Pilsdon Hill and Lewesdon Hill

Before the year is out I plan to visit the highest point in Wiltshire at Milk Hill on a walk which will include bagging the Alton Barnes White Horse.  It is therefore interesting to discover we are currently staying not too far away from what for years was thought to be the highest point in Dorset at Pilsdon Hill.

The starting point for our walk is the Lay-by besides the B3164 at the southern side of the hill fort (Grid Ref: SY414009).  From the lay-by we cross the road and enter the National Trust land around Pilsdon Pen.

After reading the information board we commence the steady ascent up to the summit of the hill.

There are cracking views as we go up so stop to look behind us.

The path reaches the plateau on the top of the hillfort and we stop to bag the Ordnance Survey Trig Pillar, my 217th successfully bagged.

The Iron Age hill fort is built on what was for many years thought to be the highest hill in Dorset standing at 909 feet above sea level.  More recently it was discovered that nearby Lewesdon Hill is about six feet taller.

Our route takes us north across the plateau on the route of the Monarch’s Way, on reaching the ramparts on the northern side of the hill fort we turn right.

This route is now both part of the Monarchs Way and the Wessex Ridgeway and on reaching a gate we follow the way-markers.

We  descend across fields to cross a minor road and join a farm track towards Lower Newnham Farm.  As the track nears the farm house we follow a permissive path diverting the footpath away from the front of the house.  I have no problems with such diversions as  long as they are well maintained and clearly marked, as this is.  Leaving the farm we follow a track and then cross a stream and head uphill across a couple of fields.  At a junction of paths we turn right, leaving the Monarch’s Way but staying with the Wessex Ridgeway along an old lane, Sheepwash Lane.

At the B3164 we turn left and walk a couple of hundred yards besides the road to reach an old lock-up where we leave the road and take the left fork on a footpath to follow the Wessex Ridgeway as it gradually ascends Lewesdon Hill Lane.

We keep with this path as it goes uphill.

On reaching a three way split in the track we go right, I had initially intended to go to the top of Lewesdon Hill but there are quite a few folk about and as we are being very careful we decide it will be easier to social distance on the quieter lower path.

We stay with the clear path as it goes through the trees to reach a junction of paths at Crabb’s Hill, here we turn right and follow the clear path as it steadily descends to a lane.  We turn left and the very quickly take a footpath on the right heading diagonally across fields .

On reaching a lane we turn right and follow it steadily downhill to Blackney.  At a junction in the village , next to a cracking carving of an owl, we take the lane signposted to Pilsdon.

This lane heads west and after half a mile, when the lane bends to the right, we carry straight on along a driveway for Gerrard’s farm.  In a couple of hundred yards the driveway sweeps to the left but we continue straight on taking a footpath heading west across fields towards a copse.  On reaching the copse we take a path on the right going through the trees and then continuing across fields towards Pilsdon.

We pass through a gate and join a farm track for Pilsdon Dairy Farm and carry on to St Mary’s Church which forms part of the Pilsdon Community.  This Community was founded in 1958 by Reverend Percy Smith and Gaynor Smith to provide a refuge for people in crisis, supporting them through prayer and community living.  Up to twenty-five people are accommodated in Pilsdon Manor and the church forms part of their daily prayer routine.

From the church we continue along the lane towards the village and on reaching a junction go right heading north on a lane signposted to Broadwindsor.  We stay with this lane as it heads out of the village, then turn left at a T-junction to ascend to the B3164 and our starting point at the car park.  

Our walk has covered just over seven miles and we stop to look at the view from the car park which is out towards the coast and Lyme Bay.  We decide to pop down to Lyme Regis for a wander about and a fish and chip supper.  Crosby is very excited at this news, he has a liking for both fish and chips!

You can view this 7.25 mile walk on OS Maps Here (Subscription to OS Maps Required)

To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 116 Lyme Regis & Bridport

11th September 2020

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2020)

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