The Other Winterborne
Our first walk in October took fifteen Mileaters to the valley of the other Winterborne in Dorset just this side of Wimborne beside the A31. This 6 mile flat terrain expedition started in Almer at the church of St.Mary next to the Elizabethan manor. The church is Saxon in origin, has Norman features and has the remains of a medieval preaching cross. From there we walked on wide walkways making it easy to socially distance. We made our way to Winterborne Zelston alongside the dry river bed (it is a “winter borne” after all) and through the picturesque village with another medieval preaching cross.
En route we passed one of the “famous” red signposts of Dorset and arrived at marvellous Norman church at Winterborne Tomson (St.Andrews), a church that Thomas Hardy rescued with restoration funds. Still with its 17th century pews and orchestra gallery. After coffee at Winterborne Tomson we walked around the grounds of Anderson Manor home to the Tregonwells for nearly 300 years, which was the base to the No.62 Commando unit between 1940 and 1943. We passed St Michaels church Anderson, it has 12th Century origins with a mostly 17th century outer.
Through the countryside and back to W. Zelston for lunch and a quick hop back to Almer. A walk of historic churches and manor houses. “A good time was had by all.”