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Wessex Ridgeway
View from Hambledon Hill over The Blackmore Vale on The Wessex Ridgeway in Dorset

No. of Days 

No. of miles

Ascent

Price from

No. of Days 

63

8,691 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.

The Wessex Ridgeway runs from Marlborogh to the Dorset coast at Lyme Regis and follows the route of the Great Ridgeway, an ancient highway that was once an important trading route between the Devon and Norfolk coasts. This walk follows the Dorset section of the trail and passes through some of the most beautiful countryside in the county, taking in the highest points with the best views. The route meanders across the chalk downs, climbs magnificent hillforts and crosses over chalk streams brimming with wildlife. Along the way you will pass many picturesque villages such as Cerne Abbas (with its world-famous 'Rude Man' carved into the chalk hillside) and take in magnificent views across the Blackmore and Marshwood Vales, before passing through gently rolling farmland to finish in the harbour town of Lyme Regis on the dramatic Jurassic Coast.

GALLERY

ITINERARY

Day 1 -  Ashmore to Okeford Hill

Today’s walk starts in the highest village in Dorset with its pretty village pond, passing through woodland and fields to reach Shroton, where you will climb the magnificent Ironage hillfort of Hambledon (our favourite hill in Dorset), looking out over The Blackmore Vale. From here, you will drop down to pass over the meandering river Stour before climbing again through woodland to reach Okeford Hill which has one of the best views in the county.


Day 2 - Okeford Hill to Alton Pancras

A magnificent walk along the ridge of Bell Hill, Ibberton and Bulbarrow starts the day before dropping down from Rawlesbury Camp (another Ironage hillfort) to the vale below. From here you climb to the secretive Dorsetshire Gap, a hidden hollow where five ancient tracks meet and which was an important road crossing in the middle ages, surrounded by prehistoric settlements with cross dykes and barrows. At Lyscombe Hill the view stretch as far as the coast on a clear day. Your final climb of the day takes you over Ball Hill before dropping back down to Alton Pancras.


Day 3 - Alton Pancras to Maiden Newton

Today we climb to Giant’s Head (above the Cerne Giant chalk figure) and then drop down to Mintern Parva wi before rising agin for a long ridge-top walk with fabulous views. Then down into Sydling St. Nicholas and up over Break Heart Hill and back down into Maiden Newton.


Day 4 - Maiden Newton to Beaminster

A wonderful day’s walking through some of the most unspoilt countryside in the county, including Lower Kingcombe Nature Reserve.


Day 5 - Beaminster to Sadbarrow

Today you pass across the highest points of the county with magnificent views over The Marshwood Vale and beyond. Skirting Lewesdon Hill (only recently crowned highest peak) you then climb Pilsden Pen (originally thought to be the highest) before dropping down through ancient farmland to Sadbarrow.


Day 6 - Your final day, passing through the rolling farmland of West Dorset, close to the border with Devon, over Lambert’s and Coney’s Castles (more Ironage hill forts) and finally into the pretty harbour town of Lyme Regis with it’s famous Cobb, where you can stroll around the harbour with an icecream to celebrate.

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