Champernhayes - Monkton Wyld - Wootton Fitzpaine

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Champernhayes is situated on the gentle slope of a West Dorset hillside, with woodland above and a stunning view of many square miles of fields below. The tiny village of Wootton Fitzpaine is just half a mile away to the east, down a twisting lane. The whole area is designated as one of outstanding natural beauty and is easily accessible from the A35 road. Southerly views are to the sea at Charmouth, two miles away. Just over the hill is the charming historic port of Lyme Regis.

Wootton (or Wotton) Fitzpaine lies in the west of the county of Dorset and is a coastal parish. To the west is Hawkchurch, Marshwood is to the north and to the east lies Symondsbury, Chideock and Catherston Lewiston, with Charmouth and Lyme Regis to the south. A small branch of the River Char runs through the parish. The church (dedication unknown) is ancient and of stone construction. It comprises chancel, nave, north transept, south aisle, south porch and a plain western tower with one bell.

Monkton Wyld has fewer than ten houses near the splendid Victorian church, but the area has about the same number of farm settlements and more isolated houses. The church was built in 1849. The spire is 120ft high. It is made of chert stone and a dressing of Caen stone. The richly decorated Victorian interior of the church is worth visiting; the painted ceiling of the chancel and rood screen are particularly fine examples of the period. In the churchyard wall there is an original Victorian letterbox and a war memorial stands in front of the lychgate.

The countryside within the parish is particularly unspoilt, with steep wooded hillsides. The hillside farms have ancient oaks and much flower-filled unimproved meadow, but on the top of the western ridge are flatter fields running along the Devon boundary, with improved grassland. Many of the farms still have traditional stone buildings.

England - South West England - Devon - Countryside


Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, National Trust, River, Wildlife, Woodland
9/4/2023 - IAN LITTLER

Completed this walk 2 days ago. Had exactly the same problem with 14, could not find the fourth gate at the top left corner of the field, so had to return and walk along the road instead. Also could not find the barn mentioned in 10. we carried on the monarch to the road instead. Finally, at 9 'go towards the white building' should also mention that this path is very steep and can be overgrown at at present. Otherwise a pleasant walk!!

4/18/2021 - Marilu Peries

Did this walk while staying at Champernhayes, it was lovely! There are a lot of fields at the end which we didn't have any trouble with but can see how someone might get turned around. Good idea to bring a GPS/the app to make sure you're on course.

5/26/2013 - Paul and Tracy Dawson

We did this walk yesterday, on a bright sunny day, so could take full advantage of the stunning views and countryside. I know the 2 Michaels comments about point 14 were a few years ago, we exited the field ok, but the path to the left of the fence is too overgrown to pass through,so we went through the metal gate at the top of the field, then found the 2 stiles. Some of the path ways over streams, through points 6 to 7, have been washed away due to the rain, access through has been fenced off with no obvious detour, so we carried on through and made our own way through the streams. The paths will no doubt, in time, be fixed by the Forestry Commission. Also, we had 2 GPS's with us and made the walk 7.6 miles long?

9/5/2009 - Roy Davenport

I checked this walk last December and could find no problems with it. It is a popular walk with 28 downloads in the first 6 months of this year and as far as I know nobody else going astray. There is a fourth gate in one field which is over to the left of the walk. I think the 2 Michaels have turned left through this gate instead of continuing straight ahead to the fourth gate. RD

9/1/2009 - Michael Hare

30/8/09 Michael Hare I agree with Michael Miller. We actually started the walk from Wooton Fitzpaine as we were staying in the village; we found our way past the farmbuildings easily enough (signposted "Guppy")but when it came to No 14 (364961) there was no way could we find a way out of the field. A path had been cut through the growing maize and we tried just about every corner of the field but reached dead ends everytime with NO way out and not even a fence to follow. After a frustrating half an hour or so - trying every field we could! - we had no option but to return to the road and walk on this up to the wooded area and car park which is the designated start. Apart from this frustrating start this is a really pleasant walk with some really lovely rolling countryside!

1/22/2009 - Walkingworld Administrator

This walk has been checked again, December 2008 and nothing could be found wrong. Please always remember to take the map supplied by Walkingworld and follow the directions and photos supplied by the contributor.

10/16/2008 - Walkingworld Administrator

Thanks Michael. The map's eastings have been corrected and the first grid ref is OK (rounded up a little). We are checking out the gates, the hedge and the gap at wms 13 and 14 - looks like some changes may have occurred. If anyone is using this guide please let us know about it. Chris, Walkingworld

10/14/2008 - Michael Mller

Firstly, the grid references on the foot of the map and the start grid reference have typographical errors. Secondly, the walk was excellent until we reached numbers 13 and 14. After the 4th gate we were at a loss as No 14's words don't even make a sentence and what were we supposed to do at the gap which we never found? Having gone through a gate 3 times and crossed 2 fields we didn't find a fence so retraced our steps and went back to to the village and back to the car park by road, making it a longer walk. It was very frustrating as we had done so well up until then. Please read No 14 and re-write to help others!