Iwerne Minster

Start in the stunning village of Iwerne Minster amongst its beautiful buildings, little stream and even some ghosts. The village was loved and greatly cared for by the once Lord of the Manor, James Ismay. His father made rich by founding White Star Line (the Titanic owner). Pass the impressive manor of Wolverton, now known … Continue reading Iwerne Minster

West Stour and Fifehead Magdalen

Follow the flow of the River Stour across Thomas Hardy’s valley of the little dairies. Explore the remains of an ancient country house and the scattered ruins of mills that traced the rivers path. Wander across the flood plains through the woodland and over the little bridges linking the villages and hamlets. Distance:  5 miles/8km … Continue reading West Stour and Fifehead Magdalen

Chilcombe, Askerswell and Litton Cheney

From the tiny hamlet of Chilcombe, with its farmhouse, chapel and spirit of an old manor, wander up the hill to pass the Iron Age Hillfort of the same name. Cross the A35 to Askerswell, buried and hidden deep in the valleys below Eggardon Hillfort. Explore the secret paths used by smugglers following the little … Continue reading Chilcombe, Askerswell and Litton Cheney

Puddletown Forest, Stinsford and the River Frome

From the depths of Thorncombe Wood discover the poet and author Thomas Hardy’s birthplace. Travel through the little village of Higher Bockhampton to Stinsford, following the footsteps of Roman soldiers. Pass numerous stately homes including Kingston Maurward, Birkin and Stinsford to meet the River Frome. Visit the memorial to Hardy at Stinsford church containing his … Continue reading Puddletown Forest, Stinsford and the River Frome

Turnworth

In the deep dark valley of Turnworth, an inspiration for Thomas Hardy’s most mysterious novel ‘The Woodlanders', climb up the western slopes to Bell Hill. The ridge splits this section of Dorset in two, to the south are the large open dairies, to the north is the Blackmore Vale filled with patchwork fields and forest. … Continue reading Turnworth

The Crown, Blandford

From the centre of Blandford, travel by foot, wheel or hoof over the meadows and out of town. Cross over the old railway and up the hill, where many Roman treasures have been discovered. Make your way through the ancient landscape of Little Down, skimming the estate of Inside Park, its manor having burnt to … Continue reading The Crown, Blandford

Furzebrook and the Blue Pool

Start in the small village of Furzebrook which was once the epicentre of the clay industry, the area producing the raw materials required for the famous Wedgewood brand amongst others. Pass the village’s manor, so thoroughly used and abused during the Second World War, that the family didn’t want it back. Make your way past … Continue reading Furzebrook and the Blue Pool

Banbury Hillfort, Okeford Fitzpaine and Belchalwell

Starting at Okeford Fitzpaine, a village full of timber framed buildings, thatched roofs and medieval doorways, make your way to the Iron Age Hillfort of Banbury; one of many hillforts that follow the River Stour. While enjoying the views across the Blackmore Vale and beyond, travel to Belchalwell, a small settlement with an 12th century … Continue reading Banbury Hillfort, Okeford Fitzpaine and Belchalwell