A ramble around Sutton Poyntz and Bincombe Hill
PUBLISHED: 11:03 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:22 07 July 2020
From Chalbury Hill, Bincombe Hill and Came Down, there are wonderful views over Weymouth Bay to the Isle of Portland that will reward you on this challenging walk
In the Domesday Book, Sutton Poyntz was just ‘Sutone’ meaning ‘South Town’. ‘Poyntz’ comes from the Poyntz family, lords of Sutton and Preston after the Norman conquest.
At Bincombe, Holy Trinity Church dates back to the 12th century and many of the stone cottages are from the 16th and 17th-centuries.
1 From the duck pond, walk back to the Y-junction. In 100 yards, turn right into Puddledock Lane. Follow the lane around a right/left zig-zag and past a left thatched house. In 80 yards, take the right signed footpath. Through the facing gate, follow the grass track up the field. Through 1½ footpath-gates into the next field, follow the right hedge/fence. At the corner footpath-post, turn right, still following the hedge/fence, to the footpath-gate. Through, keep straight on along the clear track up the sloping field to the footpath-gate under trees Through, keep following the grass track up and over the low ridge, between left Chalbury Hill and right Green Hill, to the roadside footpath-stile.
2 Over the stile, cross slightly right, away from the left barn, into a walkers’ path cutting through the nettle patch. The path rises to a low footpath-post at a paths’ junction. Here, turn left, still rising, to a bridleway-gate. Through into the field corner, follow the left stone wall to another bridleway half-gate. Through, under overhead wires, keep straight up onto a flinty grass track. Follow this track, enjoying great views, alongside right Bincombe Hill and past an old quarry. Stay on the track down to a facing stone wall.
Here, go right down under trees to a bridleway-gate into Bincombe with Holy Trinity Church on the left.
3 After visiting, continue past East Farm and down the lane to the corner. Pass the ‘Came Wood and Hardy Monument’ signpost and follow the raised pavement steeply uphill. At the top, with the new Dorchester-Weymouth relief road clear ahead, turn right for ‘Came Wood ½’. Pass Granary House and go through the bridleway-gate. Continue up the hedged lane. At the right bend, keep straight on into the bridleway-gated track. Sweeping around, with good views, and through another bridleway-gate, continue straight up to 1½ bridleway-gates onto a road T-junction. Cross over and follow the lane between the left Golf Course and right Came Wood. In 400 yards, take the right ‘Came Wood ½’ bridleway half-gate. Take the clear path into Came Wood’s edge. Innumerable signs indicate the woods are private, so don’t leave the slowly descending footpath.
4 Arriving at an open right field, don’t go through the facing gate into the barnyard. Keep to the top path, past a bridleway-post to a two-way Jubilee Trail signpost. Bend right and cross the barnyard track into a grassy valley track, rising then passing into another valley. At the bottom, keep straight on up against right Came Wood. Into the top corner, go right, between left gallops and right Came Wood. Continue into the woodland path, passing a bridleway-post, and meander through to 1½ bridleway-gates into a long field. Through, bear half-right to pass between two small woods. The Bronze Age Culliford Tree barrow is in the right wood.
5 Go through the signposted ‘West Hill ¾’ half-gate onto the road and turn right. At the lanes’ T-junction, turn left for ‘Broadmayne 2¼’. In ¼ mile, fork right onto the track between fields for ½ mile, passing under overhead cables and reaching a right gate with a ruined stone barn behind.
Nearby is a ‘Bincombe 1¾’ signpost where there was once a stile. Go through the gate and follow the fence clockwise around ruined stone walls to the bridleway-gate. Through, follow the grass path above Sutton Poyntz Waterworks water catchment area to 1½ bridleway-gates.
6 Through, and over the brow of a slight hill, look out for the first wooden electricity post in the right field. 50 yards before this post, fork left onto the faint path diagonally down to the second post, and continue down under the wires to the fence’s half-gate. Through, follow the grass track past the third post and down the side of the ridge. Notice the beacon commemorating the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar. Continue down to the footpath-stile and gate in the corner. Over, follow the track past the waterworks ‘Veteran Wood’
down to the gate/stile into a field. Keep straight on along the left stone wall to the footpath-gate into the lane between flower-bedecked cottages. At the end, turn left and right back to your starting point. u
Distance: 6 miles (9.25km)
Time: 4½ hours
Exertion: Quite strenuous, including the long ascent to Chalbury Hill and Bincombe
Start: Duck pond outside The Springhead Inn (Grid Ref: ST886187)
Map: OS Landranger Sheet 194
Public Transport: Coastline X53 to The Spice Ship, Preston near Sutton Poyntz
Dogs: On leads near sheep and other livestock and also on roads
Refreshments: The Springhead for lunches and bar meals