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Hiking in Britain

The Wessex Ridgeway

The Wessex Ridgeway is a 138-mile trail running from Marlborough in Wiltshire to Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast. It is the southern end of the Greater Ridgeway walk, which along with the Rideway, the Icknield Way and the Peddar’s Way forms a walk between the Dorset and Norfolk coasts. The Wesse Ridgeway is not a national trail, and is a fairly minor named trail, meaning that waymarkers are, in places, scanty and sometimes unhelpful.

The Way passes through several different landscapes: from the ancient monuments around Avebury to the desolate beauty of Salisbury Plain; the rolling hills of Cranborne Chase to the steep-sided Dorset hills. One constant is prehistory; the trail passes through many ancient hillforts and signs of our ancestors are frequent.

It is not an easy walk; there are frequent changes in height, the way sometimes winding to include hills off the direct route.

Waymarking is generally easy to follow, in the form of circular discs, with 'TW' on a green arrow. These will be stuck onto any stationary furniture found on the route, such as gateposts, lampposts and marker posts.

The map.


The walk in full:

No.From ToDistance (miles)Ascent (feet) Descent (feet)
1 Marlborough Avebury 6.2 518 433
2 Avebury Devizes 11.5 1007 1106
3 Devizes West Lavington 10.7 732 876
4 West Lavington Bratton Camp 9.1 1063 610
5 Bratton Camp Heytesbury 11.1 1506 1886
6 Heytesbury Hindon 8.4 679 610
7 Hindon Ludwell 10.6 1421 1411
8 Ludwell Iwerne Courtney 13.0 1558 1804
9 Iwerne Courtney Dorsetshire Gap 11.5 1900 1385
10 Dorsetshire Gap Sydling St Nicholas 11.3 1460 1798
11 Sydling St Nicholas Beaminster 14.4 1808 1985
12 Beaminster Synderford 8.6 1719 1545
13 Synderford Lyme Regis 11.8 1775 2113
Totals 138.2 17146 17562

Leg 1 - Marlborough to Avebury

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
1 Avebury Marlborough 6.2 518 433

There is no marker stating the start point of the Wessex Ridgeway in Marlborough; no sign to welcome you off. Instead a simple walk takes you uphill, passing horse gallops before enteringan area dotted with ancient Grey Wether stones. Afte crossing the Ridgeway, the path descends down, crossing the ramparts of the Avebury circle to reach the centre of the beautoful village.

 

P20101010010	Marlborough.
     
P20101010012	Marlborough.
P20101010010 Marlborough.
     
P20101010012 Marlborough.

 

P20101010016	Following Hyde Lane northwards.
     
P20101010017	A cricket pavillion.
P20101010016 Following Hyde Lane northwards.
     
P20101010017 A cricket pavillion.

 

P20101010020	Following the road across Marlborough Common.
     
P20101010025	The track leading northwestwards across Barton Down.
P20101010020 Following the road across Marlborough Common.
     
P20101010025 The track leading northwestwards across Barton Down.

 

P20101010027	The end of a Gallops.
     
P20101010028	A sarsen stone.
P20101010027 The end of a Gallops.
     
P20101010028 A sarsen stone.

 

P20101010032	Sarsen stones.
     
P20101010033	Sarsen stones.
P20101010032 Sarsen stones.
     
P20101010033 Sarsen stones.

 

P20101010035	Following Green Street westwards.
     
P20101010038	Sarsen stones.
P20101010035 Following Green Street westwards.
     
P20101010038 Sarsen stones.

 

P20101010040	A sarsen stone and a sheep.
     
P20101010046	An old plough.
P20101010040 A sarsen stone and a sheep.
     
P20101010046 An old plough.

 

P20101010047	The descent down into Avebury,
     
P20101010049	The bank and ditch.
P20101010047 The descent down into Avebury,
     
P20101010049 The bank and ditch.

 

P20101010050	A stone in Avebury.
     
P20101010051	Avebury.
P20101010050 A stone in Avebury.
     
P20101010051 Avebury.

 

P20101010052	Standing stones at Avebury.
     
P20101010053	Avebury.
P20101010052 Standing stones at Avebury.
     
P20101010053 Avebury.

Leg 2 - Avebury to Devizes

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
2 Marlborough Devizes 11.5 1007 1106

History dominates this leg. Leave some time to explore the centre of historic Avebury, and perhaps walk around the ramparts surrounding the stone circle. The A4 intrudes for a short distance, before the path climbs up to the first of many hillforts on the Wessex Ridgeway, at Cherhill Down. The summit is dominated by the monument to Sir William Petty, which will remain on the skyline for much of the day.

The path descends to join a Roman Road before crossing a golf course to reach the site of the Civil War Battle of Roundway. After this the path descends down to meet the Kennet and Avon canal at Devizes.

 

P20101010054	The Red Lion pub, Avebury.
     
P20101010059	Avebury church.
P20101010054 The Red Lion pub, Avebury.
     
P20101010059 Avebury church.

 

P20101010062	The River Kennet near Avebury.
     
P20104090145	A standng stone at Avebury.
P20101010062 The River Kennet near Avebury.
     
P20104090145 A standng stone at Avebury.

 

P20104090150	Avebury church.
     
P20104090151	The River Kennet in Avebury.
P20104090150 Avebury church.
     
P20104090151 The River Kennet in Avebury.

 

P20104090155	Two standing stones in Avebury Trusloe.
     
P20104090157	A milestone beside the A4.
P20104090155 Two standing stones in Avebury Trusloe.
     
P20104090157 A milestone beside the A4.

 

P20104090158	The Old Bath Road on Knoll Down.
     
P20104090160	The view west towards the Cherhill Monument.
P20104090158 The Old Bath Road on Knoll Down.
     
P20104090160 The view west towards the Cherhill Monument.

 

P20104090163	Following the Old Bath Road westwards.
     
P20104090165	The ascent up Cherhill Hill.
P20104090163 Following the Old Bath Road westwards.
     
