West Compton and Eggardon Hill

Explore the hillfort of Eggardon by climbing the ramparts and roaming the plateau. Experience wide open views across West Dorset and the Jurassic Coastline, including the peaks of Golden Cap, Pilsdon Pen and, the highest point in the county, Lewesdon Hill. Wander along the ridge way, following the paths of Roman soldiers, dipping down into valleys surrounded by woodland. Pass communication towers, radio masts, satellites and pylons before finding the hidden little hamlet of West Compton, complete with folly and an elegant archway at its entrance. Discover the church that was rebuilt by with the help of a young Thomas Hardy before climbing back up the steep slopes into the ancient landscape of Eggardon.

Distance:  7 miles/11km

Duration: 4 hours

Ability: Medium, a few steep climbs.

Max Height: 815ft.

Min Height: 510ft.

Total climb: 575ft.

Terrain: Tracks, paths, fields and roads.

Map: OS Explorer 117 – Cerne Abbas and Bere Regis, 116 – Lyme Regis and Bridport and OL15 – Purbeck and South Dorset.

Start Point: Eggardon Hill. (Postcode: DT6 3ST, Grid Reference: SY547945, What Three Words: spending.paces.trickle).

How to Get There: From Dorchester, head west on the A35. After 2 miles, and before reaching Winterborne Abbas, turn off the road to the right, following the route of the Roman Road. Stay on the same lane for a further 6 miles to reach a junction, with a large layby on the right for parking.  

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

Refreshments: None on route but nearby are The Spyway Inn in Spyway or The Marquis of Lorne and The Three Horseshoes both in Powerstock.

Eggardon’s mighty ramparts

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Walk Excerpts

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