Sixpenny Handley Dorset round walk.

Sixpenny Handley round walk

This weeks #walkwednesday route we thought we would post here for you to share. This is a cracking walk we did as part of the Dorset Backpackers meet recently. We were camping at Church Farm for the weekend, but you can start at the Church instead and walk through to the start. Starting at Sixpenny Handley you walk through prime Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire countryside taking in woods, fields and stunning views from the top of Pentridge Down.
START OS ST 9956 1727

Distance: 17 km (10 miles)

Max Altitude: 182 m

Min Altitude: 72 m

Height Gain: 323 m

Height Loss: 332 m

  • Starting at the church, take the left hand turning on the corner of the road outside to head up to Church Farm campsite.
  • Go past the campsites cafe/toilet block on the left hand side and turn right through a gap in the hedge following a path to the left hand side of the track.
  • Come out through a gap in the hedge and follow the right hand side of the field. Turn left along the boundary of the second field you come to and head for the houses opposite.

start of the walk

  • Once over the field cross the stile and carry straight on up Oaskley Lane which becomes a track.
  • Keep following the path until you cross the A354, take a path to the left hand side of the garage and follow the path in to the middle of the next field, heading slightly right away from the left hand edge of the field.
  • The post pointing the way was down so pay attention! When in the centre of the field you join another path from behind and head down and left to the bottom corner of the field.
  • Go through a gate and join a track until you get to a muddy T Junction where you head right, bending round to the left steeply uphill.
  • Head left for the clump of gorse bushes in the centre of Pentridge Hill and up to a wooded area to join a path to the right of it.

view from Pentridge down

  • Follow the ridge on Pentridge Down with some quite stunning views. Bear left away from the path downhill towards a farm.
  • Rejoin the path heading past Whitey Top Farm and turn left along the road at the bottom (Earthpits Lane).
  • Take the first road on the right (Morgans Lane) and swing left in between the buildings following the path to Pentridge Church – a super lunch spot.

St Rumbolds, Pentridge

  • Coming back out of the church, head left up on the path in front of cottages to follow the left hand side of the field back on to the road.
  • At a sharp dog leg left on the left (Peaked Post), follow the path to the right through a wooded section and take the left hand branch shortly afterwards.
  • Follow the path along the right hand side of the field then switch to the other side of the hedge half way along towards Bokerley Farm.
  • Follow the path to the road and turn left and cross the A354 to take the road virtually opposite in to Woodyates.
  • Where the road curves to the right, take the path off to the left and follow the path behind some houses, tracking the path as it curves around to cross over the road up to Woodyates Manor. Continue following the path on a solid track across fields until you come to a road.
  • Follow the road for a short distance and then turn right in to Garston Wood. Follow the path through the wood then turn left along a path heading left out of the wood along fields.
  • It get’s a little muddy here but keep going with a hedge on your left hand side until you get to a quiet road – turn left.
  • After a couple of hundred yards or so find a path heading downhill to the left of a group of houses to join Dean Lane. Turn left.
  • Follw Dean lane past the road on your right (dean lane drove) then take a right afterwards to follow a footpath up the hill.
  • Keep following the path before taking a sharp left through a gate in to the campsite and back to the camp or church.

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The Grass is Greener Down the Road

So often I find myself wishing I was somewhere else. Or at least, that the someplace here (wherever that may be at that time) was just some little bit different….

Cycling in British Columbia

When I was in rainy Montana, I longed for the dry desert. After a month in the forests of British Columbia and I dreamed of barren lands. The cold, snowy passes of Utah and freezing nights in the high valleys of Nevada and I was looking forward to speeding south to warmer climes.

Freezing hands in the snow

While rushing along the busy interstate to Las Vegas, I pictured empty dirt tracks down the Baja peninsula, but when I got there, the corrugated paths and loose sand were not so fun afterall.

Las Vegas Strip

And now I’ve come south to a low land of sun, the sweltering heat and endless sweating find me once again looking forward to the interior highlands. Although I know that whem I get there I’ll be cursing the hills!

