The DogPeople Blog
Dog friendly articles and ideas
Start points. Walk 1, public car park off Station Road, Sturminster Newton, Dorset. Walk 2, free car park (Dorset Wildlife Trust) near Broad Oak village (turn off by The Bull pub), south of A357 and Sturminster Newton, Dorset.
Lottie stayed in June 2016 at The Woodshed (managed by holidaycottages.co.uk) near Sturminster Newton, Dorset. We did lots of walks around the local area on footpaths, bridleways and long distance paths. We thought we would share a couple of ideas for easy going walks that we enjoyed.
Walk one, about two miles long starts from the main car park at Sturminster Newton and goes to Fiddleford Mill and back. We did this walk a couple of times as a there and back and also as part of a longer walk (see walk two below). The walk is mainly on a flat gravelled surface called the Trailway as it the route of the former Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway closed in 1966. As the track crosses the river Stour you can take a small path on right down to field and follow the river bank round to the weir and old mill via some footbridges. One of party who uses a walking stick managed to climb over the footbridge ends (Lottie jumped these). Less mobile persons (or dogs) may prefer to cross the main bridge and then bear right twice on the track to reach the mill. As an alternative option to return there is a nice footpath back through the fields (one field had dairy cattle when we walked, we gave them a wide berth but they were no trouble). Lottie was off the lead on the Trailway section of the walk. Note there are rubbish / dog poop bins close to the town end of the walk.
On walk two we started from the cottage we were staying in and walked to Fiddleford Mill via Piddles Wood. Piddles Wood is close to the village of Broad Oak which is located south of the town and A357. The wood is owned by Hinton St. Mary Estates and part of it is leased to Dorset Wildlife Trust. The circular walk we did was about 6 miles in total including Fiddleford Mill, and the Trailway. Lottie was off lead for about half of the walk. We used a bridleway to get from the wood down to the A357. Take great care crossing the road and then go straight into Calf Close Lane to get to Fiddleford Mill. Alternatively there are shorter but very pleasant walks around Piddles Wood including a 1.5 mile circular nature trail. There is a small free car park at the entrance to Piddles Wood.