Discover the secret valley of the Plush Stream. Down the back lanes of the back lanes, explore the landscape littered with ancient earthworks, medieval trackways and a mysterious chimney coming out of the ground. Climb up high for views across the heart of the county, the scenes enjoyed by a modest architect who influenced a famous writer. Delve down into the Piddle valley to find the graves of a historical family immortalised in local tales. Clamber through a Romano British settlement to arrive at the village pub, The Brace of Pheasants, to then make your way along the winding country road, following the ghostly hoofs of the funeral carts on the way to the church. Having replaced what is now little more than earthworks hidden in nearby woodland, the church became redundant, but was renovated and then frequently filled with the sound of music.

Distance:  4.8 miles/7.7km

Duration: 2-3 hours

Ability: Easy. Two big climbs.

Max Height: 731ft.

Min Height: 338ft.

Total climb: 830ft.

Terrain: Tracks, paths, fields and roads.

Map: OS Explorer 117 Cerne Abbas and Bere Regis.

Start Point: Curch Hill, Plush (Postcode: DT2 7RN, Grid Reference: ST718022, What Three Words: trouble.disengage.seasonal).

How to Get There: From Dorchester either travel along the ridge, past Charlton Down, or though the valley, via Piddlehinton, to reach Piddletrenthide. Travel through the village and veer off to the right, up the hill, signposted for Plush. On reaching the triangle in Push, curve around to the right, then left to make your way up Church Hill. At the top, as the trees clear, parking is in the layby on the left, just outside the church.

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

Refreshments:  On route is The Brace of Pheasants in Plush.

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Walk Excerpts

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