Slow beautiful winter’s afternoon walk on Cranborne Droves Way | 4.4 miles

Date:

Forcing yourself out for some fresh air each day is more essential than ever in the winter months, when it’s all too easy to choose curling up in the warm instead of pulling your wellies on. This particular walk is a regular favourite of ours – it’s much shorter than our usual hikes, and perfect for short midwinter days. 

The first time we walked it was an unforgettable joy – we headed out on the afternoon of New Years Eve and we took it oh-so-slow.
The light was glorious, the air was crisp, the shadows long, and we simply breathed in the dying embers of the year, making plans for better days ahead.

Cranborne Droves Way Walk
Beautiful low winter sunshine through the woods on the Roman road in the Vernditch Chase.

We’ve been asked for some shorter routes, and at just over four miles on wide easy tracks, this one’s for almost everybody. You will not be disappointed – though we can’t guarantee you the spectacular frozen landscape oir glorious sunset!

Beautiful icy reflections on the Cranborne Droves Way near Cow Down Hill.
Beautiful icy reflections on the Cranborne Droves Way near Cow Down Hill.

Starting on the Ox Drove, there is always ample space to park under the trees. Then it’s a simple saunter along the drovers track, enjoying the views and the forest, until a short right cuts diagonally across to the Roman road on Vernditch Chase (we always cut this corner during the winter as the Roman road gets horribly sloppy – in the summer do square the corner along the edge of Knighton Wood).  

Stunning winters light casting mesmurising shadows on the golden leaf carpet in the Vernditch Chase on the Cranborne Droves Way
Stunning winters light casting mesmurising shadows on the golden leaf carpet in the Vernditch Chase on the Cranborne Droves Way.

Then it’s a simple bridleway all the way back up to the road, and a short uphill back to the car – keep an eye out for the white deer.

A view across to Chickengrove Bottom, such a beautiful winters day.
A view across to Chickengrove Bottom, such a beautiful winters day.

As the sun finally starts to set we find ourselves back at the start at Cow Down Hill – thankfully we’re smart and there’s a flask in the car, and we have time for a hot chocolate while we watch the last of the winter sun before heading home.

The view from the car parking on Cow Down Hill
The view from the car parking on Cow Down Hill

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

More like this
Related

Clayesmore head likens Labour’s policy to 1980s pit closures in open letter

In a powerful open letter, Jo Thomson, the head...

Winging it (on little legs)

In spite of her terminal illness, 73-year-old Marilyn McDonald...

Feeding the 500

Behind the scenes with Victoria O’Brien: from food science...

How changing Stroke Pathways is known to save lives

Yeovil’s Stroke Unit controversy – amid the public debate,...