Walk - Hardy’s High Road

6.5 miles (10.5 km)

Bus Stop, Knighton Lane, Broadmayne DT2 8EB Bus Stop, Knighton Lane, Broadmayne

Challenging - Some short strenuous sections with uneven ground, no stiles.

A countryside walk along part of the The South Dorset Ridgeway with a few short climbs for incredible views, to follow in Hardy’s footsteps on the ‘High Road’.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Upton Grange Holiday Cottages

Located within walking distance of Ringstead beach on the Jurassic coast in Dorset, these superbly restored cottages are surrounded by National Trust countryside.

Parkdean Resorts Warmwell Holiday Park

An action packed park complete with ski slope, woodland walks or peaceful fishing lakes close to the Jurassic Coast.

St Johns Guest House

Lynne & Andy welcome you to St John’s Guest house – a well appointed B&B in Weymouth, providing a luxurious experience just 60 yards from the beach and the SW coast path!

The Hollies, Dorset (nr Lulworth Cove)

Comfortable, well equipped 3 bed holiday home close to SW Coastal path. Quiet village with good pub. Easy access to shops and attractions. Dog friendly. Garden. Parking.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the bus stop at Knighton Lane walk to junction with Main Street (A352). Turn left, walk to Osmington Drove on right hand side. Turn right here and walk uphill through a beech avenue.

Broadmayne’s British place name comes from ‘maen’ meaning stone, although the village is not so old. It’s not recorded in the Domesday Book and grew dramatically with the development of its brickworks.

  1. The path narrows at some farm buildings, stay on this path until you reach a gate into a field.
  2. Cross field uphill to gateway.

Go through gate and turn right. Continue straight ahead on this track for about ¾ mile until you meet the South Dorset Ridgeway National Trail.

The South Dorset Ridgeway features strongly in Hardy’s novel ‘TheTrumpet Major’ You can follow the ‘High Road’ route to ‘Oxwell’ (Poxwell) on this walk. As a younger man Hardy worked for the architect John Hicks of Dorchester and drew the plans for remodelling Broadmayne’s parish church in 1865-66.

  1. Turn left and follow path uphill. Look back for views along the Ridgeway to Hardy’s Monument. Continue ahead until you reach a gate to White Horse Hill. You can extend your walk by visiting the White Horse.

White Horse Hill, as well as being home to the famous White Horse, constructed in about 1808 to commemorate George III’s visits to Weymouth, it is also recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its flora and rare butterflies such as Adonis Blue and the Lulworth Skipper.

  1. Turn right after the gate and take path beside the barrow to the White Horse. Walk down hill and join a footpath that runs below the horse and rejoins path.

Continue ahead and walk along the hilltop to a gate ahead.

  1. Go through, ignore path on right to Osmington. Path continues on top of the hill, passing through several fields and gateways until you reach a wide grassy drove road. Continue straight on towards a mobile phone mast ahead.
  2. Go through gate near the mast and walk downhill towards gateway beside Pixon Barn.
  3. Go through, turn left and walk downhill towards Poxwell Manor below. On the left hand side you pass a natural spring.

You arrive behind the Manor House, opposite the former churchyard. Go left, ignore the field entrance and follow the road through farm buildings.

  1. When road turns right through the farmyard to the main road,  turn left through a gateway and go uphill on tarmac road.

Stay on this lane until you reach a farm track on the right, follow this until you reach a gateway at the end.

  1. Walk towards the left hand end of the tree line ahead and you will see a gateway into a hazel coppice.

There are two gates, go through both into the field beyond.

Walk across the field to a gate in the field boundary opposite.

  1. Go through and look for a gate in the bottom right hand corner of the field and walk towards it.
  2. Go through this gate and follow path round to left, ignore gateway ahead and turn right to walk uphill, past a fenced off pit. Pass through two gates crossing the former Warmwell Drove.
  3. Walk downhill along field edge. At end go through gate beside houses and walk to right of farm buildings along a track to a tarmac lane.
  4. At lane turn right and go on until you reach the main road.

To return to the village cross over road and take the track ahead, signed Fryer Mayne.

  1. Opposite the 2nd entrance to Manor House go left through gate O and follow footpath. Cross over river, go through gate and walk diagonally across field to your left.
  2. At telegraph pole turn left and follow field edge. Go through gate, walk past sewerage works and go through gate into next field. Follow path to next gate ahead then keep to right hand side of the field to gateway. Follow path around to the right for exit onto Knighton Lane. The bus stop is to your left.

Public transport

Broadmayne is well served by a bus (Number 100/101) to and from Dorchester throughout the day. Information is available from Traveline Tel 0871 200 2233 www.travelinesw.com


Parking is severely limited in Broadmayne and walkers should consider using public transport.


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