The Coach Rd, Bull, Steart and Ham lane Stretches – Sturminster Newton


The Bull stretch & Steart are immediately south of Sturminster town. GR 50.92124051420733, -2.306995866268889


1. The Bull stretch RH bank downstream is a popular venue with it’s convenient parking, easy access to comfortable weed-free swims and a good depth of water, (10-11ft), with a better flow later on into autumn. Two disabled platforms are available downstream within 50yds of the carpark and project outwards from the river bank offering safe, accessible swims. Fishing is also available from the carpark for a couple hundred yds upstream to the road bridge, although there are only a few swims with comfortable access to the river’s edge. Roach, bream, rudd, perch, dace, chub and pike all present in good numbers. The bream tend to show more in post-flood conditions when the water is coloured and you could expect to target them from the 2nd platform under these conditions.

For those prepared to walk further and for the option of a more solitary day after a shoal of bream, the Creamery swim can also be good. The RH bank is available for over a  mile or so downstream from the car park and the river offers many and varied swims over the course of the section and over the course of the season, as conditions change. It’s well worth a pre-session recontour walk along this length so that you have an appreciation of what’s available.

2. The LH bank downstream commences with the short Coach Rd section, accessed via a gate off Bridge St. Roadside parking is informal and limited and a better option might be to park in a town carpark.  Further downstream is the Ham fields section, (note you cannot walk downstream along the riverside from Coach Rd to Ham fields). Ham can be accessed via limited parking on Penny Lane in Sturminster. For more reliable parking use the public car park marked on the map. Little Ham is further downstream or a much longer walk up from Sowley. There are some very nice swims available from the LH bank both in summer and winter.


Parking & Access

The most convenient parking for this stretch is opposite the Bull Inn on the A357 – note do not use the pub’s car park! If the small car park is full, use the larger car park at Sturminster Mill. If travelling from the south on the A357 head for Sturminster Newton. Shortly before arriving at the traffic lights nr the bridge into town you will find the small car park on your right.

SAT NAV Postcode : DT10 2BS

Always park with consideration of others.

Do Not leave any valuables/fishing tackle on display in your parked car.


  • Bream
  • Chub
  • Dace
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Roach
  • Rudd
  • Tench



Des Shipp fishes the Bull Stretch on the pole