Station to Station: Sherborne to Templecombe

I’ve signed up for the #walk1000miles challenge this year. Last year I set myself a target of 500 “boots on” miles, and smashed it by walking 825 miles. I am also hoping that a side effect will be that I keep this blog a little more up to date too.

Today I walked a route I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I work near to Templecombe station, so travelling the 8 minutes to Sherborne and walking the 8 miles back was always on the cards. I am acutely aware of how muddy the entire countryside is at the moment, so planned a route via lanes and tracks, avoiding crossing open fields as much as possible. Nevertheless, I still found myself boot deep in stinking mud fairly often on this walk.

I left Sherborne station via the level crossing and set out through the town. Although I’ve been to the station a fair few times, I’ve never walked through the town before. It’s a really attractive place and deserves more of my attention in the future. It has a reputation as retirement central, and didn’t disappoint on that front to be honest.

Fairly soon I left Sherborne along Underdown lane towards Oborne. I had to walk through a shoot, which was slightly un-nerving, though I guess they must have spotted me since hardly anybody (or any dogs) moved a muscle while I strolled along the lane. Oborne itself is a pretty little village, but there isn’t much else to say about it. Google certainly thinks it’s most notable feature is the hotel.

I left Oborne via the bridleway that leads to Crackmore Farm. This started out as a pretty steep climb, a feature of the landscape around here, as I was about to find out. Just after the farm is Vartenham Hill, which I obviously knew would be steep from the dense contour lines on the map, but was *really* steep. The footpath is straight up too, not much in the way of zig-zagging. The view from the top was great, although the weather was not particularly conducive to prolonged sight-seeing (or indeed to seeing long distances).

I skipped around the edge of Milbourne Port and joined Old Bowden Way, heading towards Henstridge Bowden. This turned out to be another very steep climb up an extremely muddy path. Not the most fun part of the walk.

Henstridge Bowden hardly exists really, just a few out-of-my-price-range properties. From there I headed through the grounds of Bowden House towards Stowell. The track here was more like a river than a lane. A good test for the waterproofness of my boots (they passed). I considered heading into Stowell itself to have a look at the church, but I decided to save that for another day. It was a straightforward (muddy) walk back to Templecombe following the railway line. All in all, a throughly enjoyable afternoons walking.

Distance: 8.16 miles

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