P20104090165 The ascent up Cherhill Hill.

 

P20104090169	The Cherhill Monument.
     
P20104090170	The ramparts of the old hillfort on Cherhill Hill.
P20104090169 The Cherhill Monument.
     
P20104090170 The ramparts of the old hillfort on Cherhill Hill.

 

P20104090174	Looking back towards the Cherhill Monument.
     
P20104090175	The view north towards Cherhill Hill.
P20104090174 Looking back towards the Cherhill Monument.
     
P20104090175 The view north towards Cherhill Hill.

 

P20104090188	The Roman Road leading westwards onto Morgan's Hill.
     
P20104090193	Heading westwards towards Oliver's Castle.
P20104090188 The Roman Road leading westwards onto Morgan's Hill.
     
P20104090193 Heading westwards towards Oliver's Castle.

 

P20104090195	The hillside near Oliver's Castle.
     
P20104090200	The hillside near Oliver's Castle.
P20104090195 The hillside near Oliver's Castle.
     
P20104090200 The hillside near Oliver's Castle.

 

P20104090203	The ramparts of Oliver's Castle.
     
P20104090209	The descent down off Roundway Hill.
P20104090203 The ramparts of Oliver's Castle.
     
P20104090209 The descent down off Roundway Hill.

 

P20104090215	The Kennet and Avon canal in Devizes.
P20104090215 The Kennet and Avon canal in Devizes.

Leg 3 - Devizes to West Lavington

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
3 Devizes West Lavington 10.7 732 876

The path follows the Kennet and Avon canal for a short distance, eschewing the centre of Devizes. After this it climbs up to the summit of Etchilhampton Hill, from where two white horses can be seen on the hillsides to the north. Rolling hills take the path to the pretty village of Urchfont, after which it climbs up tor each the track that runs along the northern edge of Salisbury Plain. If you are lucky (or unlucky), then you will be able to hear, see and feel the blasts as the army play within the military ranges. After a few miles the Way descends down into the village of West Lavington.

 

P20104090216	The Kennet and Avon canal in Devizes.
     
P20104090219	The Kennet and Avon canal in Devizes.
P20104090216 The Kennet and Avon canal in Devizes.
     
P20104090219 The Kennet and Avon canal in Devizes.

 

P20104090222	The Kennet and Avon canal in Devizes.
     
P20104090224	Heading southeastwards from Devizes.
P20104090222 The Kennet and Avon canal in Devizes.
     
P20104090224 Heading southeastwards from Devizes.

 

P20104090226	The view up towards Etchilhampton Hill.
     
P20104090233	The view from the trig pillar on Etchilhampton Hill.
P20104090226 The view up towards Etchilhampton Hill.
     
P20104090233 The view from the trig pillar on Etchilhampton Hill.

 

P20104090237	The trig pillar on Etchilhampton Hill.
     
P20104090238	The view from the trig pillar on Etchilhampton Hill.
P20104090237 The trig pillar on Etchilhampton Hill.
     
P20104090238 The view from the trig pillar on Etchilhampton Hill.

 

P20104120284	The descent from Etchilhampton Hill.
     
P20104120293	A pond at Fullaway Farm.
P20104120284 The descent from Etchilhampton Hill.
     
P20104120293 A pond at Fullaway Farm.

 

P20104120294	Looking over towards Stert Church.
     
P20104120300	The steps leading up to the railway line.
P20104120294 Looking over towards Stert Church.
     
P20104120300 The steps leading up to the railway line.

 

P20104120301	A Wessex Ridgeway marker.
     
P20104120307	Urchfont.
P20104120301 A Wessex Ridgeway marker.
     
P20104120307 Urchfont.

 

P20104120310	Urchfont.
     
P20104120313	A pond in Urchfont.
P20104120310 Urchfont.
     
P20104120313 A pond in Urchfont.

 

P20104120316	Heading south up onto Urchfont Hill.
     
P20104120319	Heading south up onto Urchfont Hill.
P20104120316 Heading south up onto Urchfont Hill.
     
P20104120319 Heading south up onto Urchfont Hill.

 

P20104120322	The army guarding the plain.
     
P20104120324	Heading southeast along the track skirting the plain.
P20104120322 The army guarding the plain.
     
P20104120324 Heading southeast along the track skirting the plain.

 

P20104120329	A memorial to a German soldier.
     
P20104120336	A hut for the guards.
P20104120329 A memorial to a German soldier.
     
P20104120336 A hut for the guards.

 

P20104120341	A water tower.
     
P20104120343	Heading southeast along the track skirting the plain.
P20104120341 A water tower.
     
P20104120343 Heading southeast along the track skirting the plain.

 

P20104120344	A flag guarding the plain.
     
P20104120348	The descent down into West Lavington.
P20104120344 A flag guarding the plain.
     
P20104120348 The descent down into West Lavington.

 

P20104120352	The descent down into West Lavington.
     
P20104120356	A house in West Lavington.
P20104120352 The descent down into West Lavington.
     
P20104120356 A house in West Lavington.

 

P20104120358	West Lavington.
     
P20104120360	West Lavington church.
P20104120358 West Lavington.
     
P20104120360 West Lavington church.

Leg 4 - West Lavington to Bratton Camp

No.FromToDistanceAscent Descent Profile
4 West Lavington Bratton Camp 9.1 1063 610

The Way leaves West Lavington, climbing up Strawberry Hill and descending before rejoining the track that runs along the northern edge of Salisbury Plain. A series of tracks and footpaths head westwards, staying on the heights as it avoids the military ranges. Superb views can be had in good weather over the plains to the north. This stretch ends on the grassy ramparts of the ancient hillfort of Bratton Camp, adjacent to the Westbury White Horse.

 

P20104150417	The bridge linking West Lavington church with the graveyard.
     
P20104150420	Climbing west from West Lavington.
P20104150417 The bridge linking West Lavington church with the graveyard.
     
