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|Melbury Beacon and Downs|
|Author: Claire, Published: 11 Jun 2012||Walk rating : Rating:|
|Dorset, Compton Abbas|
|A short but fairly strenuous circular walk taking in a chalk downland area of natural beauty which is managed by the National Trust. The walk starts from Spread Eagle Hill and heads out climbing quite steeply to the top of Melbury Hill, giving views for miles around across the surrounding downland, and then returning along Compton Down. The area is well known for its butterflies, orchids and glow-worms. |
The walk follows paths around the steep sloping downland and the paths will get slippery and muddy after wet weather. There are two stiles and a couple of gates. The first stile is open underneath for dogs to pass through, but the second stile is more enclosed so dogs may need a lift over and it also has a steep drop on the opposite side so some people may also need a hand! Dogs are welcome on the downs as long as they are under close control as the area is grazed with cattle. The area is very isolated so there are no refreshment or toilet facilities. Approximate time 1 to 1.5 hours.
The walk starts from the small National Trust Fontmell Down car park which is situated at the top of Spread Eagle Hill. Heading south out of Melbury Abbas on Melbury Street (B3081), continue onto Spread Eagle Hill and the car park is at the top of the hill on the right hand side. Approximate post code SP5 5AP.
|Fontmell Down Car Park to Melbury Beacon|
Start point: 50.9679 lat, -2.1635 long
From the car park, facing the road, turn left onto the fenced grass footpath running parallel to the road. The path emerges into a stone lay-by, go straight ahead through the gate to enter the Melbury Hill site.
|Melbury Beacon to Bridleway|
Start point: 50.9768 lat, -2.1822 long
Cross over the stile to reach the beacon.
|Bridleway to Stile|
Start point: 50.9757 lat, -2.173 long
Continue straight on here with the fence still on the left and climbing once again. When you reach a wide gate ahead, bear right keeping the fence to the left. Follow this path along the ridge of Compton Down enjoying the views down across the valley to the right.
|Stile to End|
Start point: 50.9692 lat, -2.1682 long
Cross over the stile (take care as there is a steep drop on the far side) and go ahead down five steep wooden steps through the arched hedgeline. You will emerge onto a stone track.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
The start of this walk is pretty steep, but once you get to the top it is all worthwhile. Beautiful views of the surrounding area. It's the type of hill you want to spend a few hours on, just sitting!! Thanks for publishing this walk.
|By DebbieK on 20 Jun 2012|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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