WALK 8 – ANOTHER WAY TO THE RIVER
(maps 1 & 2)
A walk to the river by the Wilson Haynes bridge (see Walk 1).
A. Leave the Cross via Haywards Lane. Take the first left and where the road turns right, continue straight ahead to a path junction. Turn right, you are now in Homefield. Cross half left to a sign-posted footpath between 2 fences. Cross the tarmac road and continue along the footpath to the safety barrier. Carefully cross Station Road into Melway Lane.
B. Continue along the lane until the tarmac ends, then turn right along a rough track. As the track reaches a field gate, turn left towards another field gate. A few yards before the gate is a small gap in the hedge on the right, with a footpath sign. Go through the gap and kissing gate and follow the hedge on the left. Where the hedge turns left, continue ahead across the field to a gate/stile. Cross the stile and lane and then another stile, and continue ahead through the field to a gate diagonally left. Go through the gate and bear half right to the WilsonHaines bridge, named after former footpath officers of Child Okeford and Shillingstone. Enjoy the river scene. (If you cross the bridge, you can join the North Dorset Trailway which runs from Sturminster Newton to Blandford along the old Somerset and Dorset railway line).
C. For this walk, do not cross the bridge, but with your back to the bridge and facing Hambledon Hill, head for a gate in the further left-hand corner towards an obvious track. Continue along the left hedge line and the gate is just past a large equestrian gate on the left. Go through the gate and into a lane, turn left through the gate and immediately right onto a track alongside the equestrian field until you meet Melway Lane. Follow it to Station Road, turn left, then right into Homefield. Turn right at the top and continue on the footpath to the High Street. Turn left to the Cross.