The Stour Valley Way is a 64-mile-long sign-posted footpath. It follows the route of the River Stour, using footpaths and permissive (by the land owner’s consent) paths.
The River Stour flows through Wiltshire and Dorset and into the sea at Christchurch. The Corkscrew Railway, and now the Castleman Trailway, cross it near Wimborne.
Click on the link above and you will find out more about how to access the Stour Valley Way together with links to other long-distance paths including the Ridgeway.
From Blandford south east to Wimborne
At Blandford Forum, the River Stour breaks through the chalk ridge of the Dorset Downs. The river here is crossed by the Grade II listed Blandford Bridge with its famous 6 arches built from Portland stone. The historic hill fort of Hod Hill sits above the River Stour commanding a panoramic view of the Stour Valley.
From Blandford to Wimborne, the river shows its importance to the area’s economy. Numerous mills, and now watercress beds, line the river. White Mill on the River Stour at Sturminster Marshall is a 19th century corn mill with original elm and apple wood machinery, in a peaceful riverside setting. This building is owned by the National Trust.
To the sea
At Wimborne Minster, the River Stour is joined by the River Allen. They flow through a changing landscape of the nationally important Dorset heathlands and then on to the sea at Christchurch Harbour.
The river flows through many different settings and scenery. As a result, many and varied habitats such as reed bed, open water, coastal, estuarine, river, streams and lowland heath all support different land and water species. Pipistrelle bat, kingfisher, watervoles, harbour porpoise, great crested newt, medicinal leech, and the startlet sea anemone can all be seen along the Stour Valley Way.