Dorset is one of the finest counties for walking in lowland Britain. It is richly endowed with a spectacular coastline and a wide variety of inland scenery including chalk downs, ancient woods, rich riverbanks, limestone hills and more. This is a guide to circular walks of between 5 and 12 miles. The majority of the walks take you to some of the county's finest pubs. There are details of long-distance paths, with directions to follow the Dorset Ridgeway, the Wessex Way and the Liberty Trail, as well as details of the Dorset Coast Path and the Stour Valley Path. Many of the walks can be adjusted in length to suit every level of fitness or inclination. There are frequent references to the county's rich history and even richer literary heritage: not only Thomas Hardy, who did so much to make his native county famous, but also Jane Austen, John Fowles, J. Meade Falkner, Henry Fielding and others. Every step of the way has been covered by the author, often a number of times. There is a guide to accommodation in pubs, farmhouses and bed and breakfast to accompany each walk.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION TO WALKING IN DORSET CHAPTER TWO: LONG DISTANCE PATHS IN DORSET CHAPTER THREE: WALKS IN EAST DORSET The Forests and Downs of Cranborne Chase Hambledon Hill, Hod Hill and Blandford Forest Bokerley Ditch and Martin Down Compton and Fontmell Downs and Melbury Hill The Stour Valley and Forest Trail, Ferndown The Woods and Lanes of the Crane Valley CHAPTER FOUR: BETWEEN THE STOUR AND THE FROME The Hinterland of Sherbourne: in Raleigh's Domain Milton Abbas, Hilton and the Downs The Vale of the Stour Trent and the Comptons Dogbury Gate and Minterne Hill Plush and the Dorset Gap Melcombe Bingham and the Dorset Gap Rawlsbury Camp and Bulbarrow Giant Hill and the Source of the Cerne Sandford Orcas to Cadbury Castle Between the Cale and the Stour Tolpuddle, Dewlish and the Downs CHAPTER FIVE: PURBECK AND SOUTH DORSET Chapman's Pool, Kimmeridge and Swyre Head Dancing Ledge and St Aldhelm's Head Corfe Castle and the Purbeck Hills Ballard Down and Godlingston Heath Durdle Door and Bat's Head The Land of the Trumpet Major The Isle of Portland CHAPTER SIX: WEST DORSET Golden Cap, St Gabriel's and Chardown Hill Four Short Walks on the Golden Cap Estate Thorncombe Beacon, Quarry Hill and Eype Down The Lyme Regis Undercliff Forest The Lim Valley Marshwood Vale and Hardown Hill Beaminster, Netherbury and Gerrard's Hill Pilsdon Pen and Lewesdon Hill The Bride Valley and the Downs Abbotsbury and Punknowle Evershot and the Melburys Askerswell, Powerstock Common and Eggardon Hill Kingcombe and the Hooke Valley Bronkham Hill, Corton and The Hardy Monument Accommodation Useful addresses and telephone numbers Bibliography
James Roberts finished work on his guide to Romania just before his untimely death in 2002. Since the revolution he had spent more than half of every year in Romania and had travelled throughout the country. An experienced solo backpacker here, as well as in the Himalaya, the Atlas and other areas, he worked as a leader of mountain-walking and wildlife groups. Married to Elena, a Romanian, James spoke the language and had an unrivalled knowledge of the country, having explored every massif solo on foot. With his detailed knowledge of the human and natural history of the country, he was an expert interpreter of the Romanian scene.