Bryanston

Skim the edge of an estate that has evolved through the centuries, old manors still traceable in the ground and whispered in the place names. While the ancient families grew, the estate also developed. Keeping with the fashion of the time, Bryanston led the way, starting from scratch three times over. The demise of the … Continue reading Bryanston

Buckland Newton

In the far corner of the Blackmore Vale lies the village of Buckland Newton, a combination of medieval hamlets, linked together by streams, slopes and tracks. Home to William Barnes ancestors and a village passed through by one of Thomas Hardy’s tragic characters, it is surrounded by ancient settlement sitting on the hilltops. A golden … Continue reading Buckland Newton

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 Forde Abbey’s Gardens. Cross little valleys and explore ancient woodland to Holditch. Visit Holditch Court, with the ruins of an overgrown tower providing clear evidence of its … Continue reading Forde Abbey and Holditch

Gillingham

Inspiring the writer Thomas Hardy and the artist John Constable, this small rural town was once hidden in forest. Follow the river Lodden past the hunting lodge turned castle of Kings Court, now nothing but earthworks. Walk on into the old landscape of the wood, scattered with ancient trees and thick hedgerows. Cross the railway … Continue reading Gillingham

Cheselbourne

Explore by wheel, hoof or foot the chalk hills and river valleys of central Dorset. Scattered with earthworks and Roman remains, it merges with modern day settlement, woodland and water. Discover the church with an ancient canonical sundial carved into its wall and pass the haunted country house that was inspiration for Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far … Continue reading Cheselbourne

Woodbury

Travel through Bere Heath to the River Piddle and Bere Valley. Make your way through thick woodland and fern lined paths to pass the site of the ancient Turberville Manor. Climb up to Woodbury Hill Fort, with its forgotten holy well and powerful healing water, especially at the autumn equinox! Continue through the ancient wood … Continue reading Woodbury

Stock Gaylard and Lydlinch

Distance:  5 Miles/8kmTime: 2 hoursTotal climb: 180ft. Max height: 280ft.Min height: 190ft. Terrain: Track, path and field, can get muddy and wet.Exertion: MediumStart: Lydlinch Common, just off the road near the green. (Postcode: DT10 2JA, Grid Reference: ST743135, What Three Words: secondly.unwraps.halt) Map: OS Explorer 129 Yeovil and SherborneHow to get there: From Sturminster Newton, … Continue reading Stock Gaylard and Lydlinch

Gussage Down

Distance:  6.5 miles/10.5 km Duration: 3 hours Ability: Medium Terrain: Path, track and field. Total Climb: 375ft Max Height: 480ft Min Height: 160ft Map: OS Explorer 118 Shaftesbury and Cranborne Chase Start Point: Harley Lane, Gussage All Saints (Postcode BH21 5HD, Grid reference: ST998107, What Three Words: shameless.bricks.sits.) It is also possible to cut this … Continue reading Gussage Down