A ramble around Broadstone and Upton Country Park
PUBLISHED: 10:27 22 May 2018
A Roman road, an elegant mansion set in landscaped grounds and far reaching view across Poole Harbour all combine in this easy walk along two old railway routes
This is a fine excursion along two old railway routes between Broadstone and Poole. There’s also a Roman road, an elegant mansion surrounded by a country park and a delightful path leads you along the shores of Poole Harbour’s Holes Bay.
1 From the Car Park, walk to the pedestrian underpass, signed ‘Castleman Trailway Upton Country Park 2¼’. Go under two bridges and bend right/left under another bridge to join the track through woodland, mostly oak, sycamore and Scots pine. This track follows the original Castleman Railway’s Southampton, Wimborne, Hamworthy and Dorchester route which opened in 1847. The road on your left follows the later Somerset and Dorset Railway’s Bournemouth, Poole and Bath line. Pass right turnings for ‘Lytchett Drive’ and ‘Town Centre’. After ¾ mile, the track bends right. Pass a right ‘Roman Road’ fork and a left gap/stile and gate onto Beechbank Avenue. Continue into a cutting.
2 Under Pinesprings Drive subway, keep following the Trailway through ash, birch, oak and chestnut trees. Pass the ‘Beechbank Avenue’ left turning, and the ‘Beechbank Avenue’ and ‘Cowslip Road’ crossing. Under electricity cables, notice Upton Heath right. Before a facing gate, fork left down the railway embankment to the Roman Road Bridleway with the railway bridge to your right. Go left for ‘Upton Country Park ¾’. Pass the ‘Longmeadow Lane’ and ‘Upton Heath Nature Reserve’ crossing. Arriving at Longmeadow Woods information board, turn left/right into a field and follow the lesser path outside the wood. Through the end half-gate onto the roadside path, continue to and through the pedestrian underpass.
3 Bend right, cross two roads, follow the pedestrian walkway under the A35 and turn left for ‘Upton Country Park’. Cross over and go through the gateway. Instantly turn left. In 35 yards go through the right kissing-gate onto a red shale path. In a few yards, turn off half-left towards Upton House. Passing left of the ha-ha, walk up to the driveway outside the house front. Turn left. Follow the drive clockwise along the yew hedge to the south front. Cross the terrace and follow the Tarmac path past benches to the main drive. Turn left (toilets opposite) for ‘Walled Garden’. In 100 yards, turn left down to the stable yard. Go through double gates into the Walled Garden and turn right. Past the Tea Room’s terrace, leave through the facing arched gate. Turn right up the ‘Car Park’ path to the main drive and turn left for ‘Grove Wood’. Passing the car park, go through twin gates. Into Grove Wood, fork right for ‘The Meadow’, descending with Upton Farm to your right. Don’t go into the meadow but turn left inside Grove Wood. No marked paths but soon with a fence on the right.
4 Keep walking through the wood, mostly beech, pine, holly, sycamore and oak, keeping the fence nearby and passing play areas. Reaching a right boardwalk to ‘Llewellin Wood’, continue along the ‘Hamworthy Poole’ path. Past right Grove Lake ‘beach’, double back left onto the track signed ‘Tea Rooms Poole Broadstone’. Now keep straight on, rising slightly and passing another signpost. There are glimpses of Holes Bay on your right. Reaching the car park again, continue for ‘Walled Garden’. Pass the arched Walled Garden gate and fork right onto the ‘Plant Centre’ and ‘Shoreline’ path. Passing old kennels right, continue down to zig-zag past the left hexagonal shelter onto the ‘Shoreline’ track.
5 At the shoreline fence, bear left and follow the woodland path, keeping near the shore. Leave Upton Country Park through 1½ gates with ‘Broadstone’ cycle-path signpost left. Now, follow the Holes Bay Cycleway along the shoreline, over the long bridge and through woodland. Eventually, join the ‘Poole Harbour Trail Poole 2½’ Tarmac path. After two stream outlets, take the first left path to the dual carriageway near the ‘Poole Fairway’ roundabout. Cross carefully on the marked path to the opposite ‘NCN 25’ (National Cycle Network) signpost. Go left along the pavement and cross Willis Way exit. Continue along the A349 Broadstone Way with Wessex Gate Retail Park left.
6 Cross the right road and keep straight on, going under two road bridges, signed ‘Broadstone 2’. Crossing Cabot Lane at the lights, keep straight on again. After a left industrial estate behind the trees, pass a traffic lights crossing and keep ascending slowly. Continue to the first left turning and cross on the refuge into Beechbank Avenue. In 100 yards, cross to the right gap/stile you passed ages ago. Through, rejoin the Castleman Trailway, signed ‘Broadstone ¾’ and follow the track back to Station Road where you started.
Distance: 6¼ mile (10.25 km)
Time: 4½ hours
Exertion: Fairly easy. Mostly almost level tracks and pavements
Start: Station Road Pay and Display Car Park, Broadstone
Map: OS Landranger Sheet 195
Public Transport: Morebus 32 from Bournemouth and Poole
Dogs: On leads at all times
Refreshments: Upton Country Park Tea Rooms in the Walled Garden