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Langton House

Dorset, England

The Encombe Valley and Houns Tout Cliff walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Start Point

The walk commences from the car-park by entering the main woodland track and turning right (signpost Houns-Tout). These woodlands are part of the Encombe Estate where the rambler is left in no doubt as to where they can or cannot walk!

Follow the main track until the route towards Houns-Tout branches off to the left (signpost) then continue onwards, ignoring the temptation to enter the confines of Hill View. Cross a stile to follow an obvious route, travelling high above the Encombe valley which offers spectacular vistas.

The valley embraces Encombe House, built as a retreat for John Pitt (around 1770) and in modern times the family home of the Scott family (sometimes Earls of Eldon) for well over a century. The valley also houses the dairy buildings and a notable obelisk. The Scott’s benevolence funded Kingston’s church building costs. The obelisk was quarried at nearby Seacombe, and erected to the memory of Baron Stowell, the first Earl of Eldon’s elder brother.

The route requires little explanation. A memorial seat to Michael Byrne has been strategically positioned for spectacular seascapes westward, with the high point of Swyre’s Head just across the valley. In the vicinity of Houns-Tout Cliff a descent involving 168 steps is involved, with Chapman’s Pool (a spectacular bay in view as are the white-painted former coastguard cottages and St. Aldhelm’s chapel top the opposing headland. At the bottom of the descent cross over a stile on the left, to enter the field, aiming towards a gate/stile situated in the far right hand corner. Exit there to walk along a green swathe, soon merging with, and turning left along, a farm access road (signpost Kingston).

This is another exquisite valley with West Hill Wood to the left. Look out for raptor’s! This road is followed without deviation back to Kingston, arriving at a convenient point to visit the church (if open). Additionally, there are splendid views of Corfe Castle across the valley. Kingston’s church tower houses a peal of eight bells. Finished in 1880, it served as a private chapel to the Scott’s (Encombe House) until it was consecrated in 1921. Reaching the junction turn left to return to the car-park.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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