Compton Abbas Airfield

Watch the planes take off from Compton Abbas Airfield as you stroll down the county lane to Fontmell Down. Walk along the edge of the slopes with views across the hedge lined fields, woodland and church towers of the Blackmore Vale to Hambledon Hill. Venture deep into Fontmell Wood weaving through the trees and down into the mysterious valley of Washers Pit. Pass the deep pond where a woman was once found hanging from her hair and the Gabbygammies filled the air with nonsense. Enter into Ashmore Forest, climbing the steep hill to the ancient hilltop village. Circle the pond which has been a watering hole for thousands of years to pass a farmhouse built from remains of a stately home. Return to the runway via Shepherd’s Bottom and its lost cottage, hidden in the spurs of the hills.

Distance: 6miles/9.5km

Duration: 3-4 hours

Ability: Medium, steep climbs.

Max Height: 792ft.

Min Height: 452ft.

Total climb: 411ft.

Terrain: Tracks, paths and roads.

Map: OS Explorer 118 Shaftesbury and Cranborne Chase

Start Point: Compton Abbas Airfield. (Postcode: SP7 0DT, Grid Reference: SY397953, What Three Words: reapply.trendy.overpaid).

How to Get There: From Shaftesbury, travel south on the top Blandford road. Pass through the narrow valley of Dinah’s Hollow and back up the hill to Fontmell Down. Take the left at the peak, past Gore Clump, and the entrance to the airfield will be on the left. If not visiting the airfield or it is closed, there is alternative parking around Gore Clump. A third option is at Washers Pit.

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

Refreshments: At the start and finish of the walk is the Compton Abbas Airfield Restaurant and nearby are The King John in Tollard Royal and a selection in Shaftesbury.

Neighbouring walks: Melbury Abbas, Win Green, The Wessex Ridgeway, Compton Abbas, West Orchard, and Guy’s Marsh.

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