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The Henderson Ridgeway
A path along Hod Hill Iron Age hillfort in Dorset

No. of Days 

No. of miles

Ascent

Price from

No. of Days 

58

9,002 ft

££££

Starting price is based on two people sharing and  includes accommodation at a comfortable inn, breakfast, picnic lunch and transfers.  We can also arrange transfers from airports and stations if required.

To the purist, sticking to the Wessex Ridgeway Route and completing the whole trail might be important but we thought why not leave out the boring bits, the muddy bits and the busy bits, so if you don’t mind missing bits and taking the odd detour, we think this version is an improvement.  Starting in Stourpaine so that you can take in two of the best iron age hillforts in the county and finishing in Bridport rather than Lyme Regis, our version shows you some less visited areas of the county.  We’re always happy to hear your take on it as well and tailor something just for you.

GALLERY

ITINERARY

Day 1 - Stourpaine to Ibberton

You start your   walk in Stourpaine so that you can climb Hod Hill, the first of today’s iron   age hillforts and before climbing Hambledon, the best (in our opinion)   hillfort in the county. You then drop   down to the pretty village of Child Okeford, to cross the meandering River   Stour and follow the old railway line to Shillingstone. From here you climb again through woodland   to Turnworth Down to join the Wessex Ridgeway to Ibberton Hill with fabulous   views all the way.


Day 2 - Milton Abbas to Plush

We’ve skipped some dull bits today and taken you on a detour to visit the magnificent abbey and picturesque village of Milton Abbas. From there you take in the hamlet of Hilton before visiting Binghams Melcombe to see the pretty little chapel and manor house and to get glimpses of what is reputed to be the largest yew hedge in Europe. Planted in 1550 during the reign of Edward VI it is 400ft long and 30ft wide. From here you follow medieval tracks to the Dorset Gap, a mystical place where five ancient routes meet in the holloways of the hill. On then to Lyscombe Hill with views as far as the coast on a clear day and finally down into Plush for a well-earned pint at The Brace of Pheasants.


Day 3 - Cerne Abbas to Sydling

You start today in the medieval village Cerne Abbas (which is worth exploring in itself) and pass under the feet of The Cerne Giant, a massive chalk figure cut into the hillside above the village (and aptly nicknamed ‘The Rude Man of Cerne’) to walk along the ridge taking in views over Minternes Magna and Parva before dropping down to Up Cerne. You then climb again to the ridgeway and follow this along Hog Hill and Ridge Hill, all with spectacular views, finishing in the village of Sydling St Nicholas, for another well-earned pint at The Greyhound Inn.


Day 4 - Lower Kingcombe to Beaminster

We’ve skipped a bit here again and changed the route to take in the wonderful nature reserve that is Lower Kingcombe, a traditional Dorset farm bought by The Dorset Wildlife Trust to preserve the hedgerows and meadows untouched by modern fertilisers and pesticides and, as a result, home to a huge array of wildlife. You then ramble through the hills and quiet valleys of west Dorset to Netherbury, finally passing Parnham House and finishing in the pretty market town of Beaminster.


Day 5 - Beaminster to Lambert's Castle

A hard walk today that can be shortened by finishing at Bettiscombe at 8.5 miles if the whole route proves too strenuous. Passing across the highest points of the county with magnificent views over The Marshwood Vale and beyond, you climb Lewesdon Hill and then Pilsden Pen, the two highest highest hills in Dorset. From here you drop down to pass Bettiscombe Manor before rejoining the Wessex Ridgeway to finish your day at Lambert’s Castle.


Day 6 - Stonebarrow to Bridport

We’ve skipped a bit and changed the ending completely, to take in three of the most iconic hills in West Dorset. You start at Stonebarrow above Charmouth and take in Golden Cap, the highest point on the coast, passing the remains of St. Gabriel’s Church on the way. Down then into Seatown (with the opportunity for a cold drink at The Anchor) before heading up to the village of Chideock where you cross the A35, pass the remains of the moated Chideock Castle in order to reach the famous ‘Hell Lane’, a holloway with walls of twisted tree roots rising on either side. You then climb Colmer’s Hill and Allington Hill nature reserve before dropping down into the vibrant town of Bridport with it’s community of artists and lively Saturday market.

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