Walks And Walking – Dorset Walks Dorchester Hardys Monument Walking Route
This is a very straight forward 8.5 mile circular Dorset walking route from the small village of Martinstown Winterborne St Martin, just outside of Dorchester, up to Hardys Monument and back down and around by the South Dorset Ridgeway at Bronkham Hill to the outskirts of Maiden Castle and back to Martinstown.
From Lower Farm Cottages I made the short drive up to Martinstown where I parked the car close to the The Brewers Arms pub on The Terrace. I then started my walk by walking back to the Brewers Arms and headed left at the signpost for Hardys Monument, which was the same way I drove in. The lane was a slow but steady climb up to Hardys Monument but you get clear views all the way up so that makes it an easy start to the walk, with something rewarding to focus on!
As the road bends at the top by the very small car park I walked right at the signpost for the South Downs Ridgeway and Hardys Monument, with lovely views now coming onto my right hand side as I climbed up the track through the gorse. At Hardys Monumentt I stopped for a short while and had a good look round before heading to the bottom right hand corner of the car park to the track that headed down to the small forest area, passing a stone semi circle of seats by the tree on my right hand side to continue my walking route.
I then walked straight across the paths following the stone waymarker marked Inland Route West Bexington continuing to follow the waymarkers to the beginning of the forest where I then walked left along the tracks, just to the left of the forest entrance. I stayed on this track as it looped under Hardys Monument all the way back up to the road, just opposite the signpost for the South Downs Ridgeway and Hardys Monument that I followed earlier. I then walked right and then sharp right to join the South Dorset Ridgeway at Bronkham Hill, again with great views out to the Dorset coast.
The rest of the walk is just as easy as I followed the signposts to Bincombe and kept to the main tracks following the blue waymarkers of the South Dorset Ridgeway before walking left, at the second left, at the signpost for Martinstown following the field edge to a cross of paths and gates. I took the second gate on the right hand side following the bridleway signpost around the field edge where I followed the blue arrow by the telegraph pole around the next field edge down to the farm, with views of Maiden Castle (there’s no castle, but you can tell where it used to be!) ahead of me and to the left hand side.
I then joined the main track walking left all the way down to the lane, through the farm, walking left onto the road and following the road all the way back to the car at Martinstown some 3 hours later. Despite the roads at the beginning and end of the walk this was one that I really, really enjoyed.