3-2-1 Routes, Kingston Lacy estate, 3-mile route
Badbury Rings car park, off the B3082Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
A fascinating run that takes you along part of the famous Beech Avenue, round Badbury Rings Iron Age hill fort, past High Wood and The Oaks with its ancient trees.
- Bus stop
Start: Badbury Rings car park, heading south towards the main road (B3082); grid ref: ST 960032
Turn left before the road following the grass path alongside the beech avenue, heading south east.
This avenue of trees was planted in 1835 by William John Bankes to commemorate his mother. The beech avenue began life in 1835, when 365 and 366 trees were planted either side of the newly built road. It was created as a turnpike, or toll road, to the financial benefit of the land's owner, explorer and Dorset aristocrat William John Bankes. The avenue stretches for two and a half miles.
At Heron Drove car park turn left, climbing Heron Drove and heading north.
An ancient drove path with hedges on either side.
At the trackway junction of Heron Drove and High Wood, head straight on descending gradually towards King Down Farm.
In 1987 a tree was blown over in High Wood. Entangled in the roots was the burial place of a Bronze Age woman in the typical crouched position along with ceramic jars and pots. Further investigation revealed a previously unknown series of banks and ditches within the wood, which are of same period as the Badbury Rings but on a much smaller scale and the purpose is unknown. At the corner of High Wood is the Roman road from Hamworthy.
At the junction of tracks again continue straight on heading north and passing King Down Farm with the ancient woodland of the Oaks on your left.
At the north end of the Oaks turn left towards a gate, then right and immediately left again following the track around the periphery of the woodland.
This area has oak trees up to 800 years old. They have been pollarded to produce timber in the past. At the far end of the Oaks, you cross the Roman road to Old Saram (Salisbury). The road is a protected monument which is why we have been felling trees to prevent more damage.
Continue along the Oaks boundary until reaching a track, turn left then immediately right along the bridleway which descends in a south-westerly direction.
Upon reaching a gate go straight through and onwards over the rolling terrain and into the surroundings of Badbury Rings, which will be on your left.
This is an area of great historical interest with lots of evidence of Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman occupation. Badbury Rings is mostly known, for the Iron Age hill fort with its three rings. The innermost ring probably dates from 600-500BC and the middle one not much later.
End: Badbury Rings car park, heading south towards the main road (B3082); grid ref: ST 960032
- Trail: Running
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 3 miles (4.8km)
- Time: Approx. 30-45 minutes
- OS Map: Explorer 118
Grass, undulating, rough in parts, tracks, gravel, climb, scenic, rural, low traffic, non-residential, farmland. Dogs welcome, but must be kept on a lead if animals are grazing and when close to traffic.
- How to get here:
By car and bike:
- From Blandford: Take the B3082 towards Wimborne and Heron Drove car park is approximately 5.5 miles (8km) from Blandford on your left, opposite the turning for Sturminster Marshall
- From Wimborne: Take the B3082 towards Blandford and Heron Drove car park is approximately 3.5 miles (5.6km) from Wimborne on your right, opposite the turning for Sturminster Marshall
None - however Kingston Lacy shop and restaurant are only a mile away.
- Contact us