The last few weeks have been very busy, too busy to get away in the caravan. For some time we have been having work done on our home so have needed to be around for that and, more importantly, there was the wedding of our daughter Lolly to her long-time partner Toby.
The wedding was memorable, the only problem being the day went so quickly. I fulfilled my duty as father of the bride walking my beautiful daughter up the aisle and then making a brief and not too embarrassing speech.
A fortnight later finds us away for a weekend in West Dorset to attend another wedding, this time of our niece Hannah and her partner Chris. We are staying in a cottage in the village of Melplash and the starting point for our walk is outside the village pub, the Half Moon.
We cross the road and take the right fork by the garage which leads along Mapperton Lane, at a junction we turn left down into Twinways Lane. At the junction with the A3066 we turn right and walk down the road for a few hundred yards before taking a footpath on the right that leads past farm buildings and we then take a right turn on a footpath heading steadily uphill.
This path leads us back to Mapperton Lane with fine views.
We now turn left and then almost immediately fork right into a narrow tarmac lane which heads steadily downhill. The lane is carved into the rock and creates an interesting sight.
We stay on the lane, ignoring a turning on the right, and continue until it reaches Loscombe. Staying on the lane we continue uphill until we see a footpath sign on the right marked for the Ant Hill Trail.
This trail leads us into Loscombe Nature Reserve and follows a route through fields besides a stream to the right.
After a couple of fields the path crosses the stream on a footbridge and then turns left to continue along by the stream. At a junction of paths we turn right to follow the Ant Trail sign and head steeply uphill.
As we reach the top of the hill there are cracking views of the valley.
We cross and go through a field of pasture to reach a lane, Ridgeback Lane, here we turn left. I now make a brief diversion to visit the North Poorton trig point in the field on the left. This is my 138th Ordnance Survey trig pillar.
Back on the road and reunited with Lynnie we continue along the lane to reach South Poorton where we turn right to follow a lane downhill to pass Bottom Farm
The road, Ruscombe Lane, now starts to climb steeply and then descends into Powerstock, this is a delightful village tucked away in the depths of West Dorset, the church is the location for Chris and Hannah’s wedding tomorrow.
After briefly stopping to catch up with Hannah’s mum, Mary, who appears very relaxed, we continue on our way taking the road, School Hill, passing the village primary school and then just before a stream taking a footpath on the right into a field.
Down to our left is a stream and the path runs parallel with it as it heads across fields to reach a farm.
The clear way markers direct us around the farm and then across a new footbridge over the stream.
On the far side we enter a field and head uphill to enter the grounds of the disused medieval church of St Michael, West Milton. A notice on the door of the tower explains that the tower is all that remains of the original church. In 1870 the Nave was demolished and the stone used to build Powerstock school. The church bell was originally moved to a new church in the village and then later moved to the church in Powerstock.
The tower and churchyard now form part of the garden of a neighbouring house and are immaculately maintained and the public footpath runs through the churchyard to reach steps leading down into the village of West Milton. On reaching a lane we turn right and walk steadily uphill out of the village, ignoring a footpath sign on the right we continue until we reach some dwellings and farm buildings.
From here we continue on the footpath as it goes uphill to reach a tarmac driveway. This brings us to a crossroads where we go straight over and then as we start to head downhill take a footpath on the left which soon leads into a field. As we head across the field we can see the tepees ready for tomorrow’s wedding reception.
The footpath now enters a hayfield and we cross this to reach a minor road soon passing the entrance to Elcombe Farm, run by Hannah’s Uncle and prior to him by her grandfather, this is the wedding reception venue tomorrow. Our route continues up the lane to reach the entrance to Walnut Farm, here after some difficulty we locate the footpath leading through fields around Hinknowle Hill to then descend back to our starting point at the Half Moon pub.
Our walk has covered seven miles and has been a cracking stroll around an area of West Dorset we have not previously walked. Now it is time to pop back to our accommodation before heading out with the newlyweds, Lolly and Toby to catch up and have an excellent meal at the Half Moon.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Cerne Abbas & Bere Regis
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2019)