P20104150420 Climbing west from West Lavington.

 

P20104150422	Bolter's Barn on Strawberry Hill.
     
P20104150427	A young calf.
P20104150422 Bolter's Barn on Strawberry Hill.
     
P20104150427 A young calf.

 

P20104150526	A Chinhook.
     
P20104150531	An army vehicle.
P20104150526 A Chinhook.
     
P20104150531 An army vehicle.

 

P20104150428	Heading past Hill Bottom Farm.
     
P20104150439	Stoke Hill trig pillar.
P20104150428 Heading past Hill Bottom Farm.
     
P20104150439 Stoke Hill trig pillar.

 

P20104150440	Heading northwest towards Coulston Hill.
     
P20104150442	A milestone beside the track.
P20104150440 Heading northwest towards Coulston Hill.
     
P20104150442 A milestone beside the track.

 

P20104150447	The descent past Westdown Farm.
     
P20104150451	Heading south towards Reeves Farm.
P20104150447 The descent past Westdown Farm.
     
P20104150451 Heading south towards Reeves Farm.

 

P20104150453	A flag on the army ranges.
     
P20104150455	Heading west onot Bratton Down.
P20104150453 A flag on the army ranges.
     
P20104150455 Heading west onot Bratton Down.

 

P20104150456	White Horse Farm.
     
P20104150462	A memorial stone on Bratton Down.
P20104150456 White Horse Farm.
     
P20104150462 A memorial stone on Bratton Down.

 

P20104150465	The ramparts of Bratton Camp.
     
P20104150470	The ramparts of Bratton Camp.
P20104150465 The ramparts of Bratton Camp.
     
P20104150470 The ramparts of Bratton Camp.

 

P20104150472	The ramparts of Bratton Camp.
     
P20104150476	The view west from Bratton Camp.
P20104150472 The ramparts of Bratton Camp.
     
P20104150476 The view west from Bratton Camp.

 

P20104150479	The view west from Bratton Camp.
     
P20104150482	The white horse by Bratton Camp.
P20104150479 The view west from Bratton Camp.
     
P20104150482 The white horse by Bratton Camp.

Leg 5 - Bratton Camp to Heytesbury

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
5 Bratton Camp Heytesbury 11.1 1506 1886

This is the first truly strenuous leg of the Way. The trail leaves the ancient hillfort of Bratton Camp and starts skirting the western edge of Salisbury Plain, rising and falling as it passes a chalk quarry to reach Upton Cow Down. More steep descents and ascents leads to the northern outskirts of Warminster and the army's Warminster Training Centre. After this three hillforts are passed in quick succession: Battlesbury Hill, Middle Hill and finally Scratchbury Hill. Height is maintained as Copley Hill is crossed, before steeply dropping down to the village of Heytesbury.

 

P20104260031	Ditches and ramparts of Bratton Camp.
     
P20104260033	Ditches and ramparts of Bratton Camp.
P20104260031 Ditches and ramparts of Bratton Camp.
     
P20104260033 Ditches and ramparts of Bratton Camp.

 

P20104260035	Looking west from Bratton Camp.
     
P20104260039	The Westbury White Horse.
P20104260035 Looking west from Bratton Camp.
     
P20104260039 The Westbury White Horse.

 

P20104260046	Looking down into the quarry.
     
P20104260048	Heading south towards Upton Cow Down.
P20104260046 Looking down into the quarry.
     
P20104260048 Heading south towards Upton Cow Down.

 

P20104260050	Graffitti on a tree.
     
P20104260051	Heading south towards Upton Cow Down.
P20104260050 Graffitti on a tree.
     
P20104260051 Heading south towards Upton Cow Down.

 

P20104260054	Heading south towards Upton Cow Down.
     
P20104260058	Upton Cow Down trig pillar.
P20104260054 Heading south towards Upton Cow Down.
     
P20104260058 Upton Cow Down trig pillar.

 

P20104260061	A cow ignoring a sign.
     
P20104260066	Looking back up the descent from Upton Cow Down.
P20104260061 A cow ignoring a sign.
     
P20104260066 Looking back up the descent from Upton Cow Down.

 

P20104260068	The ascent southeastwards from Field Barn.
     
P20104260070	A 'no tanks or lorries' sign.
P20104260068 The ascent southeastwards from Field Barn.
     
P20104260070 A 'no tanks or lorries' sign.

 

P20104260074	The desent down from the golf club.
     
P20104260075	Looking east towards Battlesbury Hill.
P20104260074 The desent down from the golf club.
     
P20104260075 Looking east towards Battlesbury Hill.

 

P20104260079	Battlesbury Hill.
     
P20104260081	Battlesbury Hill.
P20104260079 Battlesbury Hill.
     
P20104260081 Battlesbury Hill.

 

P20104260087	Battlesbury Hill trig pillar.
     
P20104260090	Strip Lynchets on Middle Hill.
P20104260087 Battlesbury Hill trig pillar.
     
P20104260090 Strip Lynchets on Middle Hill.

 

P20104260091	Heading towards Middle Hill.
     
P20104260094	The tumulus on Middle Hill.
P20104260091 Heading towards Middle Hill.
     
P20104260094 The tumulus on Middle Hill.

 

P20104260096	Looking back towards Battlesbury Hill.
     
P20104260099	A plough near Middle Hill.
P20104260096 Looking back towards Battlesbury Hill.
     
P20104260099 A plough near Middle Hill.

 

P20104260103	The ramparts of Scratchbury Hill.
     
P20104260104	The view from Scratchbury Hill towards Middle Hill.
P20104260103 The ramparts of Scratchbury Hill.
     
P20104260104 The view from Scratchbury Hill towards Middle Hill.

 

P20104260113	Heading south towards Cotley Hill.
     
P20104260114	The tumulus on Cotley Hill.
P20104260113 Heading south towards Cotley Hill.
     
