Forde Abbey and Holditch

Explore Dorset’s far ‘Wild West’, land that was last to be claimed from the forest and is still just as wild. Pass avenues of trees that grow in the gardens of the old monastery, now Forde Abbey. Cross little valleys and explore ancient woodland to the hamlet of Holditch. Discover Holditch Court, with the ivy covered ruins of a medieval tower, its ground having recently exposed treasure, providing clear evidence of its close and important links to history. Cut through the cottages, passing the old pub to more ruins of an old chapel. Circle lakes and quarries, which have been claimed back by nature, to Forde Abbey. The impressive country estate having developed over the centuries into a golden wonder standing proud on the banks of the River Axe, looking over the border from Dorset to Somerset.

Distance:  7 miles/11km

Duration: 3-4 hours

Ability: Easy.

Max Height: 475ft.

Min Height: 210ft.

Total climb: 520ft.

Terrain: Track, path road and field.

Map: OS Explorer 116 Lyme Regis & Bridport

Start Point: Layby at Forde Bridge. (Postcode: TA20 4HR, Grid Reference: ST362054, What Three Words: infringe.camped.woven).  Alternative parking can be at the picnic spot near Holditch (Postcode: TA20 4PL, Grid Reference: ST349032, What Three Words: solutions.chemistry.truck). 

How to Get There: From Broadwindsor, travel north on the B3162. After approximately 5 miles, turn left on to Shedrick lane, signposted to Forde Abbey and Gardens. Stay on the same road and continue straight ahead at the junction. The layby is on the right hand side, just after the bridge.

Dogs: In accordance with the Countryside Code and any notices on route.

Refreshments: Just off the route are Forde Abbey tea-rooms and nearby is The Squirrel Inn.

Neighbouring walks: Laymore, Pilsdon Pen, Bettiscombe, Lambert’s Castle and Charmouth Forest.

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