Pretty West Dorset walk through the quiet AONB below Eggardon Hill | 6.6 miles

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It’s not near *anywhere*, and the paths appear to be forgotten or at best very little-walked. Yet the route passes through the typically pretty, neatly-folded countryside of West Dorset with sharp hills, hidden valleys, sudden surprise views and long shady walks in green lanes.

The small amount of road work wasn’t an issue – we didn’t encounter a single car. In fact, we didn’t see another person for the whole walk!

The original plan was to follow the Jubilee Trail into Wynford Eagle itself, but from the ridge of the last hill we could see the ridge opposite where the car was parked, and the weather was threatening (again).

So we opted to cut our losses and avoided another down-and-up climb, pretty though it looked. It’s an easy way to make up to the intended seven mile plan, if you’re wanting a little longer though!

The usual summer hedgerow stile vs nettles vs walkers battle in Dorset

The route was mostly clearly signposted. Being late summer, a number of the stiles were overgrown with nettles and bramble – a sturdy stick is a useful accessory.

Listen. If your path comes across a swing, the rule is you try it. Can confirm this is a good one.

One part of the walk was difficult – the valley bottom approaching Broom’s Farm appeared impossible to navigate. We followed an increasingly marshy steeply-sloped field down to the stream crossing(there was no visible path) – but the stream crossing wasn’t there.

On the ‘missing’ path – the stream runs through the tree line visible at the valley bottom; we jumped it in the ned, and then we climbed straight up hill, choosing not to break into the farmyard on the brow and going straight to the lane instead.

After tracking back and forth, we jumped over and fought the undergrowth on the opposite side, clambering up the opposite hill. We may have missed it, but there seemed to be no path at all, just abandoned scrubland on exceptionally marshy ground (possibly impassable in winter), and the footpath seems to go directly into the private farmyard. So instead we opted for the shortest obvious route, climbed through a horse fence to cut onto the lane. 


Apart from this one small stretch, the rest of the route was easy – even where it looked like a field was a dead end a stile would magically appear among the overgrown hedge as we approached, just where it *should* be. Another bridleway seems to have been abandoned in favour of simply using the road – we did likewise!

All the Dorset Walks we feature have been created and walked recently by ourselves, so you know you can trust them – we aim for unpopulated routes with as little road and as many views as possible! You can always see the route and follow it yourself via the free Outdoor Active app – see all our routes here.

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