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The Hardy Way

The verdant landscapes of Wessex
 
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking, luggage transported
  • idyllic Downs scenery classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • pretty villages with duck ponds and thatched cottages
  • high-quality accommodation and cuisine

 

Cranborne Chase. If the name isn’t familiar, the scenery probably will be, for this former royal hunting ground straddling the Dorset-Wiltshire border is the epitome of rural England, as described in the novels and poems of Thomas Hardy. There are rounded green hills, lanes bordered by cow parsley and high hedges, ancient deciduous woodland filled with birdsong, chalk escarpments, and villages of thatched cottages clustered around a duck pond and Norman church.

Rays from the sunrise drew forth the buds and stretched them into long stalks, lifted up sap in noiseless streams, opened petals, and sucked out scents in invisible jets and breathings.
     
'Tess of the d’Urbervilles', Thomas Hardy

Our holiday, created in collaboration with Margaret Marande, champion of Britain’s first literature-themed long-distance path, follows parts of The Hardy Way across these idyllic chalk landscapes which are nowadays recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whether you have read the great novelist’s works or not, walking here brings a feeling of contentment that matches that of the sheep munching happily on the lush carpet of grass – topped off by the charming inns of character along the way.

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UK
 Average Temperatures & Rainfall
  J F M A M J J A S O N D
°C 7 7 10 13 16 19 21 21 18 15 10 8
mm 77 53 62 45 56 52 41 57 62 68 73 83

The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

You should always be prepared for wet weather, whichever month you are travelling.