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Touring in Dorset

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Kirstie, 21 Nov 2007.

  1. I'm planning another short adventure in January and I'm considering going to Dorset. I've been there on holiday but all I remember thinking is that it was no good for cycling because of a distinct lack of lanes...I'll get the maps out tonight but does anyone have any opinions?
    Thanks
     
  2. ransos

    ransos Usual suspect

    Quite the opposite - there's loads of back lanes in Dorset and Somerset. For route planning I recommend viamichelin.com - select the bike option and it will route you down the minor roads where practical. Do however buy a large scale map (e.g. 2.5 miles to the inch) as the viamichelin directions do sometimes miss out a junction or two.

    I cycled from Bristol to Poole in the summer, of which approx half was on back roads and lanes, and 10 miles shorter than the main road route - win/win!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Kirstie

    Kirstie Über Member

    Thanks!
     
  4. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I'm from Wiltshire, which I know isn't Dorset but is close enough, and there are gorgeous back lanes throughout the county. It's a beautiful place, you'll have a fab time.
     
  5. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    I love Dorset. It is an excellent county for cycling (if you don't mind hills).

    A place worth visiting is Milton Abbas. The local nob decided that he didn't want an untidy village spoiling his view, so he demolished it and re-housed the peasants in a sort of 18th century Milton Keynes, sited in a deep valley where it couldn't be seen. There is a row of identical semi-detached thatched "cottages" running down the hill which is the main street. Weird. Apparently they were far from comfortable, but of course His Nobship didn't care about that. I think there is still a tea shop in Milton Abbas; Dorset is generally well provided with tea shops. And the beer is excellent!

    A visit to Lyme Regis to see the Cobb would also be on my list. Then there's Badbury Rings (very evocative - best approached by bridleway, if you're going on a mountain bike), and not far from there one of the best follies in the whole country, a huge great big triangular tower, at Horton.

    If you are going on a mountain bike, Dorset has one of the best offroad loops in the South - one way on Ox Drove, and the other on the byway a few miles north of it. If you start at Sixpenny Handley you have a fantastic on-road downhill at the end to fling all the mud off :blush:
     
  6. zummerzet_lou

    zummerzet_lou New Member

    Location:
    Christchurch, UK
    Just to second the views here .. loads of quiet country lanes to take your pick from .. which part of dorset are you planning to visit?

    I live in christchurch and everyweek cycle from here, to and around the new forest without once riding a an A road ... gorgeous.

    Shout if you want some more suggestions,

    Lou
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Kirstie

    Kirstie Über Member

    Thanks lou. We've got no idea where in Dorset we're going to go, we'll just pick some places and derive a three day ride around/between them. The start and the end of the ride need to have a good rail link - we could do a circular route from one place - aim to do between 50 - 70 miles a day...that's about it!
     
  8. Cunobelin

    Cunobelin Legendary Member

    One of my favourite places is the off road route to St Adhelm's Head. One of the oldest, simplest and most evocative churches I have seen perched on the cliff top of Worth Matravers.

    [​IMG]



    Have a look at the Dorset Cycleways as well as there are several, which can be linked.

    A good summary can be found on Cycle-n-Sleep
     
  9. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Location:
    Cheddar
    I lived in Dorset for a couple of years when I first joined the Army. It is really lovely. Lulworth Cove is worth a visit, then over the range roads to Corfe Castle. There is a lovely road which goes up over the cliffs between the two, and includes a stop off point at Tyneham (?). It was a village which the Army commandeered during the war, promising everyone could come back when we had defeated Hitler. They never let them go back, so it's pretty well stood still in time. Check the range firing times mindBooooooom:ohmy:
     
  10. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I know Dorset a little bit, well a lot actually as it is where I come from. :blush:

    A few of the local attractions around my part are:
    - The Giant of Cerne Abbas,
    - Thomas Hardy's Cottage in Higher Bockhampton woods, just outside of Puddletown,
    - Weymouth sea front,
    - Maiden Castle (A bronze age settlement with ramparts etc. ),
    - My Mum and Dads house for a cuppa at the end of the day. :smile:
     
  11. ransos

    ransos Usual suspect

    If you're into geography then Chesil beach is well worth a visit.
     
  12. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    I'm originally from Dorset and I'm afraid most people here are maliciously trying to mislead you.

    Dorset is a terrible place: There is no sand on Chesil 'Beach', Lulworth Cove is all eroding, Corfe Castle is in ruins, there are no studs in Studland and they're so behind the times they don't even know Hitler has been defeated.

    Stay away people and tell your friends to do the same.
     
  13. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    Oh, yes - how could I forget Maiden Castle? What a marvellously evocative place, and the sheer scale of the earthworks makes them an astonishing achievement for a tribal society.

    Mind you, when you consider that in its day it incorporated a high palisade as well, it fills you with admiration for the Romans, who stormed it without any particular difficulty.
     
  14. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Couple of pics to get you in the mood:

    Durdle Door

    DSCF0701.jpg

    Parents House

    DSCF0712.jpg

    A Cow

    DSCF0756.jpg
     
  15. Cunobelin

    Cunobelin Legendary Member

    If you go her than Maiden Castle Farm is a friendly B&B with views over the CAstle, and a couple of hundred yards off NCN 2. Only drawback is that it is outside the town if you want pubs.