Maiden Newton

After tracing the old route of the Bridport branch railway line to the village train station, clamber up the chalk hills using the old medieval route, its path passing the ruins of an old Blacksmith’s workshop. Wander between the fields and patches of woodland in a landscape still scarred by the Romans, their road skimming the peak and their villa in the valley. Join the River Frome as it meanders its way slowly though the neighbouring meadows to Frome Vauchurch. Visit the little church that dates back to the 12th century with its own ancient yews, sundial and pirate grave in the churchyard. Follow the water upstream to pass the riverside bolthole of early 20th century artists and poets. Return via the large village of Maiden Newton, complete with two medieval crosses and the oldest door in England.

Distance:  3.5 miles/5km

Duration: 2 hours

Ability: Easy. One big climb.

Max Height: 665ft.

Min Height: 290ft.

Total climb: 380ft.

Terrain: Tracks, paths, fields and roads. The old railway is gravel and easily accessible.

Map: OS Explorer 117 Cerne Abbas and Bere Regis

Start Point: Rock Pit Walkers Car park, Chilfrome Lane, Maiden Newton (Postcode: DT2 0AJ, Grid Reference: SY593979, What Three Words: establish.schooling.sprain).

How to Get There: From Dorchester take the A37 east for about 4 miles. Turn left onto the A356, signposted for Frampton and Maiden Newton. Stay on the same valley road through Frampton and into Maiden Newton to take the second right onto Chilfrome Lane. Rock Pit car park is on the left, just after the school.

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

Refreshments: On route is The Chalk and Cheese, Alternatively, The Fox and Hounds is in Cattistock or The Greyhound in Sydling St Nicholas.

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