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South West Dorset & the Jurassic Coast

Dorset is one of the finest counties in England for walking with its dramatic coastline, ancient wooded valleys and secluded river valleys. There will be a mix of walks both inland and coastal, including walking along the superb Dorset Coast Path.

From£615

  • England

  • 5 nights
  • Jun

    Aug

    Sep

    Oct

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 79785

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 5

Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.

The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.

Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Dorset is one of the finest counties in England for walking with its dramatic coastline, ancient wooded valleys and secluded river valleys
  • Experience a mixture of interesting sea and inland walking routes offering panoramic views and access to small towns
  • Walks along the superb Dorset Coast Path which forms part of the South West Coast Path – the longest national trail in the UK
  • Four walking days with two days on the coast and two days inland

The 95 mile Jurassic coast illustrates three geological time periods of Earth history, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous, which collectively make up the Mesozoic Era, running from around 250 to 65 million years ago. Rocks that offer an almost complete record of that entire time are spread out along the Jurassic Coast.

Inland, Dorset’s stunning countryside, little changed since the days of local author Thomas Hardy, offers bluebell woodlands in spring, vibrant colours of sun-warmed heaths in summer, and autumnal splendour.

The swannery at Abbotsbury is the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. Spread over a site of some 25 acres, it was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040s, and farmed the swans to produce food for their banquets.

During your time in Dorset, you will have the opportunity to experience a mixture of interesting sea and inland walking routes which offer panoramic views of Dorset's dramatic coastline, ancient wooded valleys and secluded river valleys.

  • Half board en-suite accommodation
  • Transport to and from the trailheads if necessary
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival Day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Independent arrival at the Eypes Mouth Country Hotel in Eype, near Bridport. Check in at the hotel is from 2pm, so please arrive at your leisure in the afternoon. Your leader will meet you and your travel companions at approximately 6.30pm in the hotel bar for an introduction before dinner. All evening meals are taken in the hotel restaurant.

Day 2

Eype Circular

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    8.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    600m

Our first full day takes us from the hotel to the coast, and westward along the South West Coast Path, ascending Thorncombe Beacon and Golden Cap (the highest point on the south coast of England). We then head inland to Chideock and view the Martyrs Church and Museum. Our return route is via Symondsbury. 

Day 3

Morcomelake to Lyme Regis

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    365m

We take hired transport to Morcombelake and from there walk up to Stonebarrow Hill, continuing to the village of Charmouth. We then head north and north-west along the Monarch's Way, passing the secluded Champernhayes Mill. At Stubbs Farm we turn south, making for Hole Common. Our walk finishes with a descent into Lyme Regis, with time to look around at leisure before meeting our transport for the return back to the hotel. 

Day 4

Stoke Abbott Circular

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    485m

Today's walk is inland taking us to the high points in Dorset. Hired transport will drop us in Stoke Abbot near Beaminster. We skirt the north side of Lewesdon Hill before joining the Wessex Ridgeway to take us to the top of Pilsdon Pen (an ascent of 277m). This is Dorset's second highest point and has panoramic views extending for many miles. It was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1982. We descend to use the Jubilee Trail to bring us to our pick up point for the journey back to the hotel. 

Day 5

Abbotsbury to Eype

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    12 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    450m

The last day of the holiday is the longest, using both the Hardy Way and the South West Coast Path. Hired transport will take us to Abbotsbury, and we have time to ascend the hill to St Catherine's Chapel and return. We then head north and west from the village to descend to the coast at West Bexington. The onward route to Burton Hive beach is at sea level. After Burton Freshwater, a climb above the East Cliff adjacent to the golf course brings us to West Bay, from where we take an inland route back to the hotel. 

Day 6

Departure Day

Meals

Breakfast

Independent departure from the Eypes Mouth Country Hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 10am. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.

Departure dates for your selected tour

9th Aug 2020 - 14th Aug 2020 (5 Nights)

20th Sep 2020 - 25th Sep 2020 (5 Nights)

18th Oct 2020 - 23rd Oct 2020 (5 Nights)

27th Jun 2021 - 2nd Jul 2021 (5 Nights)

8th Aug 2021 - 13th Aug 2021 (5 Nights)

19th Sep 2021 - 24th Sep 2021 (5 Nights)

Travel Details

West Dorset is approached from the north by the M5 via Bristol and the M3, M27 from London via Southampton. The holiday routes are clearly marked and the park is accessible from the A35 Exeter/Dorchester road.

Follow A35 bypass, the turning to Eype is signposted. Take 3rd right turn, sign to Lower Eype and to the beach, follow narrow lane until you reach the hotel.

The nearest train stations are Dorchester, Crewkerne or Axminster.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Eypes Mouth Country Hotel

Eypes Mouth Country Hotel is a family run hotel, located in the small village of Eype, near Bridport. The hotelis a short walk from the beach and is located perfectly for exploring the local area on foot with the coast path on the perimeter grounds. The hotel has a bar, lounge and restaurant overlooking Lyme Bay and the coast path.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding but equally rewarding. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' for more information.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Your Travel Details

To reach the hotel...

West Dorset is approached from the north by the M5 via Bristol and the M3, M27 from London via Southampton. The holiday routes are clearly marked and the park is accessible from the A35 Exeter/Dorchester road.

Follow A35 bypass, the turning to Eype is signposted. Take 3rd right turn, sign to Lower Eype and to the beach, follow narrow lane until you reach the hotel.

The nearest train stations are Dorchester, Crewkerne or Axminster.

You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation: www.rome2rio.com  

The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you nd the hotel. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk 

Meeting your tour leader and fellow walkers:  Please check the time of dinner (approximately 7pm) on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the lounge bar half an hour before dinner for an introduction to your leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.


Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

Passport Information for United Kingdom

Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.

Meals

Accommodation is on a half board basis with buffet breakfasts and dinners taken at the hotel. Picnic lunches are not included. Our private hired minibuses can stop at a local supermarket in the mornings to purchase picnic supplies for lunch, or you may wish to purchase lunches directly from the hotel. 


Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.

Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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