Bere Regis - Black Hill Heath - Piddle Wood - Bere Regis

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The walk starts and ends in Bere Regis, situated in the valley of the Bere Stream that feeds the numerous watercress beds around the village. This is Thomas Hardy's 'Kingsbere' in his novel 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles', which he describes as a 'half dead townlet'. Today the village has a tranquillity that is easy to appreciate.

Hardy's fictional d'Urbervilles were based on the real life family of the Turbervilles, who were Lords of the Manor from the 13th to the 18th Century. The Turbervilles lived in Wool Manor House next to Wool Bridge, just a few miles from Bere Regis. Also featuring in Hardy's novel is the village church of St John the Baptist, visible from the start of the walk. It is renowned for its carved roof depicting the twelve apostles and also contains the stained glass Turberville window and the family's 16th Century tomb.

The first part of the walk involves a gentle climb to Black Hill Heath, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with some distant views to the north and south, after which the path leads to a lovely section through Piddle Wood, before descending to Turners Puddle. Another gentle climb leads back to the heath above the village and the descent back to the start.

There is a choice of refreshment opportunities in the village, with both the Drax Arms and Royal Oak in West Street, near the start of the walk, serving food and drink. Nearby attractions at Bovington include Monkey World, www.monkeyworld.org, and the Tank Museum, www.tankmuseum.org.

England - South West England - Dorset - Countryside

Features

Butterflies, Church, Great Views, Pub, Wildlife, Woodland

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