Upwey and the South Dorset Ridgeway

Walk upstream following the little River Wey to its source. Climb Bayard Hill to the ridge, scattered with ancient tumuli and sliced by a Roman road. Cross the bridge over the new A354 to find the site of 54 brutally murdered and decapitated Vikings, with three skulls missing. Enjoy a rare panoramic view of almost the entire Jurassic Coastline before following the route of the old Dorchester road to Bincombe Tunnel, apparently home to a ghost that never got home. Return to the valley, past multi-million pound houses, two built for an ancient family and one made from confiscated pirate treasure. Finish at the magic healing well to drink the drink of kings and make a wish, surrounded by ponds, paths, waterfalls, and ice-cream.

Distance: 4 miles/6km

Duration: 2-3 hours

Ability: Easy, but one big climb.

Max Height: 500ft.

Min Height: 125ft.

Total climb: 375ft.

Terrain: Track, path, road and field.

Map: OS Explorer OL15 Purbeck and South Dorset

Start Point: St Lawrence’s Church Car Park, 50p donation. (Postcode: DT3 5QE, Grid Reference: SY660852, What Three Words: blip.lateral.dignify).

How to get there: From Weymouth travel north out of town on the Weymouth way. At the Morrisons roundabout, turn left onto the B3159, old Dorchester Road. After just under 2 miles, turn left, signposted for Winterborne Abbas. Stay on the same road, curving to the right and following the river into Upwey. Veer off to the left when the road splits to find a small car park after the church.

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

Refreshments: Upwey Wishing Well Tearooms & Water Gardens.

Neighbouring walks: Maiden Castle, Bincombe, Osmington, Higher Moor Farm and Langton Herring.

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Walk Excerpts

3 thoughts on “Upwey and the South Dorset Ridgeway

    1. I truly recommend it, one of my favourites and so much to see. Try going on a clear day to appreciate the views. Should fit nicely between your homes, plenty of places to eat around there too!

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