Compton Downs Walk with Butterflies and Views – 5 Miles
- Your walk starts in Afton Down car park by the main road. This is usually great for blues.
- Cross the road from the car park and turn right until you see a diagonal rising chalky path on the right hand side, signed bridleway F34. Follow this path through a golf course to reach the crossing track – the Tennyson Trail.
- Then you head east along the track which runs along the back of the downs, eventually descending steeply. Dark-green fritillary abounds amongst the cut gorse areas in July.
- 20yds after a “No entry for vehicles” sign and just after a track joining from right, turn sharp left and round up into Brook Down quarry to explore the quarry slopes and gorse glades.
- Head back and cross the main track and bear left just before the “No entry for vehicles” sign. From here, follow the grassy track upwards. Look out for Adonis blues. At the crest of the rise by cattle pens, bear to the right of two gateposts marking the track leading down the hill.
- Follow one of the lower cattle tracks parallel to the main track. This is open downland with no well defined footpaths so make sure that you are sure footed. Aim just to the right of a line of gorse bushes at the base of the hill in the distance, or the main road beyond. Follow this low level and fairly flat tracks as far as Compton Combe, always keeping on the downs side of the fence line. Clouded yellows are often seen here and on the upper slopes of the camp-site field on the other side of the fence.
- The Glanville fritillary season is June to early August, so take a detour to Compton Chine via the road verge or the coast path from the car park. Go down the wooden steps. Enjoy! It’s a great bathing beach.