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Liberty Trail

Liberty TrailThe Liberty Trail is a 28 mile walk from Ham Hill to Lyme Regis. In the early summer of 1685 villagers from throughout Somerset and Dorset were making their way to the coast at Lyme to join the Duke of Monmouth, who was expected to land at Lyme to lead a rebellion against the King with the rallying call of 'Liberty to the People of God'. The Liberty Trail guide is based on the stories of some of the men who joined the Monmouth Rebellion. The guide divides the route into six sections and for each tells the story of a Rebel from a village along the route. With green sprigs in their hats to mark their support for Monmouth, and using farm sythes for weapons, some of them may have walked to Lyme to join Monmouth along the same paths that you will follow.

Ham Hill is one of the largest Iron Age Hill Forts in Europe. Five times larger than Maiden Castle in Dorset, its 210 acres are enclosed by 3 miles of man-made ramparts. There are splendid views from the top. At West Chinnock and Crewkerne many of the buildings provide reminders of the cloth manufacturing industry which gave the area its prosperity. The sails for Nelson's flagship HMS Victory were made at Crewkerne. Forde Abbey, once a Cistercian Monastery, has an idylic riverside setting and the award winning gardens have to be worth a short detour. The Trail joins the Wessex Ridgeway and at Lambert's Castle, another Iron Age Fort, there are splendid views across to Chesil Beach, Portland Bill and beyond. The walk finishes in the attractive town of Lyme regis, at the end of the Cobb, made famous by Jane Austen and more recently by John Fowles in his book 'The French Lieutenants's Woman'.

The Trail can be walked in 2 days, athough a more leisurely 3 days will allow more time for visiting places of interest along the way. The Liberty Trail links with the Leland Trail and the River Parrett Trail at Ham Hill. By combining the Leland Trail and the Liberty Trail you can create a four to six day walk across Somerset and Dorset.


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Start: Ham Hill

Grid Ref: ST 478172

End: Lyme Regis

Grid Ref: SY 347922

Distance: 45 km

Walking Time: 3 days

Counties Traversed

Explorer™ Maps
116; 129

Liberty Trail