GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Gillingham Dorset Walks - Near and Around

14 miles (22 km)

Gillingham is notable as the most northerly town in the county of Dorset. There's some lovely country walks along the River Stour and a significant National Trust property within walking distance of the town. Gillingham also plays a part inThomas Hardy's novels as the fictional Leddenton.
This circular walk from the town follows the Stour Valley Way north to visit one of the highlights of the area at Stourhead. There's some lovely Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire countryside to enjoy as you pass the point where the three counties meet near Bourton.
The walk starts in the town and heads west to pick up the Stour Valley Way. Follow the waymarked footpath north and it will take you to Milton on Stour, Silton and Bourton. The attractive village is notable as the most northerly in Dorset, located on the border withSomersetandWiltshire. The route continues to Bonham before passing the pretty New Lake and turning east to Stourton and the Stourhead Estate.
After exploring the estate you follow country lanes south to Zeals, Wolverton and Milton on Stour before returning to Gillingham.

Gillingham OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Gillingham Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Walks near Gillingham

  • Stour Valley Way - This splendid walk takes you along the River Stour from Hengistbury Head on the Dorset south coast to Stourton in Wiltshire
  • Stourhead - The1,072 hectare (2,650 acre) Stourhead estate has miles of lovely walking trails to try.You can follow the well surfaced footpaths around the stunning lake and into the surrounding woodlands, parkland and gardens
  • White Sheet Hill - Climb to the 245m (804ft) summit of this hill in Wiltshire and enjoy wonderful views over the Stourhead Estate and the surrounding countryside
  • Leland Trail - Follow in the footsteps of royal librarian John Leland during his 16th century survey of Britain's churches and priories.
    You start at King Alfred's Tower at the north-western edge of the Stourhead in Wiltshire and head west towards Bruton and Castle Cary Walk in Somerset
  • Wylye Way - Follow the River Wylye through Wiltshire on this interesting and varied waterside walk
  • Bruton - This pleasant town in Somerset has some interesting features including a hill top 16th century Dovecote and a 15th century packhorse bridge over the River Brue, which runs through the town
  • Duncliffe Wood - Explore miles of cycling and walking trails in this large area of ancient woodland near Shaftesbury
  • Shaftesbury - Enjoy a short walk around the Dorset town of Shaftesbury with a climb to Gold Hill, made famous from the Hovis adverts of the 1970s
  • Fontmell and Melbury Downs - Enjoy a variety of beautiful flora and fauna in this nature reserve in Compton Abbas on the Dorset/Wiltshire border
  • Win Green Hill - Climb to the highest point in the Cranborne Chase AONB and enjoy wonderful views over Shaftesbury, Salisbury Plain, Glastonbury Tor, the Mendips, the Quantocks, the Purbecks and the south coast
  • Wessex Ridgeway Trail - Follow the Wessex Ridgeway Trail and enjoy spectacular views of the Dorset countryside on this shared walking and cycling path.
    The trail begins at Tollard Royal in Wiltshire and heads to Hambledon Hill passing through Ashmore Wood and crossing the River Iwerne on the way
  • Sturminster Newton - This Dorset based town has some lovely river and country walks with historic mills and local pockets of woodland to visit as well
  • Hod Hill - This circular walk climbs to the Hod Hill fort from Stourpaine in Dorset.
  • Mere - This delightful Wiltshire based town is a fine place to start a walk with miles of trails to explore the surrounding downland and farmland of the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Penselwood - This little village in Somerset has a noteworthy 15th century church and some nice country trails to try

Pubs/Cafes

The Buffalo Inn is a good choice for some post walk refreshment. They serve excellent pasta and pizzas which you can enjoy in the lovely large garden and patio area. You can find them on the western side of the town at Lydfords Lane with a postcode of SP8 4NJ for your sat navs.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

To the south east of the town you can visit neighbouring Shaftesbury and enjoy a climb to Gold Hill, made famous from the Hovis adverts of the 1970s.
Head west and you will come into Somerset where you can pick up the Wincanton Walk along the epic Monarch's Way.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Dorset Walks page.

Photos

The Square in Gillingham looking west - geograph.org.uk - 1636243

The Square in Gillingham looking west. This used to be the road to Wyke and Wincanton, until the bypass was built. Now a dead end.

Gillingham, Town Bridge and the Methodist church - geograph.org.uk - 1434133

View across Town Bridge over Shreen Water at Gillingham, Dorset, looking east to the Methodist church. The plaque on the left states: "Town Bridge Gillingham sketched by John Constable R.A. in 1829 The finished work is in the Tate Gallery"

The Old Town Lockup, Gillingham - geograph.org.uk - 1636329

The Old Town Lockup, Gillingham. Was apparently in use from 1750-1800. Now a shop selling crystals.

Footbridge over the River Stour near Chantry Cottage - geograph.org.uk - 1636226

Footbridge over the River Stour near Chantry Cottage. The footpath goes from The Square to Chantry Cottage (which you can see in the background) and then on to the Waitrose Supermarket.

New Lake, Stourton - geograph.org.uk - 1145140

New Lake, Stourton. This is one of the medieval fishponds which were transformed into more formal lakes. This one, extended in the 19th Century, was remade yet again after its dam was destroyed as the result of a huge storm in 1917.

The White Lion, Bourton - geograph.org.uk - 1145095

The White Lion, Bourton

Looking towards a Three Counties Meet - geograph.org.uk - 1734856

Looking towards a Three Counties Meet. The actual meeting point is at the bottom of the upper Stour valley just beyond the tree in the centre. The woodland behind and to the left is in Dorset, to the right is in Somerset, and the foreground, and the camera position, is in Wiltshire. The whole is contained within Bullpits 9-hole golf course.

An ancient bus in an ancient village- M460 JPA in Zeals, Wiltshire, 3-4-2013 (8617201630)

An ancient bus in an ancient village, Wiltshire. Part of New Road, Zeals, Wiltshire, with a bus on route 158 from Shaftesbury to Wincanton. The bus is a 1994 Mercedes-Benz 709D with an Alexander Sprint minibus body, registration mark M460 JPA, operated by South West Coaches. It was running in place of South West Coaches' usual bus on the route, which was a 2007 Optare Solo. The minibus was operated first by London Country from October 1994. It was later operated by Arriva Guildford and West Surrey, then Arriva in Leicestershire and then Sureline of Portland. South West Coaches bought it in October 2009.

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Gillingham.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Gillingham.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)