A dog friendly walk from DogPeople

A dog-friendly walk from DogPeople
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Warren House and Challacombe Down circular (5 ½ miles moderate)

PL20 6TA

This route starts from the car park just below Warren House Inn on the B3212 at grid reference SX 675 810.  Leave the car park via a clear track from the corner of the car park between two posts – there was a low metal cable between them when we walked.  Follow the track downhill until a distinct path forks off right where the track bends hard left.  Descend the rocky path to the ruins of a disused mine (Vitifer Mine) then cross a stone 'bridge across a stream).

Once over the stream TURN RIGHT on clear track – a bridleway – towards a wood.  Another bridleway forks left just after the turn – keep ahead towards the woods.  Go through a wooden gate to reach a finger post near another ruined mine.  Ahead is a footpath to road near Headland and Challacombe right is a bridleway (Soussons Farm).  An alternative and slightly shorter route is available here – it also avoids the bovines we encountered later – but we did not walk it.  Keep ahead on the footpath until you reach ## in these instructions, just short of Challacombe Farm.

TURN RIGHT onto the bridleway passing the ruined buildings (because this way was very wet when we walked we actually went ahead on the footpath a short way before turning right then left to re-join the bridleway a little further on).  Follow the bridleway as it climbs up a well made forest track into the wood.  Keep ahead as a track forks off to the right.  As the track descends a little and bends hard left KEEP AHEAD on a clear but unmade track.  This is signed by a finger post 'Bridlepath to Soussons Farm'.  Follow the track through the woods at first then cross a forest track as the farm comes into view.  KEEP AHEAD as indicated by a finger post to reach a wooden gate, then AHEAD again keeping to the top right hand side of the field (there were bovines in this field when we walked).  Just before the farm, and a gate leaving the field, turn diagonally left to pass a blue arrow marker on a post (do not go through the gate!).  Cross a boggy area and stream via stepping stones then BEAR LEFT as indicated by another blue arrow marker post.  Keep to the right hand side of the field close to a fence (you are still in the same field but are now walking the opposite boundary.  Keep ahead past a gate (marked with end of open access land discs).  At the end of the fence KEEP AHEAD (as indicated by a very weathered path marker) towards a gate in a dry stone wall.  Go through the gate (off its hinges when we walked) then BEAR RIGHT now with the wall on your right hand side.  Follow a clear path downhill to pass over a stream and reach a five bar wooden gate (with a stile and dog flap on its right hand side).

GO AHEAD through the gate – note a Challacombe Farm information board on a stone just inside the field.  Keep more-or-less ahead on a green track (just to the right of the board) as it winds its way up around the right hand side of the hill.  As the track starts to descend a wall joins on the left.  GO AHEAD through a five bar gate towards the farm. Just beyond the gate a track joins from the left (## the footpath from Bennett's Cross) – KEEP AHEAD on the bridleway then through a five bar gate aiming to the right of buildings ahead.  Join a metalled drive in front of the buildings and keep ahead as indicated by a bridle path fingerpost.  Go through two wooden gates as the metalled drive goes right, pass some cottages on your left-hand side (LHS) then through another wooden gate.  KEEP AHEAD on a green track with the remains of a dry stone wall on your LHS at first.  There a couple of large flat stones on the next section – ideal for a refreshment break whilst you contemplate the odd pattern of dry stone walls on the opposite side of the valley (RHS) – a left over from this farm's medieval past?  KEEP AHEAD past another information board then through another wooden gate towards the buildings of Headland Warren Farm.  Go through a wooden gate to enter farmyard making sure you keep your dog under close control.  Join the drive, keep left to pass to the front of the farm buildings to reach another wooden gate with a bridle path marker.  When Hamish did the walk there was a large well controlled German Shepherd outside and a Bull Mastiff inside the farmhouse. 

Just beyond the gate reach a tracks junction with a three-way finger post.  TURN RIGHT as indicated bridle path to road near Grimspound. At next fork keep right uphill and follow clear path up to a metalled road.  TURN LEFT on road, continue gently uphill passing parking area on RHS then 40 mile per hour speed limit painted on road.  Less than 100 metres past the painted road sign TURN LEFT on a clearly walked footpath (Two Moors Way) across the moor.  There is also a clear footpath going right at this point next to the remains of old stone wall. Continue on the path across the moor in a generally westerly direction, going gently uphill.  There are good views to the right (North).  Go over brow of hill, views to the West and also ahead to the white pub building near the start of the walk.  Pass a low stone shelter on your LHS and follow path downhill towards road.  Just before road and an old stone cross (Bennett's Cross) take a left hand fork passing behind a car park.  Our route takes an un-marked minor path more or less parallel to the road.  The path bends away from the road occasionally so keep right if the path forks and just before the car park cross over a green track.  Alternatively walk along the road from the stone cross to return to the car park.

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