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CIRCULAR WALKS AROUND STRATTON
 
 
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 3
 
RIVER FROME FORDS - BRADFORD PEVERELL - PENN HILL
SEVEN BARROW PLANTATION - MUCKLEFORD NATURE RESERVE
 
Five Miles Of Gently Undulating Pleasure
 
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
 
 
The walk carries on in the same direction, along the path marked by a small 'Public Footpath' disc. Continue along the field edge with the hedgerow on your left until reaching the field corner and a stile (photo 6). Cross the stile and walk half-left across the field for a few yards to meet another hedgerow. Deer, pheasant and partridge may be seen here. Continue on along the field edge with the hedgerow on your left until arriving at another stile. Beyond this stile is another open field. The path crosses this field diagonally (photo 7) to the left at about a ten o'clock angle towards another hedgerow. There is a stile in this hedgerow which leads into a grassed field used as a paddock. Walk ahead across the narrow paddock to another stile and beyond that an unmade farm track.
 
 
6 - Stile
 
7 - Diagonal Path Across Field
 
 
Turn right on the track and walk through Park Farm to reach the tarmaced Sodern Lane. Turn right and continue to the junction with the A37. Take great care in crossing the main road. The walk continues away from the A37 along the unmade Gascoyne Lane on the eastern side of Lower Wrackleford Farm.
 
Before long there are two footbridges, each providing easy access across the River Frome. Both bridges are alongside fords (photos 8 & 9). After passing beneath the railway line, the lane arrives at Bradford Peverell Farm, Giles Cross and the tarmaced road linking Bradford Peverell (to the right) with Dorchester (to the left).
 
 
8 - Ford at Wrackleford

 
9 - River Frome Footbridge
 
 
Turn right here uphill along the road towards Bradford Peverell (photo 10). After a while the road starts to descend. Look out for the Frome Valley Trail signpost on the left hand side of the road (photo 11). There is a footpath that leads away from the sign alongside a vegetable patch. Take this path and follow it the short distance through two kissing gates to arrive at a concrete farm road. Before turning left and going on, note that to the right is St. Mary's Church, Bradford Peverell which is worth a visit.
 
 
10 - Bradford Peverell
 
11 - Footpath Alongside Vegetable Patch
 

Follow the farm road which becomes unmade, for about 300 yards until reaching a 'Public Bridleway' sign on the right. Take the bridleway off to the right (photo 12) and follow the track to arrive at a gate. Pass through the gate and follow the field edge uphill with the fence and hedgerow to your right. From the top of Penn Hill there are extensive views across the Frome Valley and beyond. There are Bronze Age barrows beneath the trees of Seven Barrow Plantation (photo 13) to the left of the path which continues forward in the same direction through a couple more gates before the steep descent to another gate and a farm lane at Three Corners.
 
 
12 - Bridleway Leaves Track On The Right
 
13 - Seven Barrow Plantation
 
 
Turn right along the lane where deer, pheasant and hares may be seen. The lane passes the Dorset Wildlife Trust's Muckleford Nature Reserve (photo 14) and reaches the tarmaced road between Muckleford (to the right) and Hampton and the A35 (to the left). Taking care, cross over the road to the signposted bridleway. Follow the path diagonally across the field (photo 15) to the far corner and into the track beyond. Follow the track between hedgerows to the tarmaced road in Muckleford.
 
 
14 - Nature Reserve Entrance
 
15 - Frome Valley Trail to Muckleford
 
 
Turn left on reaching the road. After about 200 yards take the signed public footpath to the right. (photo 16). Follow the route of the path over two stiles into the open water meadows. Crossing another stile, passing over a River Frome footbridge that is unguarded on the down-stream side (photo 17) and through a gate brings you to the A37 road at Grimstone.
 
 
16 - Footpath to Grimstone
 
17 - Footbridge at Grimstone
 
 
Turn right along the pavement for about 150 yards. Just before the one-time Toll House, take great care in crossing the A37 to a 'Public Bridleway' sign and a gate (photo 18). Go through the gate into the field and walk the short distance uphill to the brick built railway bridge (photo 19) over the line between Dorchester and Maiden Newton. Continue along what is now a track with fields either side until reaching farm buildings.
 
 
18 - North Side of A37
 
19 - Railway Bridge
 
 
At the farm buildings turn right along a short section of concreted farm road. Continue along the road, now unmade, (photo 20) for about a quarter of a mile. As the farm road bends to the left, cross the stile on the right (photo 21). The steps on the far side of the stile lead down to the railway track. Before crossing the railway 'Stop, Look, Listen' (photo 22). 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.
 

20 - Farm Road
 
 
21 - Steps Down To Railway Track
 
22 - Railway Crossing
 
 
If you've enjoyed this walk please let us know. If you took a few photos please share them with us. If you have a favourite local route that isn't shown on these pages please send us the details. Thank you. strattondorset@btinternet.com