3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today click here

Dorset walk around Chaldon Herring and Chaldon Down

PUBLISHED: 09:50 11 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:43 05 October 2017

Holworth House and barn

Holworth House and barn

Archant

Edward Griffths enjoys a lovely summer walk through the glorious rolling downland that overlooks Purbeck and Portland

Delightful Chaldon Herring is always associated with the three prodigiously talented Powys brothers, and writer and journalist Sylvia Townsend Warner who lived here for many years with poet Valentine Ackland. These two ladies were inspired by their surroundings, especially Chaldon Hill and the skyline barrows called ‘The Five Marys’. They often walked up there and, as they put it, ‘sat on a Mary’, to enjoy the views. This lovely summer walk explores the valleys, cornfields and pastures of Chaldon Down, which overlooks the coast between Purbeck and Portland. Many farmers in this area are supporting the Countryside Stewardship Scheme by returning arable fields to downland, and clearing existing downland of scrub by grazing, which in turn helps to maintain and enhance the associated downland wildlife. So there is plenty of local flora and fauna to look out, for especially skylarks.

 

Information

• Distance: 6 1/4 miles (10 km).

• Time: 4 1/2 hours.

• Exertion: Fairly strenuous with 300ft of ascent then undulating. Some mud after rain. Second half is an easier, mostly downhill.

• Start: New Close Car Park, 1/4 mile east of East Chaldon (or Chaldon Herring). Signposted from village green (Grid Ref: SY796834).

• Map: OS Landranger Sheet 194.

• Public Transport: Damory 104 except Sundays and holidays.

• Dogs: On leads as there are lots of sheep, cows and ground-nesting skylarks.

• Refreshments: The Sailor’s Return, East Chaldon for lunches and bar meals.

 

The walk

1 Follow the chalk track up from the car park. Through the 1½ gates, follow the track down into a long green valley. Passing a right fork ‘Chideock Farm’ footpath, continue for ‘Daggers Gate 1’, through the gate and along the track, now slowly ascending. Past two left ash trees, go through the 1½ bridleway-gates for ‘Daggers Gate 1’. Follow the right-fenced ascending grass path below left Winfrith Hill. Through the next 1½ gates, follow the faint path, signed ‘Daggers Gate 4/5’, bending right, and passing the cattle trough, to meet the rising track against the fenced quarry.

2 Through the bridleway-gate, continue up through the field with an exultation of skylarks and a very Hardy-ish view back down the valley. Through the top hedge’s 1½ gates, follow the track up to the Sleight Buildings yard and the three-way pointer. Continue up the ‘Daggers Gate’ bridleway-track, over the high field with increasing long views, and the sea ahead. Descend the track to and through Daggers Gate barns. Before the road, double back right up the hedged track. It’s signed ‘Bridleway Ringstead and White Nothe’ at the road. In ¼ mile, with your first glimpse of Portland, you’re 147m above sea level, having started at 56m, so you’ve climbed nearly 300ft.

3 Now with long views right, the track passes into another field and ends along a fenced section to 1½ gates. Through, follow the right fence to 1½ gates with ‘Newlands Farm and Scratchy Bottom’ signed left. Keep following ‘Ringstead and White Nothe’ near the right fence. Bats Head is down below you. Through the next fence’s half-gate, cross the field to the top right corner gate with the 3-way footpath stone marker. Through, keep following the right fence to another 1½ gates, and again follow the right fence, with a concrete obelisk to your right. Behind, there are fine views over Lulworth to St Aldhelm’s Head. Pass two Powys memorial stones. The third is missing. Then pass a second obelisk below left.

4 When the fence ends, keep straight on over Chaldon Downs on the sheep path to a cluster of gates before fenced barrows. The marker-stone indicates left for ‘White Nose’. Go through the 1½ ‘South Down’ bridleway-gates and follow the right fence with the deep valley below. Soon, pass a kissing-gate into the valley, with good views over Winfrith. Through the next 1½ bridleway-gates, marked ‘South Down 1’ ahead, follow the bending track, then descending towards red-roofed Holworth House. Through another 1½ gates-wide opening, take the right 3-way bridleway 1½ gates’ turning marked ‘West Chaldon 1’.

5 Follow the left hedge up the rising field and pass left of the corrugated-iron barn. It’s somewhat overgrown but push through to meet the verdant track on the other side. Keep straight on to meet a wooden bridleway-pointer, if it survives. Bear ¼ right for ‘West Chaldon’ across the large field, aiming towards Chaldon Hill’s right end ahead. Through the facing hedge gap, cross the track and the field, under electric cables, down to the hedge’s bridleway half-gate. Through into the huge field, bear half-left, under the wires and aiming for Chaldon Hill’s right end again. Past the ‘West Chaldon’ bridleway pointer, aim down-field towards the road below Chaldon Hill.

6 Through 1½ gates, go down the ‘West Chaldon’ track and through the gates into the village. Turn right along the road with Chaldon Hill left. Keep straight on for a mile into Chaldon Herring, passing ‘Beth Car’, Theodore Powys’ house. Look left here to see the Five Marys. If you wish visit the church, then continue down the lane to the village green. Turn right to the signpost and keep straight on for ‘Winfrith Newburgh’, passing the bus shelter, ‘God’s Pocket’ field, Vicarage Farm and a left stone cottage. At the left bend, turn into New Close Car Park.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Friday, September 14, 2018

Follow in the footsteps of the Romans on this lovely walk that takes in rare habitat, ancient woodland and glorious views

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This challenging coastal walk rewards your efforts with spectacular views along the Jurassic Coast

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Marine photographer Steve Belasco shares some very special wildlife moments

Read more
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

TravelSupermarket has uncovered the top 25 most popular UK beaches on Instagram after analysing hashtags used for over 1,100 beaches and Bournemouth comes out on top

Read more
Monday, September 3, 2018

From a harvest festival to a guided tour of a botanical collection used for making perfume, there is plenty happening in Dorset’s gardens this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ride + Stride, Dorset Historic Churches Trust’s annual fundraising event, is a great way to explore and support some of the county’s more unusual places of worship

Read more
Monday, August 6, 2018

This easy level walks takes in an ancient village described as The Mother of Bournemouth and Throop Mill of the River Stour

Read more
Monday, August 6, 2018

Dorset villages are some of the most beautiful in England – think winding lanes, thatched cottages and a cosy pub or welcoming tea room. We suggest ten of the prettiest villages to visit in the county

Read more
Friday, July 27, 2018

Martin Clunes and his family have called West Dorset home for over two decades. Here he shares some of their favourite local places

Read more

From paddling on the Frome to admiring one of the best vistas in Dorset, Adam Lee-Potter’s beloved home town just keeps getting better and better

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

Butterflies, buzzards and beautiful views sum up this lovely summer walk around Piddletrenthide and Plush Hill

Read more
Sunday, July 8, 2018

Visit Dorset reveal their favourite lesser-known local beaches to explore if you want to get off the beaten track this summer

Read more
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Anne Brunner-Ellis takes her horse on holiday to a B&B in Ashmore where they both enjoy three glorious days of exploring the local countryside as well as a spot of pampering

Read more

From supper on the beach to a vibrant live music scene, Kate Shaw reveals why her family love living in this award-winning coastal town

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search