Thorncombe Village Trust

Home The Trust News & Events Nature History  Gallery Local Walks Links  Site map Contact  Us


Local Walks

                              AROUND THORNCOMBE BY SHANKS’S PONY

Public footpaths are as much a part of our heritage as old buildings. They give us access to the wonderful countryside, the flora and fauna which surround us and also give us insights into the lives of previous generations. The parish of Thorncombe is richly endowed thanks to Thorncombe Women’s Institute, who in 1962 drew up the first map on which the Definitive Footpath Map is based. Subsequent efforts over the last 50 years by Dorset County Council Highways Department, Thorncombe parish councillors, individual enthusiasts, the Ramblers and Thorncombe Village Trust members have made sure that its precious historic network is updated, maintained and preserved for future generations. Various Thorncombe footpaths link into the national long-distance network via the Jubilee Trail, Liberty Trail, Monarch’s Way and Wessex Ridgeway Trail.

   Each path is there for a reason, a means to an end. Until the advent of the car and well maintained roads, these routes across fields, along river banks, through combes and woods, were used daily in some cases for centuries, by agricultural labourers going to and from their work, by others going about their business and on a weekly basis by churchgoers. Walking is now a leisure activity, part of a healthy lifestyle, and enjoyed by young and old alike. You don’t need a dog to have a reason for going for a walk! As well as giving us opportunities to spend quality time with our families, friends and neighbours or a bit of mental space to take stock, walking local footpaths also puts us in touch with those who have gone before us and helps give us a sense of who we are and where we live.

  Walks 1-6 all start and end outside the parish church of St Mary. Various footpaths converge nearby, and set out in various directions to the further reaches of the parish, shadowing the footsteps of our churchgoing forefathers. With Sunday worship in mind, Walk 7, a perambulation around Holditch,  starts and finishes at the ruined 15th century chapel of ease, built for the convenience of the inhabitants of Holditch Manor, which was two miles from the parish church. Some walks are longer than others. Allow about an hour for the shorter ones and maybe an hour and a half for the longer ones. It depends how fast you walk and how often you stop to catch your breath, admire the view and listen to the bird song in the otherwise silence.


Walk 1: Sadborow Pound to School House  

Walk 2: A Glimpse of the Devil’s Jumps  

Walk 3: Chaffeigh, Shedrick & the Strawberry Fields

Walk 4:Tansee Hill to Yew Tree Farm

Walk 5: Hewood & Partway

Walk 6: Forde Abbey Estate

Walk 7: Holditch Perambulation

Walk 8: An Amble around the Village

Walk 9: A Village Walk

Walk 10: Lost Roads & Hidden Holways

All walk descriptions © Eve Higgs

Dog owners are respectfully reminded to observe the Country Code.

Rights of way information

Each walk has a dedicated downloadable OS map courtesy of


     Thorncombe Village Trust - caring for Thorncombe's environment