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The Wessex Ridgeway Trail is a magnificent ridge-top route crossing Dorset's rural heartland. The trail offers vistas across the county and breathtaking views far beyond. The majority of the route straddles a long chalk ridge but in places is broken up by small rounded hills and secluded valleys. Each section of the trail has its own unique identity and its delights to explore.
The walking route, as mapped by this trail, starts at Ashmore on the Dorset / Wiltshire border, whereas the cycling and riding section starts at Tollard Royal. For more information on the cycling route see the trail leaflet attachment below.
The trail meanders across the chalk downs, climbs magnificent hillforts such as Hambledon Hill and crosses over chalk streams brimming with wildlife. Along the way you will pass many attractive villages such as Cerne Abbas and take in stunning views of the Blackmore and Marshwood Vales, before sauntering down through rolling farmland to finish in the seaside town of Lyme Regis on the dramatic Dorset and East Devon World Heritage Site.
The Wessex Ridgeway forms part of the Great Ridgeway, an ancient highway that was once an important trading route between the Devon and Norfolk coasts. Today this ancient highway provides the backbone to several recreational trails in southern England.
To download and print an excellent trail leaflet that Dorset County Council has produced please click here.
Assuming a constant pace and no stops, typically it will take 20 hours 50 minutes to walk the distance and along the way 5569 calories will be burnt.