P20104260114 The tumulus on Cotley Hill.

 

P20104260116	Descending down into Heytesbury.
     
P20104260119	Heytesbury.
P20104260116 Descending down into Heytesbury.
     
P20104260119 Heytesbury.

 

P20104260120	Heytesbury church.
P20104260120 Heytesbury church.

Leg 6 - Heytesbury to Hindon

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
6 Heytesbury Hindon 8.4 679 610

The trail leaves Heytesbury and follows the beautiful River Wylye for a short distance, before crossing the floodplain to reach the pretty village of Corton. After this the trail climbs up slowly, with good views to the north and west, It enters a large area of woodland on Rowdean Hill. It leaves the woodland to descend down to cross the A303, after which it climbs once more over Hawking Down before falling once more to reach Hindon.

 

P20104260125	Scratchbury Hill.
     
P20104280001	Heytesbury church.
P20104260125 Scratchbury Hill.
     
P20104280001 Heytesbury church.

 

P20104280006	Heytesbury lock-up.
     
P20104280008	The first direction sign on the Wessex Ridgeway.
P20104280006 Heytesbury lock-up.
     
P20104280008 The first direction sign on the Wessex Ridgeway.

 

P20104280009	The River Wylye.
     
P20104280010	The River Wylye.
P20104280009 The River Wylye.
     
P20104280010 The River Wylye.

 

P20104280014	The River Wylye.
     
P20104280015	Looking back towards Cotley Hill.
P20104280014 The River Wylye.
     
P20104280015 Looking back towards Cotley Hill.

 

P20104280019	A railway bridge near Cotley.
     
P20104280021	A thatched wall in Cotley.
P20104280019 A railway bridge near Cotley.
     
P20104280021 A thatched wall in Cotley.

 

P20104280022	An old chapel in Cotley.
     
P20104280024	A pump outside a house in Cotley.
P20104280022 An old chapel in Cotley.
     
P20104280024 A pump outside a house in Cotley.

 

P20104280030	Views from the ascent.
     
P20104280033	Corton Down trig pillar.
P20104280030 Views from the ascent.
     
P20104280033 Corton Down trig pillar.

 

P20104280045	Heading towards Rowdean Hill.
     
P20104280047	Looking west from the track.
P20104280045 Heading towards Rowdean Hill.
     
P20104280047 Looking west from the track.

 

P20104280050	A pile of logs on Rowdean Hill.
     
P20104280053	A clearing on Rowdean Hill.
P20104280050 A pile of logs on Rowdean Hill.
     
P20104280053 A clearing on Rowdean Hill.

 

P20104280058	The descent down from Rowdean Hill.
     
P20104280062	Climbing up towards Hindon.
P20104280058 The descent down from Rowdean Hill.
     
P20104280062 Climbing up towards Hindon.

 

P20104280067	Hindon.
P20104280067 Hindon.

Leg 7 - Hindon to Ludwell

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
7 Hindon Ludwell 10.6 1421 1411

The trail leaves Hindon and climbs to skirt and area of woodland before descending once again. A series of small hills follow as the trail passes Newtown and crosses over the Salisbury to Exeter railway line. It then passes the magnificent Wardour Castle before reaching the equally spectacular ruins of Old Wardour Castle. Rolling hills lead on southwestwards across fields before the A30 is reached in Ludwell.

 

P20104280073	An ornate sign on The Angel Inn, Hindon.
     
P20104280077	Hindon church.
P20104280073 An ornate sign on The Angel Inn, Hindon.
     
P20104280077 Hindon church.

 

P20104280078	A war memorial in Hindon.
     
P2007B261453	Hindon Church.
P20104280078 A war memorial in Hindon.
     
P2007B261453 Hindon Church.

 

P2007B261455	A chapel in Hindon.
     
P2007B261457	A stream in Hindon.
P2007B261455 A chapel in Hindon.
     
P2007B261457 A stream in Hindon.

 

P2007B261460	Heading southwest from Hindon.
     
P2007B261461	The first Wessex Ridgeway marker.
P2007B261460 Heading southwest from Hindon.
     
P2007B261461 The first Wessex Ridgeway marker.

 

P2007B261462	Heading south towards Knoyle Corner.
     
P2007B261464	Climbing up through the woods towards towards Knoyle Corner.
P2007B261462 Heading south towards Knoyle Corner.
     
P2007B261464 Climbing up through the woods towards towards Knoyle Corner.

 

P2007B261466	Climbing up through the woods towards towards Knoyle Corner.
     
P2007B261469	Descending south from Knoyle Corner.
P2007B261466 Climbing up through the woods towards towards Knoyle Corner.
     
P2007B261469 Descending south from Knoyle Corner.

 

P2007B261471	Crossing a stream near Summerleaze Farm.
     
P2007B261480	Pyt House trig pillar.
P2007B261471 Crossing a stream near Summerleaze Farm.
     
P2007B261480 Pyt House trig pillar.

 

P2007B261481	A road sign at Newtown.
     
P2007B261482	The path heading south from Newtown.
P2007B261481 A road sign at Newtown.
     
P2007B261482 The path heading south from Newtown.

 

P2007B261484	The woods to the south of Newtown.
     
P2007B261486	The ruined New Barn.
P2007B261484 The woods to the south of Newtown.
     
P2007B261486 The ruined New Barn.

 

P2007B261487	The ruined New Barn.
     
P2007B261489	The difficult gateway near New Barn.
P2007B261487 The ruined New Barn.
     
P2007B261489 The difficult gateway near New Barn.

 

P2007B261490	The railway line near West Hatch.
     
P2007B261493	A footbridge to the south of Wardour.
P2007B261490 The railway line near West Hatch.
     
P2007B261493 A footbridge to the south of Wardour.

 

P2007B261494	The River Nadder near Wardour.
     
P2007B261495	A stone bus shelter at Wardour.
P2007B261494 The River Nadder near Wardour.
     
