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|Dorchester Town Trail|
|Author: Richard, Published: 05 Jul 2011||Walk rating : Rating:|
|This 2 mile walk around Dorchester starts at the monument known as the Town Pump in South Street and takes in some of Dorchester's points of interest including The Thomas Hardy Brewery and the Maumbury Rings. The walk follows footpaths around the town and apart from needing to take care of traffic on some busy roads the walk is very easy and provides a few places to stop off on the way including the Borough Park. |
The county town of Dorset, Dorchester, is an historic market town that lies on the banks of the River Frome just south of the Dorset Downs and north of the South Dorset Ridgeway that separates the area from Weymouth. Dorchester's roots stem back to prehistoric times. Settlements were first based around Maiden Castle, a large Iron Age hill fort. The Romans built a wall around the town and the remains can still be seen today.
Local author and poet Thomas Hardy based the fictional town of Casterbridge on Dorchester. Hardy's childhood home is to the east of the town, and his house in town, Max Gate, is owned by the National Trust and open to the public.
Pay and display parking is available in several car parks within Dorchester. One option is the Top of Town pay and display car park which is on the corner of Bridport Road (B3150) and The Grove (B3147) in Dorchester.
|The Town Pump to the Borough Gardens|
Start point: 50.7152 lat, -2.4367 long
Make your way to the the Town Pump which is a central point in Dorchester - located next to Dorchesters Corn Exchange and the impressive clock tower on South Street (pedestrians only) at the junction with High East Street. Head along South Street away from the pump obelisk and look for a small arched path way to the right called Antelope Walk. Turn right here. There is a Tourist Information Centre in the Walk and also the Old Oak Room which is reputed to be the room where Judge Jeffreys held his infamous Bloody Assize of 1685 of the 312 rebels who supported the Duke of Monmouths attempt to seize the crown.
|Through the Park|
Start point: 50.7142 lat, -2.4411 long
Go through the gates and enter the gardens. Take the left hand path and keep left of the children’s playground. On the right you may also notice a small outdoor gym. Walk around and past the band stand and head for the clock tower, ahead on the right. Walk past the tower which was built in 1905 and head for a small red gate that leads out of the park onto Cornwall Road. Turn left and walk towards the junction. Cross this junction and head along Maumbury Road until you reach Fairfield Road on the left. Turn left here with the long stay car park on your right. Look for the Fairfield Market on your left which has been held here since the 19th Century. At the end of the road turn right and walk along Weymouth Avenue with the car park and later a skateboard park on you right.
|Maumbury Rings to the Bewery|
Start point: 50.7085 lat, -2.4398 long
Go through the gate and walk to the left where there is an information board and the entrance into the amphitheatre. The site was originally constructed as a Neolithic henge some 4,500 years ago. The Romans then turned the site into an amphitheatre by lowering the centre and raising the banks. During the Civil War the Parliamentarians fortified the site with cannons. Today outdoor performances once again take place here.
|Past the Pillar Box to the Almshouses|
Start point: 50.7104 lat, -2.4388 long
Carry on down the road towards the junction. You want to go straight ahead where you will see a Cenotaph on the other side of the road. To do so turn right and then left crossing two roads with traffic light crossings. When you reach the other side look for the red Victorian pillar box designed by Penfold in 1866, the first penny black stamp was designed in 1840. The adjacent Portland stone Cenotaph was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled in 1921.
|The Mayor of Casterbridge House|
Start point: 50.7134 lat, -2.4369 long
Last of all on this trail around the town is The Mayor of Casterbridge's house, marked with a plaque, which is currently a branch of Barclays Bank on the right hand side of South Street.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author Richard 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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|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2011
Sign post as you walk into Dorchester about half way around the walk
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My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!