A 15 mile (24.5km) circular walk starting in Broad Chalke and ascends to reach the Old Shaftesbury Drove before crossing Chiselbury hillfort and then passing the Fovant Badges. After crossing Fir Hill the route heads through the villages of Fovant and Sutton Mandeville before heading over downland to Ebbesbourne Wake and Bowerchalk. There are fine views of the Fovant Badges and on the Cranborne Chase.
15 miles / 24.5km
5.5 – 6 hours
This walk starts from the car park of All Saints Church, Broad Chalke (Grid Ref: SU040253). Please park considerately and check to ensure that no church service is planned.
Leaving the car park by the entrance gateway turn left and walk along The Causeway soon crossing the River Ebble. At the road junction close to the Queens Head pub turn left and follow the High Road through the village as it sweeps to the right into North Street. As this road sweeps to the left continue straight on along Chalk Pyt Road (Grid Ref: SU038256) and stay on this lane as it leads through Chalk Pyt Farm. At a junction of paths in the farmyard (Grid Ref: SU037259) head north on a track going steadily uphill.
Where the track joins the Old Shaftesbury Drove on Compton Down (Grid Ref: SU033280) turn left heading west along the route of the ancient drove between the market towns of Salisbury and Shaftesbury.
After a mile on the drove (Grid Ref: SU019279) take a footpath on the right across a field of pasture to reach the Iron Age Chiselbury hillfort. This was a sizable fort covering approximately ten acres.
The way marked footpath reaches the edge of Fovant Down and then descends diagonally across the chalk escarpment going through the site of the famous Fovant Badges.
This path, steep in parts, leads to a gate (Grid Ref: SU013283) go through and follow a track to reach East Farm, here continue on to cross the A30 and continue straight on heading steadily uphill on Green Drove.
On reaching the edge of woodland (Grid Ref: SU006297) leave the track to join a footpath on the left. The footpath runs around the edge of the field besides woodland and passes the trig pillar on Fir Hill. As the trees end take another footpath on the right (Grid Ref: SU001293) through a kissing gate into a field of pasture to reach another kissing gate and follow the path downhill to reach the village of Fovant.
At a road on the outskirts of the village (Grid Ref: SU999293) turn left on the Dinton Road, at a fork go right to join Mary Barters Lane. This leads to Mill Lane here turn right passing the old watermill and then turn right along Tisbury Road. At a crossroads go straight on, now on Moor Hill, to continue through the village and then as the road sweeps to the right take a track on the left. (Grid Ref: ST994292)
Stay on this track for just over half a mile to the outskirts of the village of Sutton Mandeville. Here turn right towards the village along a lane, Sutton Hill. After passing a sign for the church continue along the lane for just over 150 metres before taking a footpath on the left (Grid Ref: ST985286). Head through a field to a stile and then continue steeply uphill through woodland.
At a junction of paths (Grid Ref: ST985285) turn right and follow the path along the edge of an arable field to rejoin Sutton Hill close to Larkhams Farm. Turn left along the lane and then take a right into Lagpond Lane (Grid Ref: ST980282). At the point where this lane turns sharp to the right take a drove on the left, Hut Lane Path, towards the A30.
After crossing the A30 (Grid Ref: ST978274) continue straight on along another track, Buxbury Hollow, which heads towards woodland where it starts a steady ascent up Buxbury Hill. After going through a gate onto access land (Grid Ref: ST982267) continue up the track. At a fork in the path (Grid Ref: ST984264) go right and pass the trig point at Sutton Down.
Continue along the track to reach the Old Shaftesbury Drove, (Grid Ref: ST981257) cross and keep heading south towards North Hill Farm. After passing the farm continue downhill to reach the edge of Ebbesbourne Wake joining a minor road which leads down to cross the River Ebble. Then take a left (Grid Ref: ST984242) to follow a lane, Duck Street running besides the river, signposted to the village centre.
At a fork in the road go right and join Hay Lane, following this to reach a minor road on the right, The Hollow, (Grid Ref: ST991240) take this and follow it until reaching a cottage on the left (Grid Ref: ST992238). Here take a bridleway on the left going steadily uphill towards Hill Farm.
Close to the farm buildings, which all appear to have been converted into homes, turn right along a track (Grid Ref: ST996234) and after about a hundred metres take a footpath on the left leading between properties and then across fields into a copse.
Emerging from the trees continue downhill crossing fields in a south eastern direction. On reaching a track (Grid Ref: SU012233) turn left and then just before a road take a path on the right (Grid Ref: SU013233). This leads to a minor road on the edge of the village of Bowerchalke (Grid Ref: SU013225) Here turn left to take a footpath along the edge of fields and running parallel to the road.
Stay with this path as it runs through the village and passes the church and cricket field. Join a road in the village, Church Road (Grid Ref: SU022234) and follow this for a short distance until reaching a footpath on the right leading through the farmyard at Knowle Farm. From here the route follows a tarmac farm road uphill to a junction of tracks (Grid Ref: SU029238). Go straight over to follow a track to Field Barn.
Soon after passing the barn and storage area take a right fork in the track (Grid Ref: SU031244) and stay with this route to go through a gate and head down to the edge of the village of Broad Chalke (Grid Ref: SU037253).
In the village turn right along South Street and follow this past some grand looking houses and the village hall. On reaching All Saints church take the footpath to the left of the church to return to the start point.
There are no public toilets.
Toilets available at the pubs & cafes on route (during opening hours).
Broad Chalke: Chalke Valley Stores Coffee Shop & Queens Head pub.
Ebbesbourne Wake: The Horseshoe Inn.
To download GPX and print map click “Learn More” below:
To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 118 – Shaftesbury & Cranborne Chase
A narrative of this walk with pictures, historical information and points of interest can be be viewed on my associated Two Dogs and an Awning website.
© The Walking Moonraker (2020)
All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it. To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.