P2007B261495 A stone bus shelter at Wardour.

 

P2007B261499	Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261500	Wardour Castle.
P2007B261499 Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261500 Wardour Castle.

 

P2007B261501	Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261507	Cows at Ark Farm.
P2007B261501 Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261507 Cows at Ark Farm.

 

P2007B261509	Old Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261511	Old Wardour Castle.
P2007B261509 Old Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261511 Old Wardour Castle.

 

P2007B261512	Old Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261516	The curtain wall at Old Wardour Castle.
P2007B261512 Old Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261516 The curtain wall at Old Wardour Castle.

 

P2007B261522	A gateway to the southwest of Old Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261524	The track heading down to the ponds.
P2007B261522 A gateway to the southwest of Old Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261524 The track heading down to the ponds.

 

P2007B261527	A pond to the southwest of Old Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261528	The path through Park Copse.
P2007B261527 A pond to the southwest of Old Wardour Castle.
     
P2007B261528 The path through Park Copse.

 

P2007B261531	Park Copse.
     
P2007B261536	The track heading uphill towards Green Lane.
P2007B261531 Park Copse.
     
P2007B261536 The track heading uphill towards Green Lane.

 

P2007B261543	The path heading southwestwards towards Ludwell.
     
P2007B261547	Descending south across fields towards Ludwell.
P2007B261543 The path heading southwestwards towards Ludwell.
     
P2007B261547 Descending south across fields towards Ludwell.

Leg 8 - Ludwell to Iwerne Courtney

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
8 Ludwell Iwerne Courtney 13.0 1558 1804

The trail leaves Ludwell and passes some watercress beds before climbing up to skirt the edge of Win Green Hill, from where good views can be had in virtually all directions. A steep descent leads down to Ashcombe Bottom, and a valley walk leads to the hamlet of Tollard Royal. A climb across Woodley Down is followed by a descent to Ashmore, crossing the border into Dorset and passing the halfway point of the trail. Ashnore Wood is passed through (bedecked with a carpet of bluebells in spring), after which rolling hills leads to a final descent down to the village of Iwerne Courtney (otherwise known as Shrotton).

 

P20105040004	Watercress beds in Ludwell.
     
P20105040007	Climbing up from Ludwell towards Win Green.
P20105040004 Watercress beds in Ludwell.
     
P20105040007 Climbing up from Ludwell towards Win Green.

 

P20105040013	Climbing up from Ludwell towards Win Green.
     
P20105040016	Win Green trig pillar.
P20105040013 Climbing up from Ludwell towards Win Green.
     
P20105040016 Win Green trig pillar.

 

P20105040022	Looking up to the summit of Win Green.
     
P20105040024	Descending from Win Green towards Ashcombe.
P20105040022 Looking up to the summit of Win Green.
     
P20105040024 Descending from Win Green towards Ashcombe.

 

P20105040026	A valley of Ashcombe Bottom.
     
P20105040027	Ashcombe Bottom.
P20105040026 A valley of Ashcombe Bottom.
     
P20105040027 Ashcombe Bottom.

 

P20105040029	Ashcombe Bottom.
     
P20105040031	A Wessex Ridgeway marker.
P20105040029 Ashcombe Bottom.
     
P20105040031 A Wessex Ridgeway marker.

 

P20105040034	The path leading to Tollard Royal.
     
P20105040036	Tollard Royal.
P20105040034 The path leading to Tollard Royal.
     
P20105040036 Tollard Royal.

 

P20105040040	Heading west from Tollard Royal along Bench's Lane.
     
P20105040042	The path leading west to Ashmore.
P20105040040 Heading west from Tollard Royal along Bench's Lane.
     
P20105040042 The path leading west to Ashmore.

 

P20105040044	62 miles to Lyme Regis.
     
P20105040045	The path leading west to Ashmore.
P20105040044 62 miles to Lyme Regis.
     
P20105040045 The path leading west to Ashmore.

 

P20105040048	Ashmore.
     
P20105040051	Ashmore church.
P20105040048 Ashmore.
     
P20105040051 Ashmore church.

 

P20105040055	The path through Ashmore Wood.
     
P20105040057	Flowers in Ashmore Wood.
P20105040055 The path through Ashmore Wood.
     
P20105040057 Flowers in Ashmore Wood.

 

P20105040058	The path through Ashmore Wood.
     
P20105040065	Heading west through Preston Wood.
P20105040058 The path through Ashmore Wood.
     
P20105040065 Heading west through Preston Wood.

 

P20105040068	Heding west towards Iwerne Courtney.
     
P20105040071	A view to the east of Iwerne Courtney.
P20105040068 Heding west towards Iwerne Courtney.
     
P20105040071 A view to the east of Iwerne Courtney.

 

P20105040073	Looking down over Iwerne Courtney.
P20105040073 Looking down over Iwerne Courtney.

Leg 9 - Iwerne Courtney to Dorsetshire Gap

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
9 Iwerne Courtney Dorsetshire Gap 11.5 1900 1385

The trail leaves Iwerne Courtney and immediately climbs up towards the summit of Hambledon Hill, from where superb views can be had. The height gained is quickly lost as the trail descends to cross the River Stour and enter the village of Shillingstone. A steep climb leads up onto Shillingstone Hill, after which the height is kept as a road is followed southwestwards across Bell, Ibberton and Woolland Hills. Superb views can be had from the road to the northwest. The trail passes Bulbarrow Hill and leaves he road by the ancient hillfort of Rawlsbury Camp. A descent down to a road is followed by another stiff climb to a junction of paths at Dorsetshire Camp, where a metal box contains a logbook that can be filled in by walkers.

 

P20082273749	The doorway leading into the Cricketers pub in Iwerne Courtney.
     
P20082273751	The track leading up Hambledon Hill.
P20082273749 The doorway leading into the Cricketers pub in Iwerne Courtney.
     
P20082273751 The track leading up Hambledon Hill.

 

P20082273754	Looking down over Iwerne Courtney.
     
