West and East Orchard

Walk through the wild landscape of West and East Orchard, deep in the Blackmore Vale. Land that was thick with forest, now tamed and harvested. Follow little lanes that connected fields of orchards, all under the control of ancient Dorset landowners. Look out for the hoof prints of Lazy Lawrence, the horse behind the local legend. His role was to protect the orchards fruit, but could be calmed with cream and spring water. Be guided back to the village by little tributaries of the Stour, all under the towering hills of Melbury Beacon and Hambledon Hill.

Distance: 5 miles/8.5km

Duration: 2-3 hours

Ability: Easy.

Max Height: 300ft.

Min Height: 150ft.

Total climb: 150ft.

Terrain: Track, path, road and field.

Map: OS Explorer 118 Shaftesbury and Cranborne Chase

Start Point: St Luke’s Church, West Orchard. (Postcode: SP7 0LJ, Grid Reference: ST823164, What Three Words: defensive.lately.glaze).

How to Get There: From Sturminster Newton head north east on the B3091. After approximately 3 miles, turn right, signposted for West Orchard. Follow the narrow country lane around to the right to reach the church, parking is possible on the verge opposite with care.

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

Refreshments: None on route but nearby is The Plough in Manston or the delicatessen Olives et Al (10% off for members!), perfect for picnics.

Drove Lane

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