Places to visit

Places to visit

Located just outside the picturesque village of Fontmell Magna, approximately four miles from the ancient hilltop town of Shaftesbury, Springhead is perfectly situated for cycling, walking and exploring the local countryside. Set within the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the diverse landscape offers rolling chalk grassland, ancient woodlands and chalk river valleys.

It is also under an hour’s drive from some wonderful coast walks and beaches on Dorset’s famous Jurassic Coast. Other local attractions within easy reach are Shaftesbury Abbey and Gold Hill, the National Trust’s Fontmell and Melbury Downs, Compton Abbas Airfield, the Ancient Technology Centre at Cranborne, Stonehenge, Corfe Castle and Lulworth Cove, and the National Trust’s Stourhead and Kingston Lacy estates.

Local Walks

To Melbury Downs:
(6 miles) – A linear walk along the quiet sheltered valley at the base of Melbury Down. In summer there is an abundance of wild flowers and butterflies. A Bronze age burial mound and field system are also visible.

To Melbury Beacon:
(3 miles) – Walk on open downland offering spectacular views of the surrounding plains. The beacon was erected on the hilltop in 1588 to warn of the invading Spanish Armada.

To Fontmell Down:
(2 miles) – Walk provides a great variety of wildlife and stunning views over the Blackmore Vale.

Local Cycle Trails

Wessex Ridgeway
This 63 mile route, from Lyme Regis to Ashmore, is being developed into a high quality, multi-use recreational trail suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and, where feasible, for people with disabilities.

North Dorset Cycleway
This 73 mile route, takes you on quiet lanes, passing through part of Thomas Hardy’s favourite countryside, which was the inspiration for many of the settings in his novels.

Fontmell Magna Village

Fontmell Magna itself is a picturesque village with houses and cottages in greensand, brick and timber-framing, some thatched and some dating back to the 17th century. It has a beautiful church which was rebuilt in 1862 (the lower part of the tower dates from the original medieval church); a post office / shop /tea room offering local produce: cakes, pastisserie, savouries, artisan breads, chocolates and fine wines, as well as pub/restaurant the Fontmell, where guests can enjoy local village hospitality.

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