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A ramble around Bere Regis and Turners Puddle

PUBLISHED: 10:12 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:12 26 October 2018

The track between the watercress beds at Hollow Oak

The track between the watercress beds at Hollow Oak

Archant

This lovely walk takes us from watercress beds to a church famous for its life-size carvings of apostles

This varied walk takes you past watercress beds fed by a gin clear chalk stream, along peaceful country lanes with thatched cottages, by an ancient ford, up historic tracks with panoramic views and over rare Dorset heath. Here we visit an old gravel quarry before returning to Bere Regis, and its church where you will find life-size figures of the apostles carved into its beams.

The Walk

1. From the church, take the low east-end gate into the Tarmac slope down to the Wool road. Turn right and cross over into the left footpath-signed drive to Court Farm. Past Court Farmhouse, go through 2½ gates. At the left fence’s corner post with four footpath-arrows, go right. Pass the large barn and join the grass track into a flat field. Follow the left fence. The track is enclosed past right old watercress beds, then it bends left/right around trees. Continue past Vitacress’ fenced watercress beds to emerge at Doddings Farm. Turn right on the two-way signed bridleway-track. Past the right cottage, bend left through the gate by the cattle grid and cross Bere Stream.

2. Follow the track between watercress beds and cross Bere Stream again. Through the gate by another cattle-grid, walk up the lane between Hollow Oak’s cottages and up the hill past a three-way bridleway/footpath sign by Hollow Oak Cottage. At the top, see Wareham Forest and the Purbeck hills left, then descend past ‘Mistover Knapp’ to the ‘Bere Heath 1’ lane, signed back ‘bridleway’. Turn left along the lane. Around a left bend, take the right hedge-gap and sleeper-bridge into a long field. Bear ¼-left to the far corner hedge-gap. Through, continue across the field aiming for the pylon above trees. Then aim for roadside chevrons. Through the hedge corner gap to Lane End’s chevrons, turn right around the corner and follow the hedged lane, past Fair View Orchard, to the Wool road again.

3. Cross over, through the trees, to the gate left of Yearling Farm’s fence. Through the gate, follow the unsigned footpath-track with woods left at first. When the track turns into a left field, keep straight on along the grass path to a concrete block before the lanes’ T-junction. Cross over into the ‘Turnerspudlle’ cul-de-sac with right woods at first and instantly passing right thatched Minterns Ferry cottage. Undulating and meandering for ¾ mile, enjoy the stroll, passing a footpath-sign, thatched Dairy House and two other thatched cottages, and views across left fields all the way to Turners Puddle.

Watercress beds on the edge of Bere RegisWatercress beds on the edge of Bere Regis

4. Just before a long row of barns, take the right bridleway-signed fence-gap. But, before that, continue through the lane’s gate to see the ford on the left ‘Throop’ bridleway-track and the church on the right after the Throop turning. Into your bridleway, follow the enclosed path, bending left then right at a two-way bridleway-sign. Then, in 50 yards, take the left footpath-signed half-gate and another across a track into an enclosed path with a left thatched cottage. Through the end half-gate with a two-way footpath-sign, turn right up the asecnding track between fields. Pass a left footpath-arrow, meant to be pointing up your track. With glimpses of the heath up ahead, continue past a right thatched barn.

5. Higher now, there are fine backward views. Pass Jubilee Trail and Permissive Path arrows on right and left bends and continue up the track to the top staggered tracks’ crossing. Turn right, arrowed ‘Jubilee Trail’, enjoy super views over Bere Regis from this ridge track. Through a bridleway-gate, you’re onto rare uncultivated heath with fine views north and south. Pass a left Permissive Path and, at the next fork, keep right, swinging right and left and right again to cross a crossing. Pass left Black Hill’s old quarry and geological site and continue along the gravel path, ignoring a right grass fork before passing through a sparse wood.

6. Dropping to, and going through, a bridleway half-gate into an enclosed track, go left down hill. Past a right footpath and left bridleway and left ‘Glampotel’ site, continue along the track to meet the Wool road yet again at Rye Hill. Cross to the opposite verge and turn left. After right Rye Hill Farm, join the pavement and pass the left ‘Bere Regis’ rock-sign. Continue down past the old school site and, at the bottom, cross the Bere Stream bridge. Past left Elder Road opposite the Court Farm drive from earlier, go back to the church where you started. To find both inns, walk past the church’s east end and up Church Lane into the main street.

Details

Black Hill's old gravel quarryBlack Hill's old gravel quarry

Distance: 5¼ miles /8.25 km

Time: 4 hours

Exertion: Not strenuous. A couple of slow ascents

Start: St John the Baptist’s Church, Bere Regis (Grid Ref: SY846947). Car Park in Durberville Road off Manor Farm Road

Public transport: Morebus X8,X12,702,703

Dogs: On leads where livestock or on roads

Refreshments: Drax Arms and Royal Oak for lunches and bar meals

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