Wander through the deep, dark, hidden landscape of North West Dorset. Pass manors and mills, with tales of arson and mystery, alongside rivers and railways, all under the shadow of two of the highest peaks in the county. Join the cows in the fields that produce the milk for special Black Cow vodka, which has won international awards, as well as encountering some extra, unexpected wildlife. Discover the grave of a victim of murder, the murderess the last woman to be hung in Dorset, the vision of her hanging body etched onto the mind of a young writer inspiring his most famous and immortal novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Meanwhile, the victim’s grave inscriptions are slowly disappearing into history. Climb up Blackmore Hill, in the company of earthworks and views across two counties, to then return to the little hamlet of Laymore.

Distance: 6 miles/9.5km

Duration: 3 hours

Ability: Easy.

Max Height: 690ft.

Min Height: 300ft.

Total climb: 400ft.

Terrain: Track, path, road and field.

Map: OS Explorer 116 Lyme Regis to Bridport

Start Point: The Squirrel Inn, Laymore. (Postcode: TA20 4NT, Grid Reference: ST387047, What Three Words: blip.developer.insisting).

How to Get There: From Beaminster, head east on the B3163 to Broadwindsor. Head straight through the town where it merges into the B3162. Continue through Drimpton, staying on the same road to then cross straight over the B3165. On entering Laymore, The Squirrel Inn will appear on the left hand side.

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

Refreshments: At the start and finish of the walk is The Squirrel Inn.

Neighbouring walks: Chedington, Lewesdon, Pilsdon Pen and Forde Abbey.

The grave of John Brown

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Walk Excerpts

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