• Start: Nether Compton
  • End: Nether Compton
  • Country: England
  • County: Dorset
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: The Griffin’s Head, Nether Compton and the Rose and Crown at Trent for bar meals and a drink
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Landranger Sheet 183
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Edward Griffiths explores the valley fields, ancient woods and pretty villages of this picturesque corner of north-west Dorset

Nether Compton and Trent

Edward Griffiths explores the valley fields, ancient woods and pretty villages of this picturesque corner of north-west Dorset

In the far left corner of Dorset, almost into Somerset, there are some truly exquisite houses and cottages built from the local Ham Hill stone for which this area is rightly famous. Surrounding these houses is the most glorious countryside, with low valley fields and high ancient woods, crossed by a lattice of ancient tracks, worn deep by centuries of continuous use by travellers, traders and itinerant workers. This fine walk takes in the three villages of Nether Compton, Over Compton and Trent, all charming and blessed with elegant churches and stately manor houses. at Trent, Turners almshouses, built in 1846, feature an octagonal well-head in the yard. There are magnificent views and delightful hollow-way tracks to follow.


Start: Nether Compton village green, north of St Nicholas Church (Reference ST598173)
Distance: 4 miles (7.25km)
Time: 3 hours
Exertion: Easy to moderate. Early gentle ascent, then softly-undulating ancient tracks and lanes to Trent, and finishing with easy cross-field ambles.
Map: OS Landranger Sheet 183Public
Transport: South West Coaches 36, First Somerset and Avon 57, 58 and 158
Dogs: On leads in fields where there is livestock and through villages
Refreshments: The Griffins Head, Nether Compton and the Rose and Crown at Trent for bar meals and a drink

The Walk

1 From the village green, with the church at the south-east end, walk to the Over Compton 1 turning. along this lane, passing right and left cottages, turn left into Flax lane, through the pillared gateway. walk up the drive with the right field and, on the left bend, go over the right footpath-arrowed stile. walk up the field alongside the left hedge to the Nether ComptoN and treNtEdward Griffiths explores the valley fields, ancient woods and pretty villages of this picturesque corner of north-west Dorsetfootpath half-gate onto the woodland gravel path into parkland. Follow the left hedge to the elegant stone Compton House. at the two-way pointer, go left with St Michaels Church on the left, then between elegant outbuildings to a fork with the old Manor House on your left. Go straight down the track with the left lake. Through the footpath-gate, fork right rising through the woods for keepers Cottage.

2 Before keepers Cottage, fork right onto the sign-posted footpath-track. Up, over and down to a gate, go throughand follow the grass track through the young wood, passing a footpath-arrow post and a right footpath-gate. Reaching the facing gap into a field, dont go through but zig-zag right-left onto the path inside the woods edge. Rising into a deep canyon with gnarled tree-roots, pass a left caged tunnel, ignore the left turning and the later right turn, and descend the sunken track to the road. Turn left, meandering past Stallens houses. Past Middle Farm, Stallen Cottage and Hill House, take the right unsigned, cobbled track before the left stone arched gateway ahead.

3 Rising and sunken, continue until you emerge from the trees with lovely views both sides and zig-zagging a couple of times. Over the top, continue with scattered oaks and fine views. Just before a right barn, turn left onto the hedged grassy and level track. Entering another wood, turn left at the tracks triangle, descending to a gate and continuing down to Monarchs way gates. Through into the large field with Charlock Hill to your right, follow the green track down the valley to the bridleway half-gate onto the hedged and fenced track with views to Yeovil in Somerset. Bearing left at a facing bridleway-post, continue for mile.

4 Past a left barn and thatched cottage, the track becomes a tarmac lane to the four-ways junction with a right pond and seat. Passing Plot lane left continue along the lane, passing right Rigg lane with a fine house with stone-mullioned windows. Pass left Mill lane, several right turnings and the old Post Office. Reaching the T-junction, turn left for Over Compton and Rose and Crown, passing Turners Close almshouses opposite the Manor House. Reaching right St andrews Church, turn left to the Rose and Crown. Go over the footpath-stile against the inns left wall, and bear slightly right across the field to the footpath-arrowed footbridge.

5 Over this, cross the lane into the opposite field and follow the right hedge, continuing down to the hedge gap, with three arrows on the other side. Into the next field, turn right along the right hedge to the footpath-stile up into another field. Cross this one between the solitary tree and electricity stanchion to the corner footpath-stile left of some houses. Over the stile, turn right along garden fences to the footpath-gate onto the footpath. at the end, signed back to Trent and with Crossfields right, turn left. Reaching the Griffins Head, turn right back to the village green.

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