on to the A357 to Sturminster Newton. After about 3 miles, in Shillingstone, turn left to Okeford Fitzpaine. On entering in to the village, the church and parking will be straight ahead.

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

Refreshments: The Royal Oak in Okeford Fitzpaine or nearby is the delicatessen Olives et Al (10% off for members!), perfect for picnics.

Neighbouring walks: The Bull, The North Dorset Trailway, Child Okeford, The Wessex Ridgeway, Turnworth, Bulbarrow, Hazelbury Bryan and Fifehead Neville.

St Andrew’s Church

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