P20082273756	The track leading up Hambledon Hill.
P20082273754 Looking down over Iwerne Courtney.
     
P20082273756 The track leading up Hambledon Hill.

 

P20082273759	The ramparts of the old fort on Hambledon Hill.
     
P20082273762	The view from the trig pillar on Hambledon Hill.
P20082273759 The ramparts of the old fort on Hambledon Hill.
     
P20082273762 The view from the trig pillar on Hambledon Hill.

 

P20082273765	The trig pillar on Hambledon Hill.
     
P20082273767	The trig pillar on Hambledon Hill.
P20082273765 The trig pillar on Hambledon Hill.
     
P20082273767 The trig pillar on Hambledon Hill.

 

P20082273770	The view from the trig pillar on Hambledon Hill.
     
P20082273775	Heading south along the River Stour from Hanford Farm.
P20082273770 The view from the trig pillar on Hambledon Hill.
     
P20082273775 Heading south along the River Stour from Hanford Farm.

 

P20082273777	The bridge over the River Stour to the southwest of Hanford Farm.
     
P20082273778	The view from the bridge over the River Stour to the southwest of Hanford Farm.
P20082273777 The bridge over the River Stour to the southwest of Hanford Farm.
     
P20082273778 The view from the bridge over the River Stour to the southwest of Hanford Farm.

 

P20082273780	Looking back north to Hambledon Hill.
     
P20082273785	Climbing southwestwards from Shillingstone.
P20082273780 Looking back north to Hambledon Hill.
     
P20082273785 Climbing southwestwards from Shillingstone.

 

P20082273786	The path on Okeford Hill.
     
P20082273792	The trig pillar on Okeford Hill.
P20082273786 The path on Okeford Hill.
     
P20082273792 The trig pillar on Okeford Hill.

 

P20082273793	The path on Okeford Hill.
     
P20082273795	The view from Okeford Hill.
P20082273793 The path on Okeford Hill.
     
P20082273795 The view from Okeford Hill.

 

P20082273798	Following the track southwestwards from Okeford Hill.
     
P20082273800	Following the track southwestwards from Okeford Hill.
P20082273798 Following the track southwestwards from Okeford Hill.
     
P20082273800 Following the track southwestwards from Okeford Hill.

 

P20082273803	Looking westwards from Bell Hill.
     
P20082273805	The view west from near Woolland Hill.
P20082273803 Looking westwards from Bell Hill.
     
P20082273805 The view west from near Woolland Hill.

 

P20082273807	The view west from near Woolland Hill.
     
P20082273810	The view west from near Woolland Hill.
P20082273807 The view west from near Woolland Hill.
     
P20082273810 The view west from near Woolland Hill.

 

P20082273813	Army camoflague on Woolland Hill.
     
P20082273818	A mast on Woolland Hill.
P20082273813 Army camoflague on Woolland Hill.
     
P20082273818 A mast on Woolland Hill.

 

P20105110002	Myself getting ready for the trip on Bulbarrow Hill.
     
P20105110006	Looking towards Rawlsbury Camp.
P20105110002 Myself getting ready for the trip on Bulbarrow Hill.
     
P20105110006 Looking towards Rawlsbury Camp.

 

P20105110014	The aramparts of Rawlsbury Camp.
     
P20105110019	Heading down towards Crockers Farm.
P20105110014 The aramparts of Rawlsbury Camp.
     
P20105110019 Heading down towards Crockers Farm.

 

P20105110021	A ford near Crockers Farm.
     
P20105110026	The path near Dorsetshire Gap.
P20105110021 A ford near Crockers Farm.
     
P20105110026 The path near Dorsetshire Gap.

 

P20105110027	The path near Dorsetshire Gap.
P20105110027 The path near Dorsetshire Gap.

Leg 10 - Dorsetshire Gap to Sydling St Nicholas

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
10 Dorsetshire Gap Sydling St Nicholas 11.3 1460 1798

A series of ascents and descents leads westwards from Dorsetshire Gap, crossing Nettlecombe Tout, Church Hill before reaching a camping and caravan site at Giant's Head. The trail avoids the village of Cerne Abbas and instead descends down to Minterne Parva, before climbing once more onto Gore Hill. A few glimpses of the Cerne Abbas Giant may be visible before the path joins a track that runs southwards along a ridge, passing a transmission mast and eventually descending down into the village of Sydling St Nicholas.

 

P20105110031	The path near Nettlecombe Tout.
     
P20105110034	The descent to Folly.
P20105110031 The path near Nettlecombe Tout.
     
P20105110034 The descent to Folly.

 

P20105110040	Ball Hill.
     
P20105110043	A stamp by a stile.
P20105110040 Ball Hill.
     
P20105110043 A stamp by a stile.

 

P20105110044	Descending down to the B3143.
     
P20105110051	A Chinhook following the valley.
P20105110044 Descending down to the B3143.
     
P20105110051 A Chinhook following the valley.

 

P20105110052	The view from above Alton Pancras.
     
P20105110060	Descending down to Minterne Parva.
P20105110052 The view from above Alton Pancras.
     
P20105110060 Descending down to Minterne Parva.

 

P20105110061	Descending down to Minterne Parva.
     
P20105110064	The old cock-fighting building in Minterne Parva.
P20105110061 Descending down to Minterne Parva.
     
P20105110064 The old cock-fighting building in Minterne Parva.

 

P20105110067	Slate signs near a stream in Minterne Parva.
     
P20105110070	Up Cerne.
P20105110067 Slate signs near a stream in Minterne Parva.
     
P20105110070 Up Cerne.

 

P20105110073	The stream in Up Cerne.
     
P20105110081	The path heading south from Gore Hill.
P20105110073 The stream in Up Cerne.
     
P20105110081 The path heading south from Gore Hill.

 

P20105110085	The path heading south from Gore Hill.
     
P20105110086	A rock beside the path.
P20105110085 The path heading south from Gore Hill.
     
