Starting in the maze of narrow lanes, deep in the Marshwood Vale, trace the footsteps of a saint and the many pilgrims who followed. Visit the shrine of St Wite, a young girl who lived a life of isolation but in saving others, lost her own. Her legacy has survived for centuries, her tomb believed to have healing properties and her colours now included in the Dorset county flag. Climb to the peak of Hardown Hill, blanketed in heather, the ground rises, swelling with ancient burials, and sinks with scars of quarrying. At the peak enjoy views across the Jurassic Coastline from Devon to the Isle of Portland. Return down the steep slopes, narrow paths, Butt Lane and a campsite as the bells of St Candida and the Holy Cross welcome you back.

Distance: 4 miles/6.5km

Duration: 2 hours                                 

Ability: Medium, steep climbs.

Max Height: 679ft.

Min Height: 100ft.

Total climb: 586ft.

Terrain: Tracks, paths and roads.

Map: OS Explorer 116 Lyme Regis to Bridport.

Start Point: Higher Street, Whitchurch Canonicorum. (Postcode: DT6 6FB, Grid Reference: SY397953, What Three Words: speeds.cable.massaged).

How to Get There: From Bridport, travel west on the A35 through Chideock and into Morcombelake. Just before leaving the village, turn right onto Tizzard’s Knap and follow it down Goodens Hill. Take the next right at the cottage down through the Holloway of Lower Street. Turn right onto Higher Street and follow it around the bend to find space for parking on the left. If busy there is also a small car park outside the church (please do not use at times of service).

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

Refreshments: Just off route is the Five Bells Inn and nearby are The Clock House Inn and The George Inn in Chideock or The George in Charmouth.

Neighbouring walks: Bettiscombe, Symmondsbury, Golden Cap, Stanton St Gabriel and Wootton Fitzpaine.

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Walk Excerpts*
(*with a tiny, new companion!)

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