Dorset walk – Colehill and God’s Blessing Green
Matt Wilkinson and Dan Bold find tranquillity just to the north-east of Wimborne
Published in May ’15
The route of this walk might have been chosen so that its title could include surely one of Dorset’s most pleasing place names. Perhaps that was indeed part of the reason, but it is also an illustration of how lucky we are in Dorset to be able to find peaceful countryside so close to our major towns. Most of the route is within a couple of miles of the centre of Wimborne, but it is a tranquil landscape of woods, small fields and generally quiet lanes.
The woods are the western fringe of Ferndown Forest, while the fields often serve as paddocks for horses – this part of Dorset, and north to Holt and Horton, must surely have the highest concentration of horses in the county. It may be no coincidence that the route passes some extremely grand properties, whose owners presumably appreciate the peaceful isolation.
Don’t tell the people who live in Colehill that it is a suburb of Wimborne – they will tell you with heat and some justification that it has managed to maintain its identity and some of the atmosphere of a village. As for God’s Blessing Green, it is a charming place as well as a charming name, and certainly easier on the ear than its near neighbour, Pig Oak.
1 About 100 yards from where Sandy Lane turns off Lonnen Road, take a footpath that runs off to the right between no. 16 and no.18. Follow it across the end of a cul-de-sac and continue in the same direction between a wooden fence and a hedgerow. At the end of the path, continue ahead on a road. At the T-junction with the main road, turn left then immediately left again into Cannon Hill Road. Pass a school on the right and at the cross-roads continue straight ahead.
2 At the end of the lane continue straight ahead onto a track into Cannon Hill Plantation. At the first cross-tracks continue straight ahead for about 400 yards to the next cross-tracks, where turn left. At the next two cross-tracks go straight ahead, now on a path, and stay on this path all the way to a road. Turn right and walk carefully to the first turning on the left. Take this and walk all the way to the end of the lane, where continue on the track straight ahead. Follow this to a T-junction of tracks, where turn left.
3 In about 400 yards the track bends sharply to the right, but keep straight ahead on a path. Where it reaches a T-junction with a track, turn right and walk down to a road, where turn left. In about 250 yards, just after Greenacres, turn right into Sheepcroft Lane. At the top of the lane, as it bends sharply to the right, turn left and walk along the hedge on the right for two fields to a stile. Follow the left-hand edge of the next two fields and walk straight across the field after that to two stiles in quick succession, leading into woodland. Follow the path just inside the left-hand edge of the wood to reach a road.
4 Turn left and walk up to God’s Blessing Green, where turn right into God’s Blessing Lane. Past the entrance to the garden centre on the left, there is a path running alongside the lane. Use this as it bends left through a hedge and follows a wooden fence to the right and left. It continues through trees, slightly downhill, and crosses a bridge. At the end of an open field on the left, it bears slightly right with a wooden panel fence on the right. Continue to follow it to reach a bridge on the right. Cross this and stay on the path as it winds through the trees, sometimes requiring quite a sharp eye to follow it through the undergrowth and sometimes picking up the wooden panel fence on the right. At the end of the wood, and of the fence, continue on a path to reach a gate, but don’t go through it.
5 Instead, go through the gate on the left into an open field. Bear right to cross the field diagonally to an opening on the far side, then walk down a grassy path between two fences to Long Lane. Turn right (left to the Barley Mow) and walk for about 500 yards to a gate and stile on the left. Cross the stile and follow the fence on the right. In the next field, bear left to cross diagonally to the bottom left-hand corner. Here cross a stile and follow the path straight ahead, which leads onto a track and then to a road. Turn right, then immediately left into Little Lonnen. At the T-junction at the end, turn left and the first on the right is Sandy Lane. ◗