Child Okeford and Hammoon

Follow the River Stour as it meanders through the valley under the shadow of Hambledon Hill. Visit an island nature reserve, with the river lapping at its banks and otters splashing in the water, before arriving at the old Somerset and Dorset railway line. Cross fields and farms to the secret village of Hammoon, hidden from the world and often cut off by floods, filled with a thatched manor house, Victorian hunting lodge and little church that harbours a legend dating back to the Battle of Agincourt. Return along the river banks, with Hambledon sitting on the horizon, and back into Child Okeford to The Baker Arms and the cross, standing on a spiritual ley line.

Distance: 5 miles/8.5km

Duration: 2-3 hours

Ability: Easy.

Max Height: 275ft.

Min Height: 140ft.

Total climb: 180ft.

Terrain: Track, path, road and field.

Map: OS Explorer 129 Yeovil and Sherborne and OS Explorer 118 Shaftesbury and Cranborne Chase

Start Point: High Street, Child Okeford. (Postcode: DT11 8DX, Grid Reference: ST834127, What Three Words: admit.crinkled.movements).

How to Get There: From Blandford head north on the A350. Turn left over the Durweston Bridge onto the A357 and through Shillingstone. Turn right to head under the old railway bridge and over the River Stour into Child Okeford. Turn left at the T-junction to find parking out of the way on the High Street.

Dogs: In accordance with the Countryside Code and any notices on route. No dogs permitted on Mill Ham Nature Reserve.

Refreshments: On route is The Baker Arms and The Saxon Inn, both in Child Okeford or nearby is the delicatessen Olives et Al (10% off for members!), perfect for picnics.

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