8 scenic walks around Sturminster and its rural history.

 

Sturminster Mill

This blog lists 8 of the best walks in and around Sturminster Newton with downloads of maps and guides for each of them for you to take with you when you explore the town and surrounding areas.

If you are looking for a walk or walks in the region then before deciding on which one read the brief description of each and then simply download the pamphlet you require and take it with you, or better still download it to your phone and make a small contribution to reducing our waste foot print.

A few notes for the would be walker

  1. All the walks are circular.
  2. They all start from the Station Road Car Park in Sturminster Newton. (DT10 1BD).
  3. This is a ‘paid for’ Car Park so bring a little change!
  4. Station Road Car Park was formerly the site of the Sturminster Railway Station. Opened in 1863 the Somerset and Dorset Railway ran steam hauled trains between Bath and Poole on this line. At this point (Station Road) the line has been converted to a walking, cycling and horse-riding route that takes you all the way to Blandford. This so called ‘Trailway’, always away from road traffic, takes you past some of the most picturesque Dorset countryside. It often forms part of the walks in the series in this blog.
  5. Some of the walks, especially those passing near the Stour, can get quite muddy after heavy rain. This is set out in the short descriptions below – make sure you look out for this note and wear appropriate footwear. There is more detail on this subject in the actual maps
  6. Whilst there has been a concerted effort to reduce stiles in favour of gates and most of the paths have good accessibility for those of limited physical ability those organising these walks for the less able are strongly recommended to recce them before any group activity.
  7. There is also an active council run effort to make sure these paths and others in the county are well looked after. This operation is run by Graham Stanley and his team based in Blandford. Should you encounter problems with the walks (Signage, broken stiles etc you can report these to his team on 07957 557311.

Walks in Sturminster 1 Gotts Corner to Honeymead Lane and Butts Pond Meadows

Our rarest amphibian the Great Crested Newt lives on this route

Sturminster Newton Walkabouts 1

Path liable to flood after heavy rain. 1.5 miles long

Things you might see or find

  • Kestrel, Buzzard and Heron.
  • All three species of British Newt including the famous Great Crested,

Walks in Sturminster 2 Manston, Hammoon and Fiddleford Mill

Hammoon Manor in the lovely Hamlet of Hammoon

Sturminster Newton Walkabouts 2

Generally good underfoot. 5.5 miles

Things you might see

  • Great views of Hambledon Hill and its iron age earthworks
  • A Grade 1 listed mausoleum near Manston Church housing the first legal cremation remains in the UK
  • A Grade 1 listed church and a 16thCentury listed thatched manor in Hammoon
  • A grade 1 listed 15thcentury Manor House at Fiddleford managed by English heritage

Walks in Sturminster 3  Fiddleford Mill to Piddles Woods and Broad Oak

Sturminster Newton Walkabouts 3

A walk with a climb! Generally good underfoot. 5 miles

Things you might see

  • The workings and buildings of the Fiddleford Mill including its cross Stour weir
  • An Archimedean Screw turbine installed in 2013 and used to generate a local electricity supply
  • Piddle Wood an ancient deciduous wood famed for its bluebells in the late spring
  • Views of Bulbarrow and Hambledon

Walks in Sturminster 4  The Recreation Ground, Hardy’s House, Sturminster Mill and Bridge and the Coach Road

Sturminster Newton-Home

Sturminster’s famous Mill

Sturminster Newton Walkabouts 4

A walk around Sturminster’s rural history

1.5 miles, generally good underfoot. Easy walking

Thing you might see

  • Hardy’s House Riverside
  • Sturminster Mill, still a working flour mill.
  • The old 15 / 16 / 18thcentury Town Bridge
  • St Mary’s Church some of which dates from the 15thcentury

Walks in Sturminster 5 The Stour to Cutts Mill and back via Stalbridge Lane

Walking the Stour to the beautiful Cutts Mill

Cutts Mill as its name implies was a saw mill on the Stour

Sturminster Newton Walkabouts 5

5.5 Miles, Can be very wet underfoot

Things you might see

  • The Stour as it meanders into and along Sturminster
  • Cutts Mill a former sawmill, now derelict but forming a lovely tranquil spot on the river
  • The Barnes Oak on Stalbridge Lane, named after the famous Dorset dialect poet William Barnes, himself born on nearby Bagber
  • The Colber Bridge an iron footbridge over the Stour

Walks in Sturminster 6 The Trailway to Fiddleford Mill and back

Fiddleford Mill workings

Sturminster Newton Walkabouts 6

2 miles, generally good underfoot

Things you might see

  • Willow warblers, Chiff Chaffs, Field Fares and Redwings
  • The Mill remains, Archimedean Screw Turbine the Mill Workings and weirs.
  • Fiddleford Manor

Walks in Sturminster 7  The Stour meanders, Hinton St Mary and Back to Sturminster

Sturminster Newton Walkabouts 7

Follow the Stour as it meanders north to Hinton, 4.5 miles. Can be very wet along the Stour – wear the right footwear

Things you might see

  • Twinwood Coppice laden with wild garlic and bluebells at the right time of year
  • The beautiful Hinton St Mary
  • The Hinton St Mary mosaic replica, the original is housed in the British Museum) – The earliest recorded mention of Jesus Christ ever found in this country
  • Hinton St Mary Manor House, home for 4 centuries to the Pitt Rivers family

Walks in Sturminster 8 Rudge Hill to Plumber Manor and Puxey Farm

Sturminster Newton Walkabouts 8

A scenic route to the south of the town. 5 miles

Things you might see

  • Plumber Manor a Jacobean manor house and grounds, now run as a successful hotel and restaurant
  • Puxey Farm buildings, a glimpse of old rural farming the buildings have remained unchanged since they were built.
  • Buzzards, Red Kites, Heron and Egrets