Whenever I visit home we always end up going to the Sherborne estate in Aldsworth for a walk. We have been going there for several years as it is a great walk not matter what time of the year, that is easy and quick to get to. From my house it only takes around 20 minutes to get there by car (Via the A40), and there is plenty of free parking for members of the National Trust, as well as parking by donation for non members. As the walk is circular you can start it from several points, however we tend to either start from the Ewe Pen Barn farm buildings or from next to the war memorial and recently opened tea rooms in Sherborne village.
Off we go…
1. If you start from the war memorial in the village, begin the walk by heading through the stone gateway.
2. Head up the track, following it along side the fence on your right.
4. From here you can explore the wood by taking any of the paths (In recent years a wooden play area and several rope swings have been constructed within the wood, so definitely spend some time having a play around on them – I always do 🙂 ).
5. Once you have finished exploring, head towards the top of the woodland to a metal gate.
6. Go through this and head right, past an ice house (Which is really interesting and worth a look).
8. Continue through this section of wood, until you reach another gate at the far back (Look out for several metal bats that hang in the trees in the first part of the wood).
9. Once you pass through this gate head right along the track, following it down past fields on your left to Ewe Pen Barn and farm buildings (Look out for deer in the fields, the large gate at the end of Beech avenue and beautiful views of the estate on the right).
10. You can explore the buildings and read information about the estate here before heading right along the field towards another wood.
11. At the top of the wood definitely stop and have a look at the carved wooden farmer with sheepdog, as well as the views across the estate.
12. Continue through the woodland, across a clearing (Keep an eye out for a metal sculpture of a deer!) and down the hill to the bottom of the wood.
13. Leave the wood via a stone gateway, and turn right along the road (You can extend the walk here by heading left and following the road to the right but I’ll leave that for another time!).
14. Keeping to the path, follow it beside the road past houses on your left and down a steep hill (Definitely stop at the bottom of the hill to look out across the valley and river. There is also a small church on the right hand side that is worth a look around).
15. Carry on along the path, up the hill and past a churchyard on the left and buildings on the right.
16. Follow the road right, past a nursery keeping the large stone wall on your right (Make sure to stop and have a look out across the valley and river, as there are often herons, cormorants and other waterfowl along the banks of the river as well as birds of prey flying over).
If you are looking for an interesting woodland and field/farm walk you should definitely give this one a go. It takes around 1-1½ hours to complete and it isn’t very difficult to walk if you aren’t an experienced walker. You can mix up/extend the walk by starting at different points or exploring the village more. There is always plenty to see no matter what time or year, from deer to woodpeckers to snow drops!
A Walk in the Life…