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Dorset pub stroll — The Charlton Inn

Charlton Marshall Blandford DT11 9NH 01258 453160

The Charlton Inn - Charlton Minster

When James Barkess and Gemma O’Neill took over the tenancy of the Charlton Inn last December, it was something of a homecoming for them. They met when they were both on the staff there, which they were for some eight years. They then took on the Black Horse at Sturminster Marshall for two successful years before the opportunity arose to return to the Charlton.

The Charlton’s clientele has traditionally been a mixture of locals and passing trade but James and Gemma have recently created a new menu of more interesting dishes with a view to establishing the Charlton as a destination pub with a reputation for good food. With their experience in the trade, they look well placed to succeed.

The pub is open for breakfast from 8 am to 11, then stays open until 3, re-opening at 6 pm until late; at weekends and in the summer holidays it does not close in the afternoon. As well as breakfast, food is served from noon until 9.30 pm. For visitors, or for those who have indulged too well, there are six letting bedrooms.

The stroll

A route of a little over two miles explores the countryside to the west of the village. Turn right out of the pub car park and take the first turning on the left, The Close. Pass the village pump on the left with its October 1887 datestone and walk under the old Somerset & Dorset Railway. Bear left immediately after the bridge.

At the top of the lane, go through a gate and bear right to pass to the right of farm buildings, going through two more gates to enter an open field. Walk across this field to a stile about 130 yards down from the right-hand corner. Continue in the same direction down the next field to a gate just to the right of a double power-line pole near the bottom left-hand corner.

In the next field, bear left to a stile about 100 yards down from the corner on the left. Cross it and turn right to walk along the right-hand field-edge. In the first corner, go through the gate straight ahead and turn right on a drive. Walk through the buildings of Glebe Farm and continue straight ahead on an unpaved track. Go through the right-hand of the two gates ahead and follow the left-hand field-edge.

In the first corner, go through the right-hand gate and walk straight across the next field, heading for a power-line pole between a white and redbrick building. On the other side of the field, turn right onto a grassy track. Follow this track up a rise to a gate. Go through the gate and continue in the same direction on a path through woods.

Stay on the path straight through the wood. It becomes a rough track on the edge of the village, then a paved lane. Follow this lane under a railway bridge and down to a bend on the left. Turn right at the T-junction, then right on the main road. Return to the pub in 300 yards.

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