Our women only walking holiday offers you the chance to discover the lovely, quiet paths and countryside of Thomas Hardy’s Dorset. Our walks will include a visit to the cottage in which he was born, and the villages in which he lived, went to school and wrote his novels and poetry. Walking into hidden valleys, through quiet woodland and across the fields in the area north of Dorchester we will pass through beautiful villages in this lovely part of Dorset. On some days, our path will track parts of the Wessex Ridgeway with far reaching views both east and west. We are based at the very comfortable Poachers Inn in the village of Piddletrenthide where we will enjoy wonderful hospitality and perhaps take a welcome dip in its private swimming pool.
Itinerary (subject to change)
Day 1: Our first day will be a gentle exploration of the area around Thomas Hardy’s birth place, Bockington. The walk will take us to the church in Stinsford where the novel Under The Greenwood Tree is centred, then we will walk by the water meadows where Tess was a milkmaid in Tess of the D’Urbervillles, and up over Thorncombe Wood to Hardy’s cottage.
Day 2: We will walk from The Poachers Inn up onto the Wessex Ridgeway for fabulous far reaching views. This track will take us to the Dorsetshire Gap, an historic track junction, once the hub of central Dorset in southern England. From there we circle Lyscombe Bottom with views to the south coast, before descending gradually back to our accommodation.
Day 3: Our last full day, we start at the famous village of Cerne Abbas, location of The Cerne Abbass Giant. This exceedingly pretty village has many typical Dorset thatched cottages made from local flint stone. From here we walk up onto Giant Hill and along the ridge with far reaching views until we drop down to Blackmore Vale, as described in The Woodlanders. We return via the hamlet of Mintern Magna and Up Cerne before returning to Cerne Abbass for tea.
Day 4: A shorter walk to Max Gate, just outside Dorchester, where Hardy lived for most of his life. This is a National Trust property so bring your membership card if you would like to visit the house.
Price includes: 4 nights full board in ensuite rooms; entrance to Hardy’s cottage; transport to walks. Single rooms available if you book early – £15 per night supp