Halstock and Sutton Bingham Reservoir

Start at the hidden village of Halstock, among the narrow valleys and shallow hills of North West Dorset. Follow the footsteps of our ancient ancestors along the oldest road in the country as it makes its way to Stonehenge. Pass the site of an impressive Roman Villa that was a complex of open courtyards, decorative mosaics and the all important hypocausts, keeping the cold at bay. Discover the 16th century mill, the river once diverted into a number of channels, but now controlling its own path. Wander though the many farms, between the barns and buildings, named by a landowner with a passion for freedom, education and liberty. Uncover the legend of St Juthware and find the gravestone of a man who lived through three centuries. Skim the edge of the Sutton Bingham reservoir, collecting water from the Dorset hills to quench the thirst of Somerset. Constructed in the 1950’s the gentle waves have drowned the site of an old mill. Return via the hills, with views across the valley to Somerset, then dip down to Watery Lane to find the shallow river marking your path.

Distance:  5 miles/8km

Duration: 3 hours

Ability: Easy.

Max Height: 400ft.

Min Height: 180ft.

Total climb: 230ft.

Terrain: Tracks, paths, fields and roads.

Map: OS Explorer 117 Cerne Abbas and Bere Regis

Start Point: Yeovil Road, Halstock (Postcode: BA22 9RX, Grid Reference: ST540079, What Three Words: winter.grief.note).

How to Get There: From Sherborne, take the Bradford Road to Bradford Abbas, veering off to the left to the village. Head straight down the road and turn right after crossing the small bridge. On entering Stoford, turn right onto the A37, follow it around the tight bend and take the next left hand turn. Cross over the northern corner of Sutton Bingham reservoir to then follow its western edge and into Halstock. Parking sensitively on Yeovil road.

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

Refreshments: Halstock has its own village shop for supplies or alternatively nearby are The Chetnole Inn in Chetnole or The Winyard’s Gap Inn near Chedington. Toilets are available at Sutton Bingham Reservoir car park.

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