Linking trails and walks
There are many trails that cross and link with the Wessex Ridgeway.
Wessex Ridgeway (Wiltshire section).
From the Dorset and Wiltshire border the Wessex Ridgeway continues through the Cranborne Chase and Salisbury Plain to Marlborough - a total of 127 miles (204km). Here the trail joins the Ridgeway National Trail and along with the Icknield Way and Peddars Way, form the Great Ridgeway.
Stour Valley Way.
This 64 mile (103km) long-distance path follows the River Stour from its source at Stourhead to the sea at Christchurch; it is marked with a distinctive Kingfisher logo.
National Cycle Network.
The Wessex Ridgeway links with a number of National Cycle Network (NCN) routes. These long-distance routes include NCN routes 2, 25 and 26. They vary in length and between on and off road. The trail also links with the regional route 41, a circular road route which links Gillingham, Shaftesbury, Farnham, Blandford Forum and Sturminster Newton.
Cerne Valley Way.
This circular walk takes in the hamlets and villages of Minterne Magna, Cerne Abbas, Nether Cerne, Godmanstone, Forston and Charminster.
Frome Valley Trail.
Starting at Evershot, the second highest village in Dorset the route meanders close to the River Frome towards Poole Harbour. The route passes through Chilfrome, Maiden Newton, Bradford Peverell, Charminster and Dorchester. Along the way a wealth of wildlife found in and beside the river can be seen. This includes the iridescent flash of a Kingfisher, the bright yellow Marsh Marigold, Water Crowfoot and Brown Trout. At present the trail finishes at Dorchester but there are plans to extend the route to Poole Harbour.
South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path starts at Minehead in Somerset and runs along part of the Somerset Bristol Channel coast, across North Devon, right round Cornwall, then along the South Devon and Dorset coasts to Poole Harbour. This 630 mile (1014km) walk is the longest National Trail in Britain. For more information visit www.southwestcoastpath.com
This 90 mile (145km) trail winds across the county from Forde Abbey on the Somerset border across Dorset to Bokerley Dyke on the Hampshire border. The trail was created by local Ramblers to celebrate the Association's 60th anniversary in 1995. It winds through quiet villages, passing rural churches and offers extensive views over the rolling downs and secret valleys that make Dorset so special.
The Monarch's Way is a 615 mile (990km) long-distance route that roughly follows the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester.
This 28 mile (45km) walk from Ham Hill in Somerset to Lyme Regis follows the route taken by villagers from throughout Somerset and Dorset who were making their way to the coast at Lyme to join the Duke of Monmouth. The Duke was expected to land at Lyme to lead a rebellion against the King with the rallying call of 'Liberty to the People of God'.
The Ridgeway National Trail.
This ancient trackway is described as Britain's oldest road. The 85 mile (137km) trail goes between Overton near Avebury and Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. Like the Wessex Ridgeway this trail hugs the ridge tops across southern England and is scattered with many Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age sites.
Icknield Way Path.
This 100 mile (160km) route starts at Ivinghoe Beacon and runs to Knettishall Heath where it joins the Peddars Way.
This National Trail is 46 miles (74km) long and follows the route of an old Roman road, starting at Knettishall Heath in Suffolk and linking with the Norfolk Coast Path at Holme-next-the-Sea.