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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Round-a-bout the Ridge - New circular walks discovering the secrets of the South Dorset Ridgeway

This month saw the launch of four circular walks around the South Dorset Ridgeway. The walks take in the marvellous archaeology and natural scenery that makes this part of South Dorset a very special place to explore.

The walks have been developed as part of the Project and make use of the rights of way network. They start and finish in one of the Ridgeway villages where there are public transport links and opportunities for a welcome rest stop. Designer & illustrator Yvonne Lee has created a series of beautifully illustrated guides to each walk.

The shortest walk at 3 miles is Maiden Castle and Clandon Barrow. It starts at Martinstown’s village church and follows a route through farmland to Maiden Castle with views to the Ridgeway. Also starting in Martinstown, is Barrow Circle a more strenuous 5½ mile walk. Stones and Circle is the longest walk in the series and takes stone as its theme. Starting in Portesham, the 7½ mile route passes the old Rocket Quarry before joining the South West Coast Path National Trail below Hardy’s Monument and climbing to spectacular views of the coastline. Broadmayne is the starting point for the 6½ mile walk with a connection to Thomas Hardy. The route then follows Hardy's High Road to the village of Poxwell. Hardy knew the area well and featured this enigmatic landscape in several of his stories.

The packs can be picked up at Tourist Information Centres or downloaded from www.dorsetaonb.org.uk

The Inland Coast Path is re-named the South Dorset Ridgeway.

The Inland Coast Path is 16¼ mile trail between West Bexington and Osmington Mills. It is part of the South West Coast Path National Trail and most of the route follows the South Dorset Ridgeway with dramatic views across coast and countryside.

The route remains part of the family of National Trails that are waymarked with
the acorn symbol. For the time being users will find the trail signed as both the South Dorset Ridgeway and the Inland Coast Path. For more information see the South West Coast Path website at www.southwestcoastpath.com

Source: Dorset AONB

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