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Dorset pub stroll — The Greyhound Inn

The Greyhound Inn, North Street, Winterborne Kingston, Blandford DT11 9AZ, 01929 471332

The oldest part of the Greyhound, believed to date from the 18th century, is the lounge bar. It is all a country pub should be, with its low beams, comfortable furniture and that welcoming air that only comes from 300 years of hospitality. Around this core the pub has developed, with the addition of a carvery/restaurant and an extra bar.

The other bar adjoins the skittle alley, where there is also a dart-board and a pool table. Teams from the pub play in local skittles and darts leagues.

The restaurant, plus the presence of a talented young chef in Gavin Teversham, means that the pub offers a wide-ranging menu of good-quality food. As well as the usual bar food, there are more ambitious dishes and a constantly changing board of daily specials. In addition, the carvery offers at least one joint at all times and always two at the weekend. Upstairs, an extension to the restaurant holds 25-30 and can be used as a separate function or meeting room. A feature of the Greyhound is its curry nights on the first Wednesday of each month, and special evenings – a fish evening, for example – are staged from time to time.

Richard Elkins and his mother, Jan, have been at this free house for two years this month. They keep Ringwood Best as their standard bitter, with two other rotating guest beers, normally from reasonably local breweries. There is also a range of ciders, including ‘Cider from Rosie’, from just up the valley at Winterborne Houghton.

As the only pub in the village, the Greyhound attracts a good local trade, especially in the evenings, as well as passers-by and those who use it as a ‘destination pub’, some of whom have become regulars; they come from all parts of Dorset and even from as far afield as Portsmouth.

The pub opens at 11 am and closes between 3 pm and 6 pm, except on Sundays, when it is open all day from 11.30 am. Food is served from 12 noon to 2 pm and 7 pm to 9 pm on weekdays (evening service starts at 6.30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays) and 12 noon to 9 pm on Sundays.
There is a wide doorway with a shallow step, allowing access for people with disabilities.

The stroll
This is a pleasant walk of a little over 2½ miles through the peaceful fields to the north-east of the village.

Walk straight across the road from the pub, down a drive for a few yards, then turn right to follow a path alongside the River Winterborne. At the end of the path, turn left onto a road, which follow as it bends to the left and goes uphill past ‘Playground’ signs. Emerge into an open oval area and cross it diagonally to leave by a footpath between nos. 23 and 24.

At the end of the path go through a kissing gate and bear very slightly left, down to a double stile and plank bridge. In the next field bear definitely left, up to the top left-hand corner. Here turn left onto a track for a few yards before turning into the second field on the right and heading for the left-hand corner of the wood straight ahead. At this corner bear right to keep the wood immediately on the right and at the next corner, go straight ahead into an open field. Bear left and head for the tallest trees that can be seen on the near skyline, then for the barns that appear behind them.

Go through a gap in front of the barns and turn right onto a track. Where the track swings to the left, continue straight ahead on a grassy track down the right-hand edge of a field. Continue straight across the next field to a stile on the far side. Turn right onto the path beyond the stile. Where the path joins a track, continue straight ahead.

Follow this track all the way down to where it bends to the right in front of an open field. Go round to the right but in about 100 yards, where the track swings to the left, go straight ahead into an open field and follow the right-hand edge. At the very end of the field, bear right, then left onto a drive. Follow the drive as it becomes a lane and reaches a T-junction in front of the church of St Nicholas. Turn right, take the first turning on the left, turn right at the end and walk up the main road to the Greyhound.

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