Basset Hound Walkers Ashmore
Please email me if you intend coming.
  • Shaftesbury is seven miles south of the A303
  • Ashmore is five miles south-east of that
  • the walk is five gentle miles mainly through lovely woods
  • half-way stop at the posh King John Inn

This will be our 148th outing (To see video of the last time we walked this see here.) (Incidentally to see it at its sharpest click Settings then Quality and the highest shown). It is a lovely walk through mature woods and fields and starts at the pretty village of Ashmore. It is no more than 4.6 miles and with no hills to speak of.

Half way round we stop at the village of Tollard Royal - you can smell the money and many will wish to sup at the very posh King John hostelry: they do welcome dogs in the bar - and especially HOUNDS as the walls are full of pictures of them. The food is not cheap - but you pay for the ambience. (Madonna used to live up the valley - Guy Ritchie still does. His new wife's spaniel rubbed noses with my Melody last time: can you beat that?)

This is glorious country on the edge of Cranborne Chase, five miles south-east of Shaftesbury, Dorset, with Gold Hill – the Hovis ad – its most well-known feature. Half of the walk is through pleasant beech woods the rest along well used paths. Extensive views can be enjoyed.

We start from the neat village of Ashmore, by the duck-pond. There is no designated parking place so we will have to park (tidily) around this beautifully kept thatched village. For those who don't like hills, the walk is largely flat, with one almost imperceptible slope after lunch. (I hesitate to mention it but as you'll probably miss it unless I tell you - and I wouldn't want to get a reputation.)

To reach the start at 10.30 (SP5 5AA), most people will be approaching off the A303 near Wincanton via Gillingham, or from the A30 to Shaftesbury. Either way you will arrive at a large roundabout in Shaftesbury. Take the right hand lane following directions to A350 Poole/Blandford. Carry straight on at next small roundabout (Signed All Routes. Cemetery: think about that one). At the next large roundabout (called Royal Chase) you will see the Half Moon pub straight across the roundabout. Turn left on the A30 (dual carriageway) signed to Salisbury then immediately right (south) along the B3081 signed to Melbury Abbas and Tollard Royal. After a mile you'll pass Melbury garage on your left then 100yds past turn left to Sixpenny Handley and Tollard Royal. You'll then find why Zig Zag Hill is so called and at the top there'll be glorious views to your left. Follow the ridge road for a couple of miles turning right to Tollard Royal. Another mile or so and turn right on a left hand bend signed to Ashmore which will bring you out by the pond.

And to see the proposed route map - and prove I'm not taking you up any mountains - just see here.

Ashmore pond

Tollard Royal duck pond



Ashmore pond

Meet here: Ashmore pond - full of goldfish - in the centre of the village. (Note my Stag: now alas gone the way of all flesh).

King John

Matilda a year or two ago. Or we can eat our
sandwiches by the duck pond 200 yds further on.

King John soup

King John soup + Guy Ritchie's finest ale. Not cheap, but
where else do you get the possibility of rubbing noses with his spaniel?

Stubble turnips

Above: in amongst the stubble turnips.