Dorset pub stroll
The Saxon Arms The Square Stratton Dorchester 01305 260020 Free house
Published in May ’05
How to get there: From Dorchester take the A37 towards Yeovil. The turning to Stratton is on the left in about 3 miles, the next after going under a conspicuous railway bridge. From the Yeovil direction, the turning to Stratton is the second on the right after the village of Grimstone. The Saxon Arms is in the centre of the village, to the south of the main street, on the other side of the green.
Landlords: Rod Lamont and Janette Mulroy
Open: Monday to Friday 11 am-3 pm and from 5.30 pm. Saturday and Sunday all day from 11 am
Food: Monday to Saturday 11.30-2.30 pm and 6 pm-9 pm (9.30 pm Saturday). Sunday 12 noon-9 pm.
Beers: Ringwood plus three rotating guest beers. Guiness, Carlsberg, Stella. Stowford Press cider.
Families: Children welcome throughout
Disabled access: Good. Separate disabled toilet.
The stroll is longer than usual at about 3½ miles but the going is easy and the countryside pleasant, even if the hum of traffic on the A37 is usually somewhere in the background.
Leaving the pub, walk back up to the village’s main street and turn right past the war memorial and the lych-gate of St Mary’s. Shortly after Furbers Paddock on the right, turn left on the far side of a chapel which has been converted into a dwelling, on a path which leads up to the main road. Cross it and the railway very carefully. On the far side of the railway, turn right on a track to pass Stratton Dairy and enter a field.
Turn left and in the next corner turn left down to a gate, beyond which turn right onto another track. Follow the track along the right-hand edge of two fields. At the end of the second field, go diagonally right to enter an open field and follow its left-hand edge. At the far side, cross a wooden fence and turn left to follow the left-hand field-edge to the very far top corner, where there is a stile. Cross this stile and bear left to walk diagonally across the field beyond, heading for a stile about two-thirds of the way along the left-hand edge. Beyond the stile, cross a narrow field to a track, where turn right.
Follow the track down to a metalled road and turn right. At the bottom of the hill, cross the main road carefully and walk straight down the track ahead, to the left of Lower Wrackleford Farm. Cross two arms of the Frome on footbridges and go under the railway to reach a lane. Turn right and walk up into Bradford Peverell. Go through the village to the cross-roads in the centre, with the spire of the parish church on the left.
Just under 300 yards further on, opposite ‘The Tauntons’, turn right on a path to a metal gate. After the gate, follow the path to the left as it runs alongside the river and crosses a wooden footbridge. On the other side of the bridge, turn right. Cross another bridge and go up the right-hand side of the field beyond to reach the main road. Turn left, take the first turning on the left down into Stratton and walk through the village back to the pub.