Child Okeford - Hammoon - Child Okeford

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The walk starts and ends on the edge of Child Okeford, an attractive village tucked away off the main road midway between Sturminster Newton and Blandford Forum. This is the heart of Blackmore Vale, Thomas Hardy's 'Vale of the Little Dairies'. Traversing water meadows by the River Stour on its way from the source at Stourhead to the sea at Christchurch, the route is almost completely level throughout, but there are good views to Hambledon Hill and the Dorset Downs. Wayfinding is easy.

Hammoon is a hamlet by the Stour with a mysterious and on damp, misty days, sometimes slightly eerie atmosphere. Its church dates from the mid-13th Century. Close to the church is Hammoon Manor, dating from around 1500, with thatched roof, Tuscan columns and mullioned Tudor windows. The Saxons called the hamlet Hamm, meaning home. After William the Conqueror it became the home of William of Moyon.

There are two pubs in Child Okeford, The Baker's Arms (ST 834127) and the Saxon Inn (ST 829133). The Saxon Inn, which has been found to serve good food and drink, is close to Waymark 13. To reach it, turn right onto the road at Waymark 13, instead of left for Waymark 14; the pub will be found after a very short distance, set back from the road on the left.

As noted, much of the route is across water meadow and it may not be easily passable after the river has been in flood.

England - South West England - Dorset - Countryside


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Good for Kids, Great Views, Pub, Restaurant, River, Wildlife

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