Wander through the hills and valleys of the Marshwood Vale, under the shadow of a number of hillforts. Pass Bettiscombe Manor, home of the fashion designer Jasper Conran, set amongst the small cushioned slopes at the foot of Pilsdon Pen. Follow the river to the hamlet of Pilsdon, where a loving community lives, helping those in need. Keep to the country lanes as they weave their way through the Vale past Purcombe Farm, where a historic painting was found. Discover the ruins of Marshwood Castle, crossing the moat and into the farmyard where the foot of the stone tower still stands strong on its old motte. Return to Bettiscombe, through farms and fields, looked down on by the towing ancient monuments of Coney’s Castle and Lambert’s Castle, as well as the more modern church tower at Marshwood.

Distance:  6 miles/9km

Duration: 3 hours

Ability: Easy.

Max Height: 375ft.

Min Height: 95ft.

Total climb: 430ft.

Terrain: Track, path road and field.

Map: OS Explorer 116 Lyme Regis & Bridport.

Start Point: St Stephens’s Church. (Postcode: DT6 5NX, Grid Reference: SY398999, What Three Words: cassettes.bowhead.sizes).

How to Get There: From Beaminster, travel west on the B3163.Turn right in Broadwindsor and then left onto the B3164. Skim the bottom of Pilsdon Pen and then take the next left, signposted for Bettiscombe. At the crossroads, turn left and the car park will be on the right hand side.  

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

Refreshments: None on route but nearby is The Bottle Inn­­­ in Marshwood and The New Inn in Stoke Abbott.

Looking across the Marshwood Vale from Bettiscombe to Chideock Hill

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