Last weekend we stayed really local. Choosing not to get in the car and taking a break from driving. Can you believe that in 6 months so far, we have covered almost 12,000 miles in our little Peugeot!? We have certainly got around!
So for a local afternoon out, we headed to Melbury Park/ Ilchester Estates.
We accessed the walk from Evershot village but I do believe there are other access points. The total walk is just over 6 miles and in a loop. We covered around 4miles and did a return journey vs a loop. The difference here is that we stayed on the path. The loop I believe will take you off path for a short time. Something to note as we did this walk primary as its a ‘good wet weather walk’ i.e. stick to the path and no need to trudge through the mud!
The beginning of the walk (after climbing over a cute stile) takes you into Melbury/ Ilchester Estate (15,000 acres owned by Charlotte Townshend) leading to Melbury House.
The estate is large enough to not feel busy. There were plenty of walkers about but it didn’t feel spoilt for it. We took our dog for the walk. Due to plentiful deer and sheep, he needed to stay on leash the entire walk. Not a bad thing but such a long walk, we do like to find off leash areas when we can so he can explore. Its not really doable here.
Firstly, the estate is large and is arguably a stunning deer park with views of deer in every direction. Stags are magnificent and abundant here and a pleasure to view.
The house dates back to Tudor times and has a history of remodeling over the years. It is not open to the public so the best you can do is walk past through the estate and admire from afar. From what I understand, the house sits on only 20 acres of Ilchester Estate. I am not clear on who lives in the house and it may actually be Charlotte Townshend (mentioned above) who is one of the countries wealthiest people.
Once through the deer park, we enter more of farmland for the estate. Many sheep there which were fun for the kids to watch and try to get close to. While earlier i mentioned this was a good wet weather walk so not to get muddy, there are sheep droppings all ove the paths. Something that amused the girls but unless you are wearing your wellies, watch your step. Having a dog that’s partial to animal droppings, he was loving it. His belly not so much the next day 😦
So we ambled down the path and back. Pleasant enough and worthy of a trip back on another wet day.
One thing I did note was a runner on the path. Note to self, a great place to get out and train…relatively flat, smooth surface and can easily cover a few miles with beautiful scenery!