Fontmell Down walk

Walking trail

Fontmell Down was bought in memory of English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, to protect the landscape in which his novels of the Blackmore Vale are set. On this short walk you will discover an open expanse of flowery downland, excellent butterfly populations and magnificent views.

Close up of poppies against green grassland at Fontmell Downs

Map

An image of the map for the Fontmell Down walk

Start:

Car park at the top of Spread Eagle Hill, grid ref ST886187

1

From the car park walk straight out across Fontmell Down.

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Cross dykes (thought to be territorial boundary markers) visible on Clubmen's Down at Fontmell Down

2

Cross over the cross dyke (a bank and ditch.)

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Cross dykes (thought to be territorial boundary markers) visible on Clubmen's Down at Fontmell Down

3

Once over the dyke, turn left and walk through the gate. Head left, back up the down, in a direction towards the main Shaftesbury/ Blandford road.

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Cowslips in the grassland on Fontmell Down

4

Finally you will come to a small wooden gate on your left. Go through the pedestrian gate and follow the path along the road which will bring you back to the car park.

End:

Car park at the top of Spread Eagle Hill, grid ref ST886187

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Fontmell Down walk

Terrain

The down has open access, so you can explore the whole area. The well used paths and tracks include steep slopes, with uneven surfaces which become muddy and slippery after wet weather. Dogs are welcome under close control, as livestock grazes the down.

Fontmell Down walk

Contact us

For more information please contact the Ranger Clive Whitbourn on 07788 480686 or by email.

Fontmell Down walk

How to get here

Address
The car park at the top of Spread Eagle Hill
By road

From Shaftesbury head south on B3081 and follow signs to Melbury Abbas. There is a car park on the right at the top of Spread Eagle Hill, just before the left turn to Compton Abbas Airfield.

By bus

From Shaftesbury take the Wilts & Dorset service 182 to Compton Abbas and Fontmell Magna.

By bicycle

The North Dorset Cycle Way passes through Shaftesbury and runs just south of the estate, passing through the village of Fontmell Magna.

Fontmell Down walk

Facilities and access

  • Pub in Fontmell Magna
  • Restaurant at Compton Abbas Airfield