• Circular walk: 8 miles
  • what3words address for parking: ///forgiven.titles.helping. There is a small car park off the B3165 and the W3W address will take you to the turn off from the road. The parking area is a couple of hundred yards further down the track. If you are coming from the Marshwood side it’s a sharp left turn that’s easy to miss.
  • GPX File

We walked this clockwise. This was a lovely walk with plenty of variety: fabulous views towards the coast from Lambert’s Hill, open meadows and woodland. We walked this in late May and it had been dry for a week but after wet weather there would, I think, be several very muddy sections.

You can access Lambert’s Castle directly from the car park but we decided to cross the B3165 (because … why not?)  and follow a track that goes steeply down hill from the road and then turns east at ‘Bridewell’ before looping back towards the B road on a track at Hawkmoor Hill. We then crossed the road again and followed the footpath up the hill. A shorter walk directly from the car park would miss this detour out and I’m not sure that you would be missing anything much, apart from a little more peace and quiet.

The route then takes you south over Lambert’s castle, where we wandered around for a while, and then along ‘Combe Drain’ past Coney’s Castle. A road goes over Coney’s Castle and there is a car park here, but we didn’t want to walk on the road so stuck to the track along the bottom of the hill.

Continuing south on the Wessex Ridgeway we forked west just before Wooton Fitzpaine on a section of the track marked as the Liberty Trail on OS maps. You need to concentrate on your map/observation skills beyond Meerhay farm as the paths are not always clearly marked and there are a lot of path options in the next mile or so.

Once you reach Stubb’s Farm the track turns back north, skirting the woodland at Wooton Hill before the final section taking you back to the car park.

Although this was an eight mile walk we met almost nobody else (a dog walker and a farmer on a quad bike!) and it was great to be out in such a beautiful, peaceful place; for a few minutes, on the top of Lambert’s Castle, we stood in complete silence – not even birdsong. We also really enjoyed the wild flower meadows – lots of buttercups, but also lots of other flowering plants to enjoy.

Although this was eight miles we both felt like we had walked more than this. There are lots of slow, long inclines as well as steeper ones and walking through deep grass is surprisingly energy sapping! Perhaps we should have had a bigger breakfast…

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