Every month in the Blackmore Vale Magazine we publish a walk in the beautiful Dorset countryside under the heading ‘Take a hike’. Not always in the heart of the Blackmore Vale perhaps, but always within reach for a day’s walk.
What is unique about these walks is the fact that we have created and then walked them all ourselves! We always aim to create interesting, unpopulated routes with as little road use as possible and of course as many beautiful views as we can squeeze in.
You can always see the routes we take and follow them yourself via the Outdoor Active App – see all our routes here. – Click on contents tab.
We usually aim for between 10 – 15 miles, although due to many requests and to keep everyone happy we have now added some shorter routes between 5 – 10 miles in length.
Above all, we hope you enjoy reading about the walks that we do and enjoying the pictures of course, but if you are taking them on yourself, we would love to receive your feedback on how you found the individual route and any suggestions you might have. Oh and of course we would love to receive your pictures to share as well!
The ‘Moreton round the ‘Puddles’ 12 or 6(ish) miles
(The pinch point in the middle is an easy point to split the route in two – if you don’t want a 12 mile day hike, then there’s an obvious option to cut across from the Southover Heath Plantation to Pallington Clump via the Hardy Way, and you’ll end up with a nice 6ish miles instead.)
Although long (unless you chop it in half), this is a really easy-going walk, mostly on broad well-marked trails. There are small sections on open heathland, but majority of this walk is through the forests – probably mucky underfoot in winter, but cool and shady on a hot day, with a lovely ford to splash hot feet in when you’re done! Do stop at the Walled Gardens for tea & cake, too.
There is plenty of free parking at Moreton – the overflow parking for the walled gardens closes at 8pm in summer months. The area does get busy in the holidays – the first couple of miles were busy with young families.
The terrain is relatively flat for Dorset. Footpaths through the forests have been subverted by the forestry tracks (our route was created from our footsteps on the actual paths available, not the public footpaths on the OS map)
Oh the ancient giants. This beauty was at least fifteen feet in diameter – I always ponder about the people who have walked beneath them over the centuries.
The ford over the river Frome at Moreton – this was taken early evening on our return leg. On the way out the water was busy with children playing and splashing.
Spending most of the day in deep forest means the odd breaks onto open heathland are welcoming windows.
Much of the day is on the wide easy-going paths which criss-cross this area of native Dorset heathland.