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Wareham Walls and Rivers

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Wareham Walls and Rivers
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 29 Jun 2011 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Dorset,
Walk Type: Town or city
Wareham Walls and Rivers
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 3 mile circular walk following the Walls of the Saxon market town of Wareham, including two short sections along the banks of the Rivers Frome and Piddle. The Walls are ancient earth ramparts surrounding the town, thought to have been built by Alfred the Great to defend the town from the Danes.

There are a couple of stiles and the path alongside the River Piddle is very narrow with tall vegetation each side (if you wear shorts in summer be prepared for the nettles!) but otherwise the walk is easy to navigate and relatively flat.

Parking is available in the Streche Road pay and display car park in Wareham. Approximate post code BH20 4QJ.

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Walk Sections

North to the River Piddle
North to the River Piddle

Start point: 50.6858 lat, -2.1146 long
End point: 50.6883 lat, -2.1229 long

Walk through to the back of the Streche Road car park and follow the road at the end as it bends to the left with the health centre and hospital on your right. The road ends as it meets the entrance to a school.

Fork right here through a gate to the side of a cattle grid. Follow the footpath as it bends to the left and then to the right and through an underpass to go under the Wareham Bypass (A351). Go straight ahead and then pass through a gate to access the grass banks of the River Piddle.

Along the River Piddle
Along the River Piddle

Start point: 50.6883 lat, -2.1229 long
End point: 50.6899 lat, -2.1101 long

Take some time to enjoy the grass banks alongside the River Piddle. The water runs steady and clear with relatively shallow edges so lots of dogs were enjoying a paddle and drink as we passed by.

Turn right and follow the banks with the river on your left. After a short distance you will need to cross over a stile to pass back under the bypass. After the underpass, cross another stile into a field (which held lots of horses as we walked) and continue to follow the river on your left as it meanders through Wareham Common. Pass through a metal kissing gate and follow the narrow path alongside the river.

You will emerge from this path with a couple of houses facing you, and a concrete bridge over the river. Turn sharp right (away from the river) and climb the hill first back on yourself and then to the left. As you come out to a road, follow the pavement to the left and continue down the hill.

At the T-junction at the bottom of the hill, turn right down North Street. Immediately after the Church of St Martin on your left, cross the road and follow the path back in the direction you came towards the church entrance. At the church door turn right, then turn left onto St Mary’s Lane. At the end of the lane turn right and you will see grass slopes of the Wareham Walls ahead of you.

Along Wareham Walls
Along Wareham Walls

Start point: 50.6899 lat, -2.1101 long
End point: 50.6851 lat, -2.1052 long

Climb the grass slope to walk along the top of the old walls. This section is part of the north wall, and gives lovely views across the flood plains of the River Piddle on your left. On your right you’ll see an open grass area called the bowling green, although the origin of the name is not known.

The old walls date from the 9th Century and surround the town on three sides, the fourth side having the natural defences of the River Frome. Today the walls remain as grassy earth mounds which provide excellent views.

Follow the path on the top of the wall as it bends to the right to become the East Walls. Continue along East Walls until it slopes down into East Street, then cross the road and climb back to walk on top of the last section of the grassy earth mounds. This last section descends into a leafy lane, walk along the lane and then turn right into Conninger Lane.

Wareham Town and River Frome
Wareham Town and River Frome

Start point: 50.6851 lat, -2.1052 long
End point: 50.6859 lat, -2.1145 long

Walk along Conninger Lane with graveyards on both sides. Turn left and then right into Church Lane past the church on your left. Cross diagonally over Church Green, following the signs to the Quay. As you emerge into the Quay, take time to enjoy the riverside of the River Frome. There are also public toilets and refreshments available here.

When you’re ready to continue, walk up to the bridge and then turn right to head north along North Street. At the lights turn left to head west along West Street. Streche Road car park will be further along on your right.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


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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