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Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail

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Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 05 Jul 2011 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail Walking Guidestar1 Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail Walking Guidestar1 Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail Walking Guidestar1 Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail Walking Guidestar0 Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail Walking Guide
Dorset, Dorchester
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail Walking Guide boot Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail Walking Guide
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A 3 mile circular walk from Dorchester exploring local farmland and the banks of the River Frome. The River Frome is one of the most important rivers in Britain for water voles and is an excellent habitat for lots of other wildlife. Water voles have suffered from habitat losses due to heavy grazing, housing development and river engineering along with predation from the American mink. Chalk streams such as the River Frome are now carefully managed to encourage growth in water vole numbers as they provide a perfect mix of plants, invertebrae and animals.

The walk is flat with a number of gates but no stiles and follows a mixture of stone tracks, fields and pavements. Approximately 60 to 90mins.

The nearest car park is the Top of Town pay and display car park which is on the corner of Bridport Road (B3150) and The Grove (B3147) in Dorchester. Approximate post code DT1 1TZ.

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Walk Sections

Along to Hangman’s Cottage
Along to Hangman’s Cottage

Start point: 50.7151 lat, -2.4418 long
End point: 50.7181 lat, -2.4395 long

From the Top of Town car park, cross the road over the zebra crossing towards the library and County Hall. Turn left and follow the tree lined pavement along The Grove with the walls to County Hall on your right (sign posted to Roman Town House). At the end turn right with the wall still on your right and still signed to the Town House. Pass the Roman Town House on your right and as the path slopes down, turn left down a few steps, cross the road and head down the small lane which forks left from the main road (signed Riverside and The Walks). You will see Hangman’s Cottage on your left, named after the hangman who lived there during the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685.

Along the River Frome
Along the River Frome

Start point: 50.7181 lat, -2.4395 long
End point: 50.7246 lat, -2.4332 long

Turn left immediately after Hangman’s Cottage over a footbridge across a small section of the River Frome. Continue straight ahead following a small section of river to your left, keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife. Continue ahead at the first junction with the stream still on your left. You will come to Blue Bridge, a stone and steel bridge with blue metalwork first constructed in 1877 and refurbished in 2002. Sometimes shoals of brown trout can be seen treading water here, and it’s also an excellent place for a paddle for both humans and dogs.

Cross the bridge and go straight ahead over two more small footbridges then ignore the footpath to the right into fields. At the gates of a private residence on your left, turn right to follow the farm track up between two fenced fields. At the T-junction with the road turn right and follow the road edge for a few hundred yards.

Through Farmland to Grey Bridge
Through Farmland to Grey Bridge

Start point: 50.7246 lat, -2.4332 long
End point: 50.7163 lat, -2.4262 long

Opposite a pair of metal farm gates, turn right through a wide gap in the hedge to follow a farm access track straight ahead and then follow it as it bends to the left and narrows. Pass through the gate into a field (take care as sheep will probably be grazing here so ensure dogs are on leads), keep the hedge on your right and exit the field through the gate opposite.

Continue straight ahead with the large farm buildings on your right. At the next crossroads (with a cattle grid ahead), turn right to follow the path towards a cottage. At the cottage (Diary Cottage) take the right fork through a small gate to follow a footpath fenced on both sides. Follow the path as it dog legs past another white cottage, and a little further along the path once again meets up with the River Frome. Cross over the sluice gate and follow the path between the two sections of river. The path emerges onto the main road at Grey Bridge.

Frome Terrace
Frome Terrace

Start point: 50.7163 lat, -2.4262 long
End point: 50.7179 lat, -2.4409 long

Turn right over Grey Bridge and go straight ahead up the long straight road with the Welcome to Dorchester sign on your left. Opposite the Teracotta Warrior Museum turn right into Frome Terrace, a passage following a small stone banked stretch of the River Frome. The houses are built up to the riverbank here but you’re still likely to see ducks, swans and other wildlife and there are benches on the bank if you wish to spend more time taking in the view.

Follow the river on your left along this picturesque section and then turn left over the footbridge back to Hangman’s Cottage. Retrace your steps from Section One back to the car park, or take time to explore Dorchester.

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


1 responses to "Dorchester Riverside and Farm Trail"

I did this walk on rainy Holliday Monday. It's a lovely introduction to the river area.

By rees on 2015-08-31 08:20:21

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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