I will keep this short and to the point as there is a lot of information to pack in. It occurred to me that going on holiday with dogs can be fun but sometimes, especially when the weather is warm, its nice to get away from the crowd! Hence the blog ..the title says it all really.
1 Lorton Nature Reserve and my personal favourite. This is a real hidden gem. Miles of virtually empty countryside, often you may only see a couple of other walkers and its teeming with wildlife. Squirrels, deer, birds of prey, lizards, foxes.. we have seen them all.
To access the nature reserve use postcode DT3 5RZ This takes you up Lorton Lane, the lane becomes very narrow and you may be concerned you are in the wrong place, you are not. Keep going right down to the end, about half a mile. Be aware it is used by pedestrians and cyclists too so be prepared to stop. At the bottom you will be able to park for free outside the Dorset Wildlife Trust visitor centre. If it is open you will be able to get a map of t he reserve walks but if not just take a ramble and see where you end up. There is a dog waste bin down there too.
2 White Nothe, Ringstead, a few miles outside Weymouth but the views are stunning. It is a steep walk down from the free National Trust car park to the beach but if you can't face the huge climb back up there is a private car park down by the beach where you can pay £5 to park.
There are quite often sheep around so you need to be aware and the walk down to the beach from the top car park does go through a farmyard but it is well worth a visit. Follow the postcode DT2 8NQ. Again the road leading to the car park is quite narrow at times. This picture is the view from the top car park with Portland in the distance.
3 Portland Quarries (home of the famous Portland Stone) and High Angle Batteries, right on the top of the island with some stunning views over Chesil Beach but wander just a few hundred metres from those views, if you can drag yourself away and you can walk a huge area of old quarries, past the back of HMP The Verne which is one of Portlands 2 prisons and on to the old batteries which are quite spooky and overgrown in their own way and once again a haven for insects and birds.
Head for postcode DT5 2EN and you can park for free in one of the car parks which overlooks Chesil Beach on the left hand side of the road. Then either cross over and head across the grassland to the old quarry area or follow the road on foot and explore the area around the batteries. You can find out more information about the Batteries here. http://www.portlandhistory.co.uk/verne-high-angle-battery.html This area is canine heaven, huge areas to run around and bunnies galore. Just remember you are not allowed to call them rabbits on Portland, folklore says that just saying the word would cause the islands quarries to collapse inwards trapping all the workers inside.
4 The old Road at Upwey, this leads up to the Bronze Age Viking Burial Pit that was discovered in 2009 when the towns relief road was being built. 54 dismembered skeletons and 51 skulls were found. A macabre find indeed. There is a small information pod up at the location plus there are once again some stunning views, There are 2 ways to the top of the Ridgeway where the burial pit is located. Either way, you need to head for the postcode of DT35JZ as if heading for Dorchester. Follow the road around a sharp bend to the right, under a bridge and before the next bridge there are a couple of small rough stone laybys. Park up here and walk the short distance towards the larger bridge which carries the bypass.. before you get there, turn left towards the farm on the cycle path and you will find yourself on the old disused road between Weymouth and Dorchester. Be careful of the cyclists, they do go fast down the hill. You can either follow the road up to the top of the hill or a short way up there is a left hand towards the farm. It is signposted and this will take you a slightly more scenic route up the old Roman Road, this is the safer option if your dog is off lead and likely to cut across the path of cyclists. It brings you out at the top of the hill and you can either go left across more farmland for a longer walk or right over the bridge to the burial pit, more information regarding the pit is available at this link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ridgeway_Hill_Viking_burial_pit
5 I was torn over the final entry for this blog, there are so many other lovely walks around here but I'm writing a blog not a book!
I have settled on White Horse Hill at Osmington. Depending on which way you enter the town you may pass by this amazing carving in to the hillside of King George III riding his horse. Its a fair climb to the top and brings you up above the horse itself but the view are amazing and you may, like us, be lucky enough to be able to watch the paragliders taking off.
To get here head for DT3 6LU. Park up at the bottom of Church Lane if you can, it may not be possible and you may find yourself parking back in the village and walking down. Over the style at the end of the road and you are heading the in the right direction. You will be able to see the horse. Some parts of this walk are very steep and its not a quick walk. Great for a picnic at the stop however whilst you admire the stunning views.
Finally, if as a result of all these lovely walks you frequently end up with a muddy dog in need of a bath then check out our range of handmade, eco friendly, plant based dog soaps, shampoo and other canine skincare products here and treat your dog to a lovely wash and brush up.
As always, when walking in the countryside, please remember to close gates, keep dogs under control near livestock and also take poo bags! You won't find a bin on every corner but my top tip is hang your used bags on the back of the car over the rear windscreen wiper until you can find a bin! Just don't switch the wipers on!! Above all enjoy.
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