Dirt roads of Baja

Of course, all these places are great for a while. But familiarity breeds contempt and the road ahead always looks better. Perhaps that is what keeps me moving…

Fun cycling through the Red Canyon

I just occasionally have to remind myself to enjoy the here and now too, while it lasts. Because the here and now can only be had once and it’s a pretty darn good place to be, all things considered.

Cacti at sunset

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Going Lighter – Can you make a vest out of a sleeping bag?

We’re pretty chuffed to have worked with some fairly interesting bloggers in our outdoor testing crew, but one of the most exciting for us has been Antoine Sachs, a french outdoors nut who blogs over at Chronique sans Carbones. When he dropped us a line to say that he was going to start making his own gear we were pretty made up, and we asked him to send us his first creation. 7 months later a rather interesting package turned up on our doorstep.

Antoines down comforter

arty shot

He’s called it his down comforter, and it can either be used as a quilt, as a wrap around insulation vest/piece that will fit underneath an outer shell, as an under hammock insulation piece, or as a seriously warm blanket inside the house when watching Eastenders (Antoine made us put that bit it in!). We’re pretty bowled over by the weight coming in at just 550g. Here’s some more photos of it lying nonchalantly on our conference room table.

dyneema cording

take it from the top

One of the issues with sleeping bags for those looking to reduce the weight of their pack is the dead weight of insulation underneath the sleeping bag that you lie on. As it’s compressed, it offers no warmth at all. The comforter gets rid of this wasted insulation by acting as a quilt with ties to fasten either under your body or under your mattress so that just your top half is insulated. It then has drawcords at the at the top and bottom with your sleeping mattress underneath insulating you from the ground.

You can also with a little fiddling use it as an insulated vest, wrapping it around your head and Torso. We’ve yet to perfect the knack but we’ll hopefully have an online Skype demo from Antoine soon. If that works well it would mean the weight savings from having a sleeping bag and jacket combined would be substantial.

The one we have been sent is a size medium with 350g of 860 European Fill down on the inside. The quality of the piece is immediately apparent, it lofted faster than a speeding bullet. He’s currently using Yeti to manufacture it, but this could change. We’ve stocked Yeti in the past and know that their stuff is on a par with Western Mountaineering as a comparison.

Antoine reckons it will work down to -10 as an insulation piece under a hard shell or external jacket. Your jacket would need to be a little baggier than normal for the comforter to loft and work properly. As a sleeping system he thinks it’s more suitable down to 0c, possibly -5c if you use a close bivvy bag to help trap air more effectively.

top drawcord

We had a chance to test it this weekend, and based on our feedback and others, Antoine is looking to make some adjustments to the connectors. In the meantime the question we want to ask you is, if we stocked something like this, would you be interested in it? What would you expect to pay for the comforter?

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Freshly baked Keen

It’s that time of year when the brands come a calling and we get a sneak peak in to what they have coming up for Autumn / Winter 2012. Today it was the turn of the lovely Jilly from Keen who usually brings us cake, but in true new year style brought apples. For the record Jilly, it’s cake all the way please for the Webtogs crew…..

Two things caught our eye, first up, the Brice, an urban trekking boot and shoe. It looks different with no heel break giving you whole sole traction. It’s got the traditional Keen dry waterproof layer but with an additional perforated foam section around the membrane to pump out hot air.

look no heel break! 

ladies brice boots

lasses brice shoes

blokes brice boots

lads brice shoes

kumas favourite

These are pretty multipurpose, we can see ourselves heading out and about in town and straight on to some tracks in these, and the colours are fab. We’re loving the green in particular.  £110 for the boots £105 for the shoes

Next up the return of a favourite with the KeenKlamath coming back on the scene.  Good torsion control, external heel support, quality leather on the outside, it looks traditional but with a modern twist. Great for hills in the UK where keeping the elements out is the all important part.

The klamath is back and looking mean

klamath got soul

klamath heel support

 Now, when’s Autumn due again?

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