Shipton Gorge

A hidden village at the foot of the little known Shipton Hillfort. The slopes and valleys scattered with woodland, farmsteads and old manor houses. Pass the rare real tennis court, built to impress a king, while negotiating the steep and wild landscape on the old medieval trackways. All in the company of wide open views … Continue reading Shipton Gorge

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

Hooke

Deep valleys, wooded hills and sea views. Hunting, fighting and fire. Wildlife, medieval kings and manor houses. All of which have merged together over time in the landscape surrounding the little village of Hooke. Distance:  5 miles/8km Duration: 2 hours Ability: Easy. Max Height: 770ft. Min Height: 402ft. Total climb: 390ft. Terrain: Track, path road … Continue reading Hooke

Winterborne Whitechurch

Walk through the chalk hills and ancient woodland along the Winterborne valley. Encounter lost settlement and medieval tracks while circling the estates of Whatcombe and La Lee. The old manors are hidden amongst the scattered oaks on a landscape that helped more than hindered. Return through the village, passing one of the country estates of … Continue reading Winterborne Whitechurch

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

Bettiscombe

Wander through the hills and valleys of the Marshwood Vale, under the shadow of a number of hillforts. Pass Bettiscombe Manor, home of the fashion designer Jasper Conran, set amongst the small cushioned slopes at the foot of Pilsdon Pen. Follow the river to the hamlet of Pilsdon, where a loving community lives, helping those … Continue reading Bettiscombe