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|Thomas Hardy Trail|
|Author: blackcoffee, Published: 01 Nov 2012||Walk Rating:|
|A six mile circular walk within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Starting at the Thomas Hardy monument which is a memorial to Rear Admiral Masterman Hardy (1769-1839), best known as the Captain of HMS Victory at the battle of Trafalgar (1805). The monument is 22 metres high and was built in 1844/5. |
The walk has excellent views of Weymouth, Portland Bill and Chesil Beech and has one rather steep climb as well as several stiles and gates.
The monument is situated between Portesham and Martinstown.
|Start to Portesham Signpost|
Start point: 50.6865 lat, -2.549 long
From the monument walk down the road toward Martinstown for approx. 100 metres to a signpost marked Portesham 1.5 miles.
|Portesham Signpost to SW Coast Path|
Start point: 50.6874 lat, -2.546 long
Turn right along the path marked to Portesham. The path goes through broken woodland and decends to the bottom of the hill to join the SW Coast Path by a ruin.
|SW Coast Path to W Bexington Sign|
Start point: 50.6801 lat, -2.5539 long
Turn right along the SW Coast Path and then cross the stone stile at a left fork.
|W Bexington Sign to Stone circle|
Start point: 50.6806 lat, -2.5665 long
The footpath goes through the farm yard and turns left through a gate and starts to climb a ridge which leads to an ancient stone circle. This stone circle was excavated in 1965 and is thought to have been constructed initially between 1800 and 1200 B.C.
|Stone circle to SY588 866|
Start point: 50.6768 lat, -2.5731 long
Continue straight ahead keeping to the well marked path the South Dorset Ridgeway climbing several stiles until you reach a road. The sign post is marked SY 588 866
|SY588 866 to Cricket Pavilion|
Start point: 50.6776 lat, -2.584 long
Turn right up the road and almost immediately left by a grass triangle. Just before the cattle grid take the right hand track which turns ninety degrees to the right again within 50 metres. Follow the track with the wire fence line now on your left and the hedgerow on your right. This track leads down to Top Parts B&B. As you approach this building the wood on your left will end, take the path through the gate on your left and head for the wood directly ahead. Keep the wood on your right and as it turns further north keep straight on across the field starting to slowly descend to the valley below. Ahead you will see a small hamlet, head for the left of the cricket pavilion to reach the road.
|Cricket Pavilion to T junction|
Start point: 50.6977 lat, -2.5797 long
Turn right along the road passing Crow Hill cottage on your left and climb the steep hill to reach the T-junction.
|T junction to Road crossing|
Start point: 50.6947 lat, -2.5702 long
Turn right at the T-junction and take the footpath between the first and second group of trees. This path can be muddy in wet weather and goes behing the wood to your right. Follow this path keeping the wood on your right to reach a roadway.
|Road crossing to End|
Start point: 50.6926 lat, -2.5619 long
Cross the road and within 400 metres you will start to see the Hardy Monument in the distance to your right. The path will lead you to the lower car park and the end of the walk.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author blackcoffee and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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