Easy Witchampton Circular | 10.3 miles

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Easy walking on wide tracks through open farmland between Blandford and Wimborne, enjoying the less-visited villages tucked away behind Badbury Rings.

This is such an easy Dorset walk – almost flat, surprisingly free of wobbly stiles through thickly brambled hedges and hardly any map reading necessary as you follow broad farm tracks and wide green lanes. It was a spur of the moment route plan a couple of years ago when we foolishly thought we might walk from Badbury Rings on a sunny summer’s day. We saw the queue for the car park and swiftly thought better of that plan, diving into the broad Dorset farmland in the forgotten miles behind the lure of Badbury Rings and Kingston Lacy! You can always stop by on your way home.

Because we were working on the fly, we parked on a broad grass verge at the point where the footpath crosses a lane, but since then we’ve found that it’s simpler to park in the village of Witchampton and pick up the route from there. Another option in quieter months is to add half a mile or so and do what we originally planned, starting from the Badbury Rings car park (free if you’re a National Trust member).

The route brings you through the pretty hamlet of Manswood, right past The Buildings, its famous terrace of 12 pretty cottages which together form one of the longest continuous stretches of thatch in the country.
Moving on from The Buildings, do also pause to appreciate the architecture of Manswood’s Old School as you pass: I’m always fascinated by its odd assortment of timbers, turrets and chimneys.

There’s not much more to add – it’s just a straightforward, delightful and astonishingly hedge-and-stile free Dorset walk!

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