A Walk to Pymore and Watton Hill

It is another miserable day.  This grey overcast weather seems to have been going on for months.  Yesterday we had a brief encounter with the sun, but we wake to another day of drizzle with the forecast showing little sign of it brightening up.  Despite the weather I still need to get out for a walk, Lynnie cannot be persuaded to join me.  She sees no pleasure in venturing out on days like this.

I am still taking it easy on my injured ankle so decide on a five mile circuit from the caravan site.  I leave the site by the footpath close to Pitch 10 and head downhill across fields towards Bridport.

At the junction with the Hardy Way footpath I turn left and walk back up the hill.  Going through a gate I pass the edge of the farm buildings on Washingpool Farm and then continue on the footpath heading downhill towards another gate.

The Hardy Way is a long distance circular walk around Dorset connecting locations associated with Thomas Hardy.  This section  continues downhill and then crosses a stream before heading uphill to another gate.  At a fork in the path I go to the right to head along the edge of the field keeping the hedge on my right hand side as I head towards Middle Pymore Farm.

I follow the footpath around the farm and then join a track that heads north, passing barns, an old bus and a number of benches beside a wind sock.  Apparently this is a private airfield and aircraft are housed in the hangers on the farm.

As the track bends there is a footpath way-marker on a windsock pole.  This points to the right along a clear path that has been cut in the grass close to the airstrip.

I am now on the route of the Monarch’s Way, a 625 mile long distance path which starts in Worcester and roughly follows the route that  King Charles II took to Shoreham in 1651 following his defeat by Oliver Cromwell in the final battle of the English Civil War.

After going through a gate I head downhill towards Pymore.

Another gate beside a barn leads me onto a track and I continue into the village passing a row of cottages.  Pymore was once the location of an old rope factory which was situated beside the River Brit.

After crossing the River Brit I turn right and then just before the Pymore Road I turn right again to walk through a small housing estate and then join a footpath besides the road.  This tarmac path runs parallel to the road but is separated from any traffic by a hedge.

I leave the path at the second opening in the hedge and cross the road.  Ignoring a track straight in front of me I take a clear footpath that heads uphill across a field.  This is still the route of the Monarch’s Way.

After crossing a stile I continue uphill to Watton Hill.  At a junction of paths on the hill I turn left and then after a couple of hundred yards turn right, still on the Monarch’s Way.

It is clear that the hill is a popular spot with local dog walkers and there is a network of paths, so I check the map and make sure I stay on the Monarch’s Way as it starts to descend on the east side of the hill.  The path soon follows a route between garden fences as it leads me down to the A3066.

I cross the main road and go straight on to walk on a track beside the car park of the Lidl supermarket.  This path leads to an open space beside the River Asker.  I head straight on to cross an old stone a footbridge over the river.

On the other side of the river I head uphill and then take a path straight in front of me leading to a housing estate.  At the first junction in the estate I turn right into Jessop Avenue and then almost immediately take a left into Stuart Way and then take a footpath which goes between numbers 15 and 17.  This path leads around the back of houses and joins a track. At a junction I turn right into King Charles Way and then on soon reaching a junction go right on Lee Lane.  This then leads to the A35 where I turn left and walk a hundred yards to cross the road and then take a footpath on the opposite side which goes down a track, East Road, which spurs from Howard Road.

Going down the track the path goes to the left of a house and descends to a minor road, Lower Walditch Lane, where I turn right.  I continue along this lane and then just after passing Howard Road on the right I take a path on the left which leads into Jellyfields Nature Reserve. 

I cross the stream and turn right and walk through this small nature reserve and then rejoin Lower Walditch Lane and cross a mini roundabout and pass Hanover Court and then turn left into Crock Lane.  I follow this road until I reach Pasture Way where I turn right and walk through this housing estate to reach the A35.  After crossing the main road I take a footpath into a park and walk toward the River Asker.

Just before reaching the river I turn left and follow the path alongside it, passing Morrisons supermarket before crossing the road at the traffic lights to go along Skilling Hill Road which passes through Palmers Brewery.  

The brewery was first established beside the River Brit in 1794 by Samuel Grundy and it went through various ownerships before being purchased by the Palmer family who continue to own it and operate fifty three pubs in Dorset, Devon and Somerset.

To my right beside the river is a sculpture of a dog, known as the Stalking Dog.  This piece of art, created by Greta Berlin, is part of the Bridport sculpture trail established in 2022.

After crossing the river I turn right and follow the path that goes beside Bridport FC ground.  The gate to the ground is open so I venture in to take a look.  Established in 1885 the club initially played in a number of local leagues  before becoming one of the founder members of the Dorset Combination League in 1957, the team now play in the South West Peninsula League (East).

Whilst I am looking at the ground a local informs me that tonight’s game is on after a pitch inspection.  He says it should be a good game because Bridport are second in the league and their opponents Ivybridge are top.  What he did not say was that Bridport are 27 points behind the dominant Ivybridge. 

From the football ground I head into Bridport and then make my way back up the hill to Washingpool Farm.  My walk has covered 6 miles and my ankle has been relatively pain free so hopefully it is improving.  Later sat in the caravan we can see the floodlights of the football ground, it is a wet and windy night and all credit to the 230 people who turned out to see the visitors win 3-1 to extend their lead at the top of the table.

You can view this 6 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here

To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL15 – Purbeck & South Dorset

19th March 2024

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2024)

All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it.  To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk.  It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.

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