It is generally agreed that circular walks into the countryside of roughly one to three miles are the most popular with walkers, especially for the less able and for dog walkers. However, many of our paths out from the Village have no link with other paths, so it is sometimes not possible to achieve that short, round walk.
Ramblers and other walking groups tend to walk longer distances in half or full days, and therefore on these longer routes it is easier to find different ways back to the start.
Creating a new link path is not always easy. There are two types of paths – a dedicated path that will appear on the official map, or a permissive path that the Landowner permits, but reserves the right to withdraw. The Neighbourhood Plan is looking into ways of linking the current network of paths around the Parish to form more of the ideal circular walks that would be the most popular.
Puddletown has a number of good paths into the countryside, consisting of both Footpaths and Bridleways, some examples of which are given below:
- Two of these bridleways start from Three Lanes End and can be linked to make a round walk, or even a ride or cycle.
- The Byway, known as Rod Hill Lane, that starts at the Doctors’ Surgery and later turns in to a bridleway is the old route between the Old Manor (Ilsington House) and Ilsington Farm on the Tincleton Road. There is a gate and stile which gives options of a return to the village via either the Kennels, the Forest, or the Forest Road. This route in total would make a four or five mile outing.
- There are several excellent walks or rides that start at Athelhampton and Burleston, one of them a direct off road link with Tolpuddle. Unfortunately, at the moment the only link to this walk from Puddletown is on the road, however the Parish Council are looking into provide a foot or cycleway on this part of the walk.
- A very pleasant footpath runs from the Blandford Road just up from the Northbrook Roundabout. It takes you up to the Dewlish Road with the options of a footpath to the Chesilbourne Road, or a bridleway to the Blandford Road at the top of Basan Hill. Again, there is no off road return to the Village.
- The footpath from Kingsmead is a direct route between the two schools and it is likely that the County Council would consider improving the surface if it were regularly used as a walk to school.