There are endless miles of footpaths, bridleways and permissive paths in and around Stratton, Grimstone, Wrackleford and Ash Hill; along with a few miles of quiet minor roads and the much busier main A37 Dorchester to Yeovil road. Wherever you may be walking, take great care. Especially when crossing the A37 - although the traffic may be subject to a 50mph speed restriction, vehicles reach you far more quickly than you might imagine - and the Dorchester to Yeovil railway line. Always 'Stop, Look, Listen' before crossing the railway track. Off road, never stray from the footpaths, bridleways or permissive paths. And always follow the country code.
Walk 1   Walk 2   Walk 3   Walk 4
  Walk 1  
  Five Miles Of The Best Views In The Area With A Degree Of History Thrown In  
This walk starts at Stratton Village Green and sets off to the east along Dorchester Road towards Dorchester. Almost immediately, the War Memorial and St Mary's Church are passed (photo 1). Take time to read the names of the men from the parish that fell during the two World Wars. And don't miss the opportunity to step inside the Church.
  1 - St Mary's Church & Stratton War Memorial  
Continue along Dorchester Road keeping an eye out for the farm road to Stratton Dairy, just beyond the former alms houses on the left. There is a sign that reads 'Stratton Dairy Entrance' on the left hand side of the farm road (photo 2). Take this farm road, walk under the A37 road bridge and the railway bridge (photo 3) to reach the Dairy. Turn right before the Dairy buildings. After about 75 yards, before entering a field, turn left leaving the fence to your right. Pass through the kissing gate, cross the track linking the Dairy to the field, and negotiate a second kissing gate (photo 4). Turn right and follow the track for about a quarter of a mile until reaching cross paths (photo 5).
2 - Lane To Stratton Dairy 3 - A37 & Railway Bridges
4 - Kissing Gates 5 - Cross Paths
Turn left at the cross paths and walk along the track leading slightly uphill. There are views across open countryside to the right with the rooftops of Dorchester being fairly obvious. Look out for pheasants, partridge and rabbits. Continue on the track past a barn on the left until reaching a gate which leads through to 'The Gallops' (photo 6). It's about three-quarters of a mile from the cross path turning to this gate. Follow the usually fairly distinct path uphill and slightly to the left, crossing the field (The Gallops) leading to another gate. There is a finger post here that becomes visible as 'The Gallops' are crossed.
  6 - 'The Gallops'  
Passing through the gateway, follow the track alongside the hedgerow (on the right) for about one mile. On the way, a finger post pointing to Brooklands Farm, Headquarters of the Dorset Wildlife Trust will be seen. There are views to the right across the Cerne Valley to Charlton Down and beyond. Stay on the track until reaching another gate (photo 7) leading into an open field. From here the views of the Cerne Valley are even better. Turn left and again follow what is nearly always a distinct path, going slightly uphill. In about half a mile the path reaches another finger post and two gates. Take the smaller left hand gate (photo 8). The finger post indicates 'Jackman's Cross' which is about half a mile away. Through the gate, follow the path between two open fields. The field on the left gives way to a wooded area. Roe deer and hares can often be seen around here. Stay on the path and when it splits into two, take the right hand option. There is no public right-of-way to the left. Pass through the canopy of trees to emerge at Jackman's Cross (photo 9) with views across a large area of west Dorset.
7 - Cerne Valley Views 8 - Gate & Finger Post 9 - Jackman's Cross
Turn left and head south; back towards Stratton. Follow the track, with woodland to the left and open fields to the right. Pass through a couple of gateways and bear a little to the right heading for 'The Clumps' (photo 10). Jackman's Cross is now half a mile behind. 'The Clumps' are two very obvious circular tree plantations. Look to the right to see the gorse bushes covering Grimstone Down, an extensive Iron Age and Romano-British field system and settlement. The path passes to the right of two modern day covered reservoirs.
  10 - 'The Clumps'  
Having reached 'The Clumps' follow the track downhill for about half a mile until arriving at farm buildings. Walk between the buildings and turn left along a short section of concrete farm road. Continue along the road, now unmade (photo 11), towards the A37 and the railway track for about a quarter of a mile. As the farm road bends to the left, cross the stile on the right . It's only a quarter of a mile back to Stratton Village Green from here. The steps on the far side of the stile lead down to the railway track (photo 12). Before crossing the railway 'Stop, Look, Listen' (photo 13). Follow the path on the far side of the track, up to another stile and beyond that, the A37 road. Take great care in crossing the main road. Turn left and follow the A37 slip road into Stratton and return to the Village Green.
11 - Farm Road 12 - Steps Down To Railway Track 13 - Railway Crossing