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Dorset Group 10 Jul 22: Charminster Down and the Cerne Valley

Fantastic weather for our walk today, starting in the village of Charminster, from the new village hall, walking north westerly along Charminster Down with splendid views of the Cerne river valley. Then on to to Stratton Down with more fine views, eventually arriving at Jackmans cross, a large stone cross celebrating the turn of the century 22 years ago, consecrated then by the Bishop of Sherborne, where we stopped for a coffee break. We then continued along the ridge northwards with great views of corn fields to the west, eventually taking the steep lane eastwards down to the beautiful village of Grimstone where we stopped at the 11th Century Holy Trinity Church to relax under the shade of trees to enjoy our picnic.

After lunch we crossed the road, past the Smiths Arms, the smallest pub in England but now sadly closed, to follow the River Cerne back down the valley, past Forston Farm with sheds containing a collection of steam engines and old tractors. We then passed through wheat fields towards Charlton Down, the relatively new urban settlement and then along Mill Lane back into Charminster village past the church to a welcome drink at the Three Compasses Pub after a more than 9 mile walk in beautiful scenery and rather hot weather!


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