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The Wessex Ridgeway

Description of The Wessex Ridgeway

The Wessex Ridgeway forms part of the Great Ridgeway trail, an ancient highway which provided an important trading route across the country.

The southern stretch of this route is a linear walking hike of 71 miles (114 km), which starts just outside the north-eastern edges of the county border, in the Wiltshire village of Ludwell, then carves a diagonal route across Dorset to its south-western extremity in Lyme Regis.  The trail follows a predominately ridge top route across Dorset’s rural heartland, interspersed with small rounded hills, steep grassland fields, woodland, secluded valleys and fertile lowlands. Each day’s walk is different and steeped in history.

We classify the walk as moderate, which means that the terrain is undulating, with some long, easy sections interspersed with some quite steep ups and downs.

It is a simple formula: you walk from one place on the trail to the next, staying in a different place each night, with your baggage moved for you, so it is waiting for you when you arrive at your new accommodation. You choose your own dates, subject to availability, whether you wish to walk the whole distance or just part of the trail, as well as the average number of miles to walk each day, within certain limits.

 

Rates

  Double / Twin Single
7+ nights.. from £85 from £120
4 to 6 nights from £90 from £125
2 to 3 nights from £95 from £130
Prices are per person per night and in £ Sterling

About the Walks

The Wessex Ridgeway route, which involves some road walking, but mainly along quiet country lanes untroubled by passing traffic, winds its way through the best of rural Dorset. This is a walkers trail with longer distances between habitation than our Undiscovered Dorset route, so expect to walk for much of the day. What the two routes have in common, however, is the the abundance of wildlife to see: rabbits, deer, foxes, squirrels, pheasants, buzzards, butterflies and many other fauna and the constant reminder of past. Prehistoric field systems, Roman forts, medieval settlements and historic villages, dot the landscape.

 

Highlights of the Wessex Ridgeway include the rolling countryside of The Cranborne Chase, the steep-sided valleys around the Dorsetshire Gap, marked with strip lynchets, a medieval method of agriculture, the iron age hill forts of Hambledon Hill, Lamberts Castle and Pilsdon Pen and the tranquil countryside south of Beaminster where the countryside has remained virtually untouched by the past century;  a patchwork of small, irregularly shaped fields, copses and thick ancient hedgerows are interspersed with picturesque villages.

If you walk an average of about 12 miles (19 kms) a day, you can complete the full trail in 6 days (without any rest days), making a 7 night holiday in total. It is also possible to walk fewer miles each day or to do only a part of the trail. 

Please provide all relevant details on the enquiry form.

 

A2 – A comfortable B&B or simple village inn

A1 – A good hotel, inn or equivalent

A+ – A luxury hotel

Occasionally we may propose accommodation with a standard and price between A1 & A2.

10% discount for groups of 3 or more. For very large groups (10+), please contact us.

We can sometimes offer family rooms with special prices for children.

Please give us details on the enquiry form

Accommodation & Services on Your Walking Holiday

The accommodation on this Inn to Inn walking holiday along the Wessex Ridgeway is of a good standard, but the number of rooms is limited at certain points of the walk and we strongly advise you to book early.

The price of your holiday includes, a full English breakfast each morning, our detailed trail guide (Footscape Trail Guide) and baggage transfers. We will also supply you with the relevant ordnance survey maps, with Footscape trails highlighted.

 

Description of Undiscovered Dorset

This is a linear walking tour of 54 miles (87 km), which starts in Shaftesbury and ends in Dorchester, Dorset’s county town. We classify the walk as moderate, which means that the terrain is undulating, with some long, easy sections interspersed with some quite steep ups and downs. This is one of the most beautiful walking holidays in Dorset.

If you want to discover rural England at its best – in one of the most beautiful walking holidays in Dorset with historic and unchanged parts of the country – then our Undiscovered Dorset trail is ideal. It took us three months to identify, walk and research the trail, and we are very pleased with the result.

It is a simple formula: you walk from one place on the trail to the next, staying in a different place each night, with your baggage moved for you. You choose your own dates, subject to availability, as well as the average number of miles to walk each day, within certain limits.

About the Walks

The route, which involves very little road walking, winds its way through the best of rural Dorset making this one of the finest walking holidays in Dorset, through mature woodland, along open ridges, over Celtic and Roman hill forts and into quiet, unspoilt English villages, all with their church and most with their pub. There is an abundance of wildlife to see: rabbits, deer, foxes, squirrels, pheasants, buzzards, butterflies and many other fauna. For lovers of trees, hedgerows and wild flowers, this trail is ideal. Even in the summer, the paths and tracks are usually deserted, and you are left to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the landscape on your own.

If you walk an average of about 11 miles (18 kms) a day, you can complete the full trail in 5 days (without any rest days), i.e. a 6 night holiday. If you prefer to walk an average of 9 miles (14.5 kms) a day, you will need 6 days to do the full trail. It is also possible to walk fewer miles each day and to do only a part of the trail. You might also wish to have one or more stopovers during the course of your hike. Please provide all relevant details on the enquiry form.

Accommodation & Services on Your Walking Holiday

The accommodation on this Inn to Inn walking holiday is of a good standard, but the number of rooms is limited at certain points of the walk and we strongly advise you to book early.

The price of your holiday includes, a full English breakfast each morning, our detailed trail guide
(Footscape Trail Guide) and baggage transfers. We will also supply you with the relevant ordnance survey maps, with Footscape trails highlighted.

Rates

Double / Twin Room

7+ nights from £85
4 to 6 nights from £90
2 to 3 nights from £95
Prices are per person per night and in £ Sterling

Single Room

7+ nights from £120
4 to 6 nights from £125
2 to 3 nights from £130
Prices are per person per night and in £ Sterling

A2 - A comfortable B&B or simple village inn

A1 - A good hotel, inn or equivalent

A+ - A luxury hotel

Occasionally we may propose accommodation with a standard and price between A1 & A2.

10% discount for groups of 3 or more. For very large groups (10+), please contact us.

We can sometimes offer family rooms with special prices for children. Please give us details on the enquiry form

Walking Trail Highlights

  • The hill-top town of Shaftesbury with its much photographed “Gold Hill”
  • The royal hunting grounds of Cranborne Chase
  • The beautiful village of Tollard Royal, so named because of its links with King John
  • A succession of other picturesque and timeless stone and thatch villages on the Wessex Ridgeway
  • The iron age hill forts of Pilsden Pen, Rawlsbury camp,Hambledon Hill,Hod Hill and Lambert Castle
  • The quintessentially English village of Cerne Abbas and its mysterious “Giant”
  • The historic town and museums of Lyme Regis
  • A beautiful walking holiday in Dorset

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