Bloomfield sits at the foot of Hambledon Hill and it is definitely worth a visit and climb during your stay. Standing at 630 feet tall it’s not the easiest of climbs however this will go unnoticed as you are distracted by the abundance of glory Hambledon has to offer.
Firstly there’s the history. Hambledon is one of the most outstanding Iron Age hill forts in Britain and is thought to be one of Britain’s earliest prehistoric settlements. Neolithic people settled on Hambledon more than 5000 years ago. Archaeological excavations on the site have discovered many interesting artefacts; these include an intact skeleton with an arrow embedded in its chest!!! There are many circular areas visible on the hill which shows where Iron Age huts once stood.
Secondly there’s the nature. Hambledon Hill is a National Nature Reserve. This is due to its variety of slopes and extensive grassland. There is an abundance of impressive nature and wildlife to be discovered and enjoyed. Many different species of butterflies, birds and orchids have made their home on Hambledon Hill.
Finally there’s the outstanding view! Standing on the top of Hambledon Hill gives you an in site as to why this hill was used as an Iron Age hill fort. You can see for miles….in fact you can see a total of three counties, Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset! The scenery is simply breathtaking from any spot on Hambledon and definitely needs to be seen to be believed.
Hambledon Hill is a must…….simply take your time and enjoy.
North Dorset Trailway
The North Dorset Trailway is a walking, cycling and horse riding route that runs along the old Somerset and Dorset Railway line. The largest section is 9 miles long and runs between Sturminster Newton and Blandford. Along this section you pass through beautiful countryside and villages and you can take in breathtaking views of the River Stour and Hambledon Hill. For refreshments along the route there are two fabulous pubs, The Fiddleford Inn and The White Horse at Stourpaine. There is also a souvenir shop that sells refreshments at Shillingstone Station. The station is currently being restored and is definitely worth a visit to see its restoration progress. Also worth a visit along the route is Fiddleford Manor that dates back to the 1300’s.
The section of the North Dorset Trailway that runs along the outskirts of Child Okeford (the nearest point to Bloomfield) can be picked up at Bere Marsh on the A357. Here you can join the Trailway and choose to either head towards Sturminster Newton or Blandford. There are free parking spaces at the Bere Marsh/A357 location.
The North Dorset Trailway gives you a real sense of freedom as you walk safely without the stresses and sounds of traffic. The trail is mainly flat making it suitable for pushchairs and there are benches along the route to either picnic or simply relax and take in the beauty of the Dorset countryside.