Martin Down and Pentridge Hill

Recently I have done a couple of walks starting on Martin Down it has been good to explore this area that is close to home but not somewhere I have previously visited.  Since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown Lynnie has not ventured out of the village and is beginning to feel the need to broaden her horizons.  So today she is going to join me on a walk to Pentridge Hill.

We start my walk from the southern end of the car park and head out passing a metal barrier besides some information boards.  Initially the path heads through some shrub but soon reaches the vast expanse of the 850 acre nature reserve.

We continue down the track to reach the disused rifle range butt and here turn right on a path that heads a few hundred yards besides the butt to reach the Bokerley Ditch.  This ditch is thought to have been built in the iron age and fortified in the 5th century.  It runs for around 3.5 miles and is an impressive structure.

On reaching the ditch we turn left and follow it heading south westerly for almost a mile towards a belt of trees.  We turn right on a footpath with a finger post for the Jubilee Trail and follow along besides the trees.  The Jubilee Trail is an 88-mile route across Dorset from Forde Abbey to the Bokerley Ditch. 

After passing through a metal gate we continue along the edge of an arable field to reach a stile onto access land on Pentridge Down.  Now we follow a track that steadily ascends the downs.  This is a cracking spot with stunning views, so although we have only walked a few miles decide to stop to eat our lunch.

At a junction of paths we turn right towards Penbury Knoll at the summit of Pentridge Down.  I have visited this summit a couple ofttimes in the last few weeks, but it is a first for Lynnie and it gives here the opportunity to bag the trig point. 

After admiring the view we retrace our steps along the top of Pentridge Down and keep the fence line to our right to reach the north east corner of the access land.  Here we turn left, staying on the access land, with the fence still to our right.  This leads us steadily downhill to reach an old hay rake which has been abandoned on the downs.  

Now we turn right and go through a metal gate too follow a path along the edge of an arable field and then pass Blagdon Plantation. 

On reaching a track we turn right and then with a few hundred yards take a track on the left which leads us to the Borkerly Ditch on the edge of Martin Down.

We have options here, we could turn left and follow the ditch back to the car park, but instead we go right and walk follow the ditch heading south east to reach Tidpit Common Down.

We stay with the footpath to descend on Tidpit Common Down to reach a gate, we do not go through instead turn left and follow a path with a hedge line to our right.  This leads back across the down, ascending steadily to reach a gate onto Martin Down Nature Reserve close to a Grim’s Ditch.  Here we take the track that heads to the north and then goes left.

At a junction of paths we go right and continue on this track as it continues across the down to join a bridleway with a car park across the downs to our right.

There is a network of paths we could take, but we stay with the bridleway to a junction of tracks besides a Grim’s Ditch.  Here we take a track heading north east across the downs towards the Rifle Range.

From the Rifle Range Butt we stay with the track to return to our starting location in the car park.

To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 118 Shaftesbury & Cranborne Chase and OL22 New Forest

You can view this 7.5 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here (Subscription to OS Maps Required)

8th June 2020

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2020)

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