From Cheselbourne around Nettlecombe Tout | 6.3 miles

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Starting just outside Cheselbourne on Drake’s Lane, this is a wonderful route with endless views incorporating our favourite track over Lyscombe Hill and across Dorsetshire Gap; a shorter circuit perfect for a winter’s afternoon.

To follow this route using the Outdooractive App, please find the route here.


Total people encountered – 0 (though Dorsetshire Gap and Lyscombe Hill are both well-walked, so that won’t always be the case. We got lucky!)

Bridleway crossroads on the top of Lyscombe Hill – you curve to the right here. © BV magazine

The path is straightforward, well signed and easy to follow – with lots of potential variations if you wish to lengthen it.

Dorsetshire Gap is another meeting of ancient holloways – this was the only leg of the crossroads we’ve never walked before. Not ashamed to say we plotted the whole route in order to walk this lane.

As you circle the bottom of Nettlecombe Tout, keep an eye on the map. The obvious path goes straight ahead through a wide gate, but instead you want the narrow, dark path that cuts closer to the foot of the hill, up through the trees. Do NOT miss it – you can work around, but you’d miss a stunning green holloway fwhich was beautiful in January. I’m guessing it will be spectacular in the summer.

The wonderful lane round the base of Nettlecombe Tout. Even in January it was magical. © BV magazine

Pick a fine day, and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most stunning views across the Blackmore Vale and beyond. It really is a special place for a  walk in North Dorset.

The uninterrupted view from Bowdens to the coast

We parked on the side of the green lane the route begins in – please park considerately and do not block farmer access. If it’s not possible, the next suggestion would be to add a little to the mileage and park in Cheselbourne or Melcombe Bingham and simply walk to the route.

The beauty of the winter trees tracing the sky

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