Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

Set on the north-east fringes of Dorset, this month’s Cranborne killer, at 250 metres, kicks off from one of the highest points of the route. But despite the thrill of a steep drop early on, you’ll quickly find yourself grinding grannies up an equally grunty ascent. The devious slopes running off the Chase’s main ridgeline stretching east towards Salisbury provide classic woodland trail features alongside field edge rabbit runs. Don’t be deceived by the fairly middling distance of this particular circuit, the relentless gain and loss of height, combined with soft going makes a 20-miler quite tough enough.
A byway carries you to 277 metres, above Madge’s country retreat, before another stiff up and over of Melbury Hill’s grassy 263-metre summit. Another steep climb from East Compton takes you back to airfield height to enjoy views across the Vale of Blackmoor and if you’re lucky, on a clear day, the Isle of Wight to the south.