Walking Tours around Sturminster Newton and The Blackmore Vale

Walks around Sturminster Newton and The Blackmore Vale

Sturminster Bridge (see walk 4)

Sturminster Newton is an ancient town mentioned in the Domesday book. Its old town is an eclectic mix of old and older shops and houses and is itself host many interesting walks. It is surrounded by the renowned countryside of the Blackmore Vale with its mills, drovers’ lanes and old vernacular architecture to produce a gentle engaging countryside perfect for the dedicated rambler as much the occasional weekend family group.

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.

There is 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.

Here are a number of walks. Visit occasionally as we add to them.

We would like to increase the number of walks in this section.

If you have a walk yourself that you would like to see here? Email [email protected] with the walk description and any photographs and pdf’s that you can muster.

So let’s get started

Here is a list of 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.

Walk 1 Gotts Corner to Honeymead Lane and Butts Pond Meadows

Download the trail by clicking here Gotts Corner

The path liable to flood after heavy rain. About 1.5 miles long

Things you might see;

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

Sturminster Newton-Open Spaces Group 3

The UK’s rarest amphibian the Great Crested Newt lives on this route

Walk 2 Manston, Hammoon and Fiddleford Mill

Download the trail by clicking here. Hammoon and Manston

Generally good underfoot. About 5.5 miles long.

Hammoon is an ancient hamlet – The village(Ham) of Moyon  (Moon) named after a Normandy knight that came over with William the Conk later rewarded rewarded with many lands.

Things you might see;

  • Great views of Hambledon Hill and its iron age earthworks. A must to see and climb if you have the time!
  • A Grade 1 listed mausoleum near Manston Church housing the first legal cremation remains in the UK. When did legal cremation start in the UK? Google it.
  • A Grade 1 listed church in Hammoon itself
  • A 16thCentury listed thatched manor in Hammoon
  • A grade 1 listed 15thcentury Manor House at Fiddleford. The house is managed by English heritage. Open at no charge. There is good parking at the House and access to a modern archmidean screw power generation system, the wiers  and older mill workings of Fiddleform Mill on the nearby Stour.

Sturminster Newton-8 scenic walks around Sturminster and its rural history. 4

Hammoon Manor in the lovely Hamlet of Hammoon

Walk 3 Fiddleford Mill to Piddles Woods and Broad Oak

Download the trail by clicking here Fiddleford Mill to Piddles Wood

A walk with a climb! Generally good underfoot. About 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

Sturminster Newton-Sturminster & Hinton Angling Association 1

Fiddleford Mill

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

Download the trail by clicking here Hardy’s House and Sturminster Mill

Generally good underfoot. Easy walking. About 1.5 miles,

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

Sturminster’s famous Mill

Walk 5 The Stour to Cutts Mill and back via Stalbridge Lane

Download the trail by clicking here Stour to Cutts Mill

Can be very wet underfoot in all parts of the walk. Some tricky ground underfoot too. About 5.5 Miles

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

Photograph of Cutts Mill near Hinton St Mary, Dorset [c.1930s-1980s] John Piper 1903-1992

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

Walk 6 The Trailway to Fiddleford Mill and back

Download the trail by clicking here Trailway to Fiddleford Mill

Generally good underfoot. About 2 miles

Things you might see;

  • Willow warblers, Chiff Chaffs, Field Fares and Redwings
  • The Mill remains
  • An Archimedean Screw Turbine the Mill Workings and weirs.
  • Fiddleford Manor, an ancient medieval house open to all for no charge. Managed by English Heritage

Sturminster Newton-The Top 8 things to see or do in Sturminster Newton 2

Fiddleford Mill workings

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

Download the trail by clicking here The Stour ‘Meanders’

Can be very wet along the Stour – wear the right footwear. About 4.5 miles.

Things you might see;

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

Sturminster Newton-Florian Tiles Studio 2

A tile with a copy of the earliest mosaic found in UK depicting Christ

Walk 8 Rudge Hill to Plumber Manor and Puxey Farm

Download the trail by clicking here Rudge Hill to Plumber Manor

A scenic route to the south of the town. About 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

Plumber Manor Hotel and Restaurant

 

A few notes for the would-be walker

  1. All the walks are circular.
  2. ALL THE WALKS 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. 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