P20105110086 A rock beside the path.

 

P20105110087	The path heading south from Gore Hill.
     
P20105110090	Looking down over Sydling St Nicholas.
P20105110087 The path heading south from Gore Hill.
     
P20105110090 Looking down over Sydling St Nicholas.

 

P20105110093	Looking down over Sydling St Nicholas.
     
P20105110098	An old petrol pump in Sydling St Nicholas.
P20105110093 Looking down over Sydling St Nicholas.
     
P20105110098 An old petrol pump in Sydling St Nicholas.

Leg 11 - Sydling St Nicholas to Beaminster

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
11 Sydling St Nicholas Beaminster 14.4 1808 1895

A short climb from Sydling St Nicholas leads to the A37 on Break Heart Hill, after which a descent leads to the village of Maiden Newton, which has a railway station. The valley of the River Frome is followed for a short distance to Chilfrome, after which a road climbs up westwards to reach the A356. A steep descent leads down to the hamlet of Lower Kingcombe, before a gentle climb passes the BBC World Service masts on Rampisham Down. A descent leads down into Hooke, after which paths and roads lead to Toller Whelme. Roads and paths head northwestwards for a few miles along the edge of a ridge, with good views to the south. At Mintern's Hill a glimpse of the sea may even be seen. Here the trail leaves a road and descends steeply downhill, joining a road in Meerhay to reach the town of Beaminster.

 

P20105110100	Sydling St Nicholas.
     
P20105110103	Climbing west from Sydling St Nicholas.
P20105110100 Sydling St Nicholas.
     
P20105110103 Climbing west from Sydling St Nicholas.

 

P20105110105	Climbing west from Sydling St Nicholas.
     
P20105110110	The track descending down west from the A37 into Maiden Newton.
P20105110105 Climbing west from Sydling St Nicholas.
     
P20105110110 The track descending down west from the A37 into Maiden Newton.

 

P20105110111	The track descending down west from the A37 into Maiden Newton.
     
P20105110115	Maiden Newton war memorial.
P20105110111 The track descending down west from the A37 into Maiden Newton.
     
P20105110115 Maiden Newton war memorial.

 

P20105110120	Maiden Newton church.
     
P20105110121	Maiden Newton.
P20105110120 Maiden Newton church.
     
P20105110121 Maiden Newton.

 

P20105110122	The path heading northwestwards from Maiden Newton.
     
P20105110127	The River Frome in Maiden Newton.
P20105110122 The path heading northwestwards from Maiden Newton.
     
P20105110127 The River Frome in Maiden Newton.

 

P20105110128	The River Frome in Maiden Newton.
     
P20105110129	Chilfrome church,
P20105110128 The River Frome in Maiden Newton.
     
P20105110129 Chilfrome church,

 

P20105110130	Chilfrome.
     
P20105110132	 Heading west along Higher Drove.
P20105110130 Chilfrome.
     
P20105110132 Heading west along Higher Drove.

 

P20105110134	The path leading down into Lower Kincombe.
     
P20105110140	The path through Kingcombe Coppice.
P20105110134 The path leading down into Lower Kincombe.
     
P20105110140 The path through Kingcombe Coppice.

 

P20105110141	Heading up towards Kingcombe Lane.
     
P20105110144	My tent by Kingcombe Lane.
P20105110141 Heading up towards Kingcombe Lane.
     
P20105110144 My tent by Kingcombe Lane.

 

P20105120147	My tent by Kingcombe Lane.
     
P20105120151	The masts on Rampisham Down.
P20105120147 My tent by Kingcombe Lane.
     
P20105120151 The masts on Rampisham Down.

 

P20105120153	Heading west towards Hooke.
     
P20105120155	A pond in Hooke.
P20105120153 Heading west towards Hooke.
     
P20105120155 A pond in Hooke.

 

P20105120158	A lake in Toller Whelme.
     
P20105120162	A path leading to the B3163.
P20105120158 A lake in Toller Whelme.
     
P20105120162 A path leading to the B3163.

 

P20105120164	Looking down over Beaminster.
     
P20105120166	The track leading northwest to Mintern's Hill.
P20105120164 Looking down over Beaminster.
     
P20105120166 The track leading northwest to Mintern's Hill.

 

P20105120168	The view down over Beaminster, with the sea in the distance.
     
P20105120003	Beaminster.
P20105120168 The view down over Beaminster, with the sea in the distance.
     
P20105120003 Beaminster.

 

P20105120004	Beaminster.
P20105120004 Beaminster.

Leg 12 - Beaminster to Synderford

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
12 Beaminster Synderford 8.6 1719 1545

The trail passes through the centre of beautiful Beaminster before climbing steeply up onto Gerrard's Hill. Some severe climbs and falls leads to the path skirting the wooded side of Lewesdon Hill, before descending down and climbing up to pass the northwestern tip of Pilsdon Pen. Yet another descent is followed by an ascent up Blackdown Hill. A final descent leads to a road by a chapel, which is followed through to the hamlet of Synderford.

 

P20105120007	Beaminster church.
     
P20105120009	A small street in Beaminster.
P20105120007 Beaminster church.
     
P20105120009 A small street in Beaminster.

 

P20105120011	Looking up towards Gerrard's Hill.
     
P20105120014	The climb up Gerrard's Hill.
P20105120011 Looking up towards Gerrard's Hill.
     
P20105120014 The climb up Gerrard's Hill.

 

P20105120015	The trig pillar at the top of Gerrard's Hill.
     
P20105120018	The trig pillar at the top of Gerrard's Hill.
P20105120015 The trig pillar at the top of Gerrard's Hill.
     
P20105120018 The trig pillar at the top of Gerrard's Hill.

 

P20105120021	Heading west towards Stoke Knapp.
     
P20105120025	The walk past Lewesdon Hill.
P20105120021 Heading west towards Stoke Knapp.
     
