Explore the hidden lanes of Batcombe, sitting on the lee of Batcombe Hill, fading into dead end roads. Walk through the scattered village, once wild and forested then granted to monks, passing the old pub and across to fields to the railway. Use the old droveways to make your way to the top of West Hill, providing wide views across the Blackmore Vale. Return to the village via the church, nestled at the base of East Hill with a wonky pinnacle, apparently knocked off by a wicked conjuror jumping over on his horse. At the peak sits the Cross and Hand stone with links to the Devil and Tess of the D’urbervilles. Finish at the site of the 16th century manor house, the home of the conjuror, now rebuilt into a fine farmhouse with the original stone archway still leading to the front door.

Distance: 4.5 miles/8km

Duration: 2-3 hours

Ability: Easy, some steep climbs.

Max Height: 800ft.

Min Height: 360ft.

Total climb: 450ft.

Terrain: Track, path, road and field.

Map: OS Explorer 117 Cerne Abbas and Bere Regis.

Start Point: Wriggle Road, Pleck. (Postcode: DT2 7BG, Grid Reference: ST617048, What Three Words: shrug.neutron.rise).

How to get there: From Sherborne head south on the A352. After about a mile and a half, turn right before entering Longburton. Continue on the same road for another mile and a half to turn right onto Batcombe Road. Take the next left at a small triangle, staying on the same road into Pleck. On meeting the houses at the bottom of Wriggle Road, park being mindful of traffic and access.

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

Refreshments:  None on route but nearby are the Chetnole Inn in Chetnole and The Hunters Moon in Middlemarsh

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