Released: June 2015
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 220 x 120mm
Author: H Taylor & M McCrossan
Walks for all Ages Dorset features 20 circular walks of up to 4.5 miles, suitable for all the family, that have been carefully chosen to deliver an enjoyable day or half day in the countryside.
Describing the local area at the start of each walk, the authors then provide a detailed description of the walk with snippets of information as you go along.
Including Ordnance Survey mapping and superbly priced at just £5.99, Walks for all Ages - 20 Circular Walks in Dorset is the perfect accompaniment for a stroll in the county.
Walk 01. Tyneham 3½ miles
Walk 02. Lulworth 2 miles
Walk 03. Shaftesbury 2 miles
Walk 04. Clouds Hill 4½ miles
Walk 05. Wareham 2 miles
Walk 06. Dorchester 2 miles
Walk 07. Hartland 3½ miles
Walk 08. Cerne Abbas 2½ miles
Walk 09. Higher Bockhampton 4 miles
Walk 10. Tolpuddle 3 miles
Walk 11. Durlston Head 2 miles
Walk 12. Wimborne Minster 2¼ miles
Walk 13. Portland 2½ miles
Walk 14. Osmington 3 miles
Walk 15. Sturminster Newton 2½ miles
Walk 16. Compton Abbas 3 miles
Walk 17. Blandford Forum 2 miles
Walk 18. Lambert’s Castle 2 miles
Walk 19. Netherbury 2¾ miles
Walk 20. Loders 3¾ miles
Dorset is the hidden gem of the south of England. It is a beautiful rural backwater, of quiet country roads, rolling meadows and pretty thatched villages. Without a motorway, it lies, bypassed and forgotten, between the crowded south-east corner and the busy holiday destinations of Devon and Cornwall.
But this is an advantage for the lucky visitor who gets off the beaten track. You’ll find a network of tiny uncrowded roads, by hay meadows, hedgerows, heath and woodland. There are interesting towns to explore from historic Dorchester to the exquisite Georgian Blandford Forum, pretty Wimborne Minster and Shaftesbury, the site of the famous Hovis advert at Gold Hill. There are the busy seaside resorts of Bournemouth and Poole, too, but outside of these you will find few chain stores and a wealth of small independent shops. Even Poole and Bournemouth have an old-fashioned charm seldom associated with seaside resorts.
Everywhere you go in Dorset, you follow in the footsteps of Thomas Hardy, the popular 19th-century novelist. He lived at different times in Dorchester, Wimborne Minster and near Sturminster Newton and you can trace his life from his birthplace at Higher Bockhampton, by the church he attended at Stinsford to the house he designed himself at Max Gate in Dorchester. The places in his books are thinly disguised Dorset and there are countless descriptions, still recognisable today, of towns, villages and landmarks including the famous White Horse carved into the hill at Osmington.
The past feels very close in Dorset. There are many massive Iron Age hill forts including Eggardon, Maiden Castle and Lambert’s Castle, where you can see the remains on the ground of the ramparts and ditches. At Corfe Castle the atmospheric remains of the castle, blown up by the Parliamentarians, still dominate the town and the surrounding landscape. Or visit Tyneham to find a tiny village on the coast that was left in a time warp in 1943.
Several of the walks, including Tyneham, take in the stunning Dorset coastline. The South West Coast Path follows the ancient cliffs of the Jurassic Coast, a Natural World Heritage Site illustrating 195 million years of geology. The erosion here constantly releases fossils and creates strange natural shapes like the arch at Durdle Door. Sheltered below the cliffs are little south-facing coves and beaches, often with no facilities but all the more delightful for that.