From Shaftesbury, this circular walk takes you through the Nadder Valley and past the twin villages of Donhead St Mary and Donhead St Andrews.
Descending from picturesque Shaftesbury into the lush valley of the River Nadder, the route leads through woods and pastures through the tiny hamlets of Higher, Middle and Lower Combe. The chalk river fills ponds in the low ground and some of the paths can be narrow and wet, whilst the return is over the higher ground of Wincombe Park.
St Andrew's church at Donhead St Andrews is very tranquil and is worth a short visit and be sure to save time to visit Shaftesbury Abbey either before or after the walk.
The weather can play a big part in the trail conditions - if it's wet then be prepared for some sections to be quite slippery. There is some walking today on roads so beware of traffic and when walking through the fields, take care of the sheep!
Good sturdy and waterproof boots are a must and walking poles are suggested for some sections of the trip, a day pack with a rain jacket is best. High summer brings nettles and brambles, even in the good weather a pair of overtrousers can be useful.
Bring plenty of drinks and a snack or packed lunch.
At the beginning of this walk, before you leave Shaftesbury, you will pass a supermarket, a great place to grab some fruit and water to keep your energy up on the walk today. Although Shaftesbury is a small town, there are a couple of pharmacies in the town centre should you need any supplies.
Nearest Rail station Gillingham, Dorset
Buses Gillingham, Dorset to Shaftesbury
Long term parking is available behind the Tourist Information Office. This is usually included with the hotel facilities.