P20105120025 The walk past Lewesdon Hill.

 

P20105120027	The walk past Lewesdon Hill.
     
P20105120028	The descent off Lewesdon Hill.
P20105120027 The walk past Lewesdon Hill.
     
P20105120028 The descent off Lewesdon Hill.

 

P20105120030	Cows near Courtwood Farm.
     
P20105120033	The climb onto Pilsdon Hill.
P20105120030 Cows near Courtwood Farm.
     
P20105120033 The climb onto Pilsdon Hill.

 

P20105120036	An ornately-carved gate on Pilsdon Hill.
     
P20105120040	The descent off Pilsdon Pen.
P20105120036 An ornately-carved gate on Pilsdon Hill.
     
P20105120040 The descent off Pilsdon Pen.

 

P20105120045	Blackdown Church.
     
P20105120048	The descent off Blackdown Hill.
P20105120045 Blackdown Church.
     
P20105120048 The descent off Blackdown Hill.

 

P20105120049	A chapel at Stony Knaps.
     
P20105120052	A distant view of Lewesdon Hill.
P20105120049 A chapel at Stony Knaps.
     
P20105120052 A distant view of Lewesdon Hill.

Leg 13 - Synderford to Lyme Regis

No.From To Distance Ascent Descent Profile
13 Synderford Lyme Regis 11.8 1775 2113

The path follows a narrow road from Synderford, crossing the small river before reaching Saddle Street. A steep climb leads up to a road and Grighay Farm. A steady descent leads down to the tiny Blackwater River, after which the path ascends, skirting the Devon border. A steep climb leads up to the summit of Lambert's Castle, from where more great views can be had. A steep descent leads down to a road, which can the be followed over and through the hillfort on Coney's Hill. A long descent leads to Wootton Fitzpaine, after whithe the trail skirts the valley side before climbing up to cross the A35 at Penn. The train descends through some woodland before eventually reaching the outskirts of Lyme Regis by a sweage farm. A pleasant stroll alongside the River Lim is followed by a road walk to the museum by the seafront in Lyme Regis.

 

P20105120054	Gashay Farm.
     
P20105120056	The Bottle Inn.
P20105120054 Gashay Farm.
     
P20105120056 The Bottle Inn.

 

P20105120058	My tent at the Bottle Inn.
     
P20105130063	The view from the Bottle Inn.
P20105120058 My tent at the Bottle Inn.
     
P20105130063 The view from the Bottle Inn.

 

P20105130064	My tent at the Bottle Inn.
     
P20105130068	The path on Lambert's Castle.
P20105130064 My tent at the Bottle Inn.
     
P20105130068 The path on Lambert's Castle.

 

P20105130069	Lambert's Castle trig pillar.
     
P20105130075	The view from Coney's Castle.
P20105130069 Lambert's Castle trig pillar.
     
P20105130075 The view from Coney's Castle.

 

P20105130076	The road across Coney's Castle.
     
P20105130080	The descent down to Wootton Fitzpaine.
P20105130076 The road across Coney's Castle.
     
P20105130080 The descent down to Wootton Fitzpaine.

 

P20105130082	The descent down to Wootton Fitzpaine.
     
P20105130084	The descent down to Wootton Fitzpaine.
P20105130082 The descent down to Wootton Fitzpaine.
     
P20105130084 The descent down to Wootton Fitzpaine.

 

P20105130086	Climbing up west from Wootton Fitzpaine.
     
P20105130088	Blossom on a tree.
P20105130086 Climbing up west from Wootton Fitzpaine.
     
P20105130088 Blossom on a tree.

 

P20105130089	Heading west towards Stubb's Farm.
     
P20105130096	The ascent up to Penn.
P20105130089 Heading west towards Stubb's Farm.
     
P20105130096 The ascent up to Penn.

 

P20105130099	Heading south through the woodland to the south of the A27.
     
P20105130101	Heading south through the woodland to the south of the A27.
P20105130099 Heading south through the woodland to the south of the A27.
     
P20105130101 Heading south through the woodland to the south of the A27.

 

P20105130105	Passing Sleech Wood to the sewage works.
     
P20105130107	Following the stream southeastwards to Lyme Regis.
P20105130105 Passing Sleech Wood to the sewage works.
     
P20105130107 Following the stream southeastwards to Lyme Regis.

 

P20105130109	A signpost near the end of the trail in Lyme Regis.
     
P20105130111	Following the stream southeastwards to Lyme Regis.
P20105130109 A signpost near the end of the trail in Lyme Regis.
     
P20105130111 Following the stream southeastwards to Lyme Regis.

 

P20105130113	Lyme Regis.
     
P20105130117	Lyme Regis.
P20105130113 Lyme Regis.
     
P20105130117 Lyme Regis.

 

P20105130118	Lyme Regis.
     
P20105130120	Lyme Regis.
P20105130118 Lyme Regis.
     
P20105130120 Lyme Regis.

 

P20105130121	Lyme Regis.
P20105130121 Lyme Regis.

 

 

 

 


Circular walks

The following circular and linear walks are based on the Wessex Ridgeway:

  • Walk 847 (A circular walk from Marlborough to Avebury)
  • Walk 848 (Avebury to Devizes)
  • Walk 849 (A circular walk from Urchfont to Etchilhampton and West Lavington)
  • Walk 850 (A walk from West Lavington to Bratton Camp)
  • Walk 851 (Westbury to Warminster)
  • Walk 852 (A circular walk from Heytesbury to Hindon)
  • Walk 800 (A circular walk from Hindon to Ludwell)
  • Walk 853 (A circular walk from Ludwell to Iwerne Courtney)
  • Walk 811 (A circular walk from Durweston to Woolland Hill and Milton Abbas)
  • Walk 854 (Bulbarrow Hill to Rampisham Down)
  • Walk 855 (Rampisham Down to Marshwood)
  • Walk 856 (Marshwood to Lyme Regis)

 

 

 

 


Other resources


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