South Dorset Ridgeway
Enjoy wonderful views of the Jurassic Coast on this walk along the South Dorset Ridgeway. The route runs along the South West Coast Path from West Bexington to Osmington Mills with some beautiful scenery to enjoy. The area is also historically significant with severaláBronze Age round barrows and Iron Age hill forts to look out for on the way. The immediate area contains about 500 archaeological monuments, nearly all of them several thousand years old. It's quite a challenging walk with several climbs, reaching a maximum height of nearly 800ft. From the elevated position of the path there are splendid coastal views to enjoy for most of the route.
The walk starts in the village of West Bexington on the Dorset coast near Chesil Beach. You then climb away from the coast to the Hardy Monument, passing Abbotsbury Castle Iron Age Hill Fort and the Hell Stone neolithic dolmen on Portesham Hill. The Hardy monument was built in 1844 in memory of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Flag Captain of HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. It sits on Black Down and commands fine views to the coast.
The path continues east, descending towards the village of Bincombe across Bincombe Down. Soon after you come to Chalbury Hill Fort and the Osmington White Horse. The distinctive figure is one of the highlights of the walk. It dates from the early 19th century and representsáKing George IIIáriding his horse.
From the white horse you descend to the village of Osmington. It's an interesting place with a church dating from the 12th century and dwellings dating back to the 16th century. The final section of the walk takes you from Osmington to the little hamlet of Osmington Mills on the coast. There's nice views of Osmington Bay as you finish your walk.
If you wanted to extend your walk you could continue east along the coast and visit the beautiful Ringstead Bay.