Walk - Barrow Circle

5.5 miles (8.8 km)

St Martin’s Church, Martinstown DT2 9JZ St Martin’s Church, Martinstown

Moderate - Some short strenuous sections, some stiles, uneven ground and road walking.

A superb walk with a few short climbs to reach the ridge for fantastic views and one the UK’s most spectacular Bronze Age cemeteries.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Portesham Dairy Farm Campsite

Jurassic Coast farm site 15 minutes' drive from Weymouth. Farm shop serving food and pub within 1-2 minutes' stroll. Well-spaced pitches and spotless facilities

Patricia's B&B

Walkers welcome at this B&B 5 mins from the SWCP. 2 rooms (double/twin)..

Number Five

18 Century pretty cottage, quiet location, private bathroom. Dogs welcome, open all year. Minimum 2 night stay

Sea Barn Farm Camping

Sea Barn Farm is probably the most beautiful licensed camping park in Dorset. Its spectacular views of the Fleet Lagoon, Lyme Bay and Jurassic Coast are breath taking. Ad

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the Green in front of St Martin’s Church cross road to Grove Hill. Follow roadway, past the Agricultural Machinery Sales and uphill until it veers right.

The village with two names - Winterborne St Martin or Martinstown. With a mediæval church and 19th Century sheep washing pool.

  1. Walk to small gate and fingerpost signed Great Hill and Hardy Monument ahead.

Go through gate and cross field to small gate into woodland. Follow path through wood, which leads into a field. Keeping to field edge walk towards the barrows you can see on the ridge ahead of you.

Stay on this path, ignore private road going off to the right. Look behind you here to see Clandon bowl barrow. Continue straight ahead on track

  1. Ignore footpath on the right and pass through a gateway. Follow track straight on until you reach a double gateway into a field.
  2. Go through and take footpath to the right, across field and up hill. Head towards small gate on skyline to the right above you.
  3. Go through the gate and walk to the right of the barrow ahead. Join a grassy track to a gateway ahead. Go through this gateway. You can see Hardy’s Monument on the ridge to the right here.

Hardy’s Monument - Tower built in memory of Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy of HMS Victory (National Trust).

Continue ahead, until you see the coastline.

  1. Join the South Dorset Ridgeway National Trail and turn right towards Hardy’s Monument.

Follow the South Dorset Ridgeway National Trail to Bronkham Hill. Explore the barrows of this Bronze Age cemetery, beware of the shake holes.

Bronkham Hill is well known as an early BronzeAgeCemetery with many round barrows - circular mounds, surrounded by a ditch or two and often accompanied by a bank. Built around 4,000 years ago for burials of cremated remains, there are several types.

Shake Holes - A steep-sided hole or funnel-shaped dip in the ground. These are formed when the ground falls into underground holes.

Continue on path following the South Dorset Ridgeway National Trail. Passing the Jubilee Trail fingerpost on your left.

  1. Walk on until you reach a small metal gate on right hand side.
  2. Go into this field, with two barrows on left and follow fence line until you come to a large metal gate and road.
  3. Turn right and walk down hill, (Care!) until you reach the entrance to Ballarat Farm on the left hand side.
  4. Turn left onto farm track. Stay on this track passing by houses and later farm buildings and continue on downhill until you reach a tarmac lane.
  5. Follow the lane to the right and then to its exit onto a road. Cross over and turn left.

Follow road for a short distance (Care!) and turn right into North Rew Lane.

  1. Immediately look for a footpath on the right and cross over stile.

Follow path through a small wood until you reach another stile. Cross over into a field. Walk along field edge until you reach a stile and gate on the right hand side. Cross the next two fields until you reach a stile. The uneven ground is the remains of the mediaeval village of Orchard or Rew. Cross stile to Church Farm.

Deserted village - All that remains of the mediæval village of Orchard or Rew.

At the farm house cross lane to stile straight ahead and walk along edge of a small field. Go over another stile and turn right. Walk downhill to fingerpost junction, continue ahead until tarmac lane the turn left. Pass the sheep washing pool on the left hand side and continue to road and pub ahead. Turn left to return to the church and bus stops.

Public transport

The village is well served by an hourly bus (Number 31) from Weymouth and Dorchester or Bridport.

Information is available from Traveline Tel 0871 200 2233 www.travelinesw.com


Parking is severely limited in Martinstown and walkers should consider using public transport.



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