Fontmell and Melbury Downs

Fontmell and Melbury Downs

SAT NAV postcode SP7 0DT (Google map)

Fontmell and Melbury Downs is an area of natural beauty was bought in memory of Thomas Hardy, to protect the landscape in which his novels are set. Fontmell Down and Harding’s Down offer stunning views that stretch for miles across the Blackmore Vale.

From the car park at the top of Spread Eagle Hill, you can embark on many circular walks across the chalk downland. It’s a fantastic place to spot butterflies and orchids, which thrive here.

Head north towards Compton Down and Melbury Hill and you will find one of the best displays of glow-worms during June and July (if the weather is good). The best time to spot them is at night when the female glow worms light up to attract the males

If coming from Shaftesbury there is a car park on the right at the top of Spread Eagle Hill, just before the left turn to Compton Abbas Airfield. SAT NAV postcode SP7 0DT (Google map)