#Walkwednesday – East Knoyle round walk via West Knoyle

East KnoyleWell after the weather of the last week or so you’ll definitely need your boots for this one, it’s a 7 mile round walk through prime Dorset countryside. From the birthplace of Christoper Wren, East Knoyle via it’s sibling West Knoyle, you’ll go through Nature reserves, get great views over the Blackmore vale all with some gentle up and down.

Parking can be found in the church car park at East Knoyle,  following the route up towards Milton you’ll soon find yourself heading through the beautiful woods on Haddon Hill, and if you’re out this week you’ll get a wonderful view and smell of the bluebells. Mackintosh Davidson woodsNext head to the top of Cleeve Hill with stunning views across the Blackmore Vale and head down towards West Knoyle church following the road for a bit. You then head up to The Middles before coming back to East Knoyle via the Mackintosh Davidson Nature Reserve.The homeward stretch towards East Knoyle can have a detour if you fancy to the pub on The Green.

The walk can be downloaded via Viewranger for your mobile phone and is FREE to download as all of our routes are.

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Farnham round walk or off road cycle – take your pick!

The Museum FarnhamThis weeks #walkwednesday route is one we have created in Farnham, Dorset and is either a challenging 13.5 miles of walking, or a quick hour and a half on the Mountain bike – whichever you prefer. Set in an Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Cranbourne Chase, this is a walk or ride that takes in downs, ancient deer parks before delivering you back to a pub of course!

Parking starts at the Museum in Farnham (do make sure you stop in for a pint afterwards, it’s a cracker) and there’s a little bit of up and down to whet your appetite. You start off heading past Chettle Down where you can take a detour to look at an abandoned ancient settlement. View of Chettle Down from Dunspit LaneQuite a bit goes through Harbin’s Park which was once a Medieval deer park covering, more or less rectangular in shape and surrounded by a bank up to 16 feet (5 metres) wide and 5 feet (1.5 metres) high and a ditch over 15 feet (4.5 metres) wide. See if you can spot any of these features as you head around. You come back through Chettle which has been described as the perfect English Village before heading back to Farnham.

Chettle churchWe’ve put a map of the route up beloow, but if you’ve got Viewranger you can download this route for FREE on to your mobile and follow it around. Please note Walking or MTBing can be challenging activities, so do check out the weather and be honest about your level of fitness before setting off.



© CC The Museum Farnham by Bert 23 – Flickr 
© CC Chettle Church by jfarnhill Flickr
© CC Chettle Down by Toby

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Walk Wednesday route on the Gower – Pitton via Rhossili

Gower walk from Pitton via Rhossili - coast view to MewsladeThis weeks #walkwednesday route is a beautiful route taking in sea views and the inner countryside of the Gower. With gentle up and down across Rhossili downs plus countryside paths, it features some stiles returning via the cliff path towards Mewslade bay. The Gower is an area of outstanding natural beauty and after doing this walk it is not hard to see why. Getting the best of the sea views and the unspoilt interior you’ll leave this walk refreshed.

Although the map suggests a starting point down in the village of Pitton, you can just as easily start it from the parking for Mewslade Bay or at Rhossili beach itself. At just under nine miles it’s a perfect short days stroll – we reckon between easy and moderate. You can also get the route directly to your mobile if you have Viewranger as it is available FREE for anyone to download. Simply print or follow the route below and let us know how you got on in the comments below.

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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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Get outdoors over the bank holiday

Take advantage of Kate and Will’s kind gift of a free day off and get outdoors! If you’re not into sitting inside, glued to live footage of someone else’s shindig, the day of the Royal Wedding is the perfect time to escape, as beauty spots will be empty as would-be ramblers stay shackled to the TV. Here’s our list of where to go and what to do.

Catch the bluebells. Countryfile have a list of the best bluebell woods in the UK, 
whilst Visit Woods lets you type in your postcode and find the carpet of bluebells nearest to you.

The National Trust’s top 10 places to visit over easter are all stunners, from castles to rocky islands.

In need of inspiration? Live for the Outdoors have a fantastic destination guide. Click on the place nearest to you for walks on and off the beaten path.

If you feel more like celebrating than avoiding the big party, check out my list at Countryfileon the best ways to celebrate being British.

And if the weather doesn’t stay fine, you can always hang out indoors and prep your gear with LFTO’s handy guide to caring for boots, waterproofs and sleeping bags.

The Girl Outdoors

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Cliff Jumping

Need a little adrenaline in your life? May I suggest you search out your nearest tall rock (one with water below it, please) and hurl yourself off it.

As someone who gets jittery on the tops of tallish buildings I’m not the first person you’d think of when imagining a cliffjumping enthusiast, but an enthusiast I most definitely am. A few years ago I was surfing in Pembrokeshire near the Blue Lagoon (which has a pretty self explanatory name) and couldn’t resist jumping from the smallest of several cliffs. It was only about seven feet high, but I found the rush of cold blue water rushing up to meet me totally addictive.

Since then I’ve cliffjumped in a few places when I’ve been surfing – by far the best was the beach by Tintagel, in Cornwall. The water is a deep turquoise green and the cove is towered over by the remains of a castle that supposedly was the birthplace of King Arthur. There’s even a waterfall when the tide is right. Here too there are various smaller rocks and larger cliffs to jump off, making it safe for beginners as well as those who are a little braver.

You can, of course, get taught to cliff jump – go coasteering and you’ll be provided with a wetsuit, attractive helmet and guide, which I’d recommend if you’re nervous. But as long as you’re careful, cliff jumping is fine done freestyle.

Take basic precautions – don’t go alone, wear a wetsuit as deep water is cold (even in summer months), never jump from a height you’re unhappy with, make sure the water below you is free from rocks and obstructions, and jump straight and tall, with your legs together and your arms by your sides. It’s perfect for getting rid of the winter blues, I promise.

The Girl Outdoors

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