The name Blackmore Vale sums up the
historic character of this area, once a royal
hunting ground – a “forest” for sport rather
than trees. This undulating landscape of the
River Stour and its main tributaries forms
the heart of northern Dorset, below the
escarpments of the Dorset Downs to the
south and Cranborne Chase to the east.
Doyen of Dorset walkers Rodney Legg has
chosen ten of his favourite walks in the area,
ranging around Stour Provost and Fifehead
Magdalen, Marnhull and Hinton St Mary,
Lydlinch and Stock Gaylard, Fifehead Neville
and Plumber Manor, Sturminster Newton and
Cutt Mill, Fiddleford and Hammoon,Okeford
Fitzpaine and Shillingstone, Habledon and
Hod, Hazelbury Bryan and Mappowder,
Bulbarrow and Woolland.
The ten circular walks, ranging from 3 to 8
miles, suit the needs of families, groups of
friends or individuals looking for a gentle
stroll or a longer walk, and reflect the many
varied facets of the area – its people, its
history, and its working landscape and will
help first time visitors to experience some
of the great scenery the area has to offer.
Many of the walks feature a pub along the
route. Halsgrove’s small-format guidebook,
containing maps, photographs and useful
information will ensure a great walking
experience. Packed with colour, the book
is an ideal reminder of a visit to the area.
Rodney Legg is a prolific author and
historian who has published hundreds
of country walks. Nationally he is active
in the environmental movement having
been chairman of the Open Spaces
Society since 1989 and a member of
the ruling council of the NationalTrust
from 1990 until 2009.
Imprint: PiXZ Books. ISBN 978 0 85710 022 1, hardback, 110x155mm, 64 pages. Published March 2011