Walking in Dorset
Dorset, Hardy's Wessex country, is perhaps the most rural and unspoilt county in southern England. As such it offers many delights for the country walker. The walking guides you will find in our bookshop point you towards all the best locations and routes to explore. The Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is typical of this rural landscape with heaths, chalk downs, pastoral vales and deep country lanes. Winfrith Heath, a bracken wilderness of sombre beauty, home to rare wild flowers and heathland birds, is the location Hardy used for 'Egdon Heath' in his novel The Return of the Native.
The Dorset Heritage Coast includes such not to be missed delights as Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, Chesil Beach and the sweeping cliffs of Lyme Bay. The coastal path westwards from Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door along the spectacular chalk cliffs is a thrilling and memorable walk. Just inland, at the northern end of Chesil Beach, lies the lovely village of Abbotsbury with its thatched cottages of golden ironstone and remarkable thatched tithe barn which once belonged to the now ruined abbey. Other fascinating places to discover on foot are Maiden Castle, an important earthwork fortification from the first century BC, and the famous Cerne Giant near the picturesque village of Cerne Abbas.
Corscombe is a small village folded in a deep cleft in the hills of the West Dorset Downs, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The nearest town is Beaminster, about 4 miles away.
A Walk from Corscombe [ST 526054] OS Map: Explorer™ 117
This is a downland walk with glorious views over rolling hills and thickly wooded valleys. Leaving Corscombe the route takes field and woodland paths to West Chelborough, surely one of the counties most secret and remote villages, lying in the shadow of a hill crowned with the earthworks of a medieval castle. A ridge path with panoramic views leads back to Corscombe. About 3 miles.
Best Pub for this walk
The Fox Inn, Corscombe Tel: 01935 891330 (Good Pub Guide)
This picturesque old thatched inn is the epitome of the English country pub. It's in a lovely country setting just out of the village, with seats across a quiet lane on a lawn by a little stream. The cosy interior is made up of nooks and crannies with large open fires and walls covered with hunting prints. The superb cuisine is served throughout the pub at numerous small tables, with a bistro-style offering of delicious sounding dishes. Everything is cooked to order using locally sourced ingredients. Accommodation is available, making this an ideal spot for an indulgent walking weekend.
This walk is fully described in the guidebook 'Pub Strolls in Dorset' by Anne-Marie Edwards
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