The world's more beautiful on foot...

close

Call us on 01707 331133

  • Mon to Fri09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday09:00 - 13:00
  • SundayClosed
close

Call us on 01707 331133

  • Mon to Fri09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday09:00 - 13:00
  • SundayClosed

Weymouth & Dorchester

Seaside splendour, ancient monuments and literary connections!

  • England

  • 4 nights
  • Culture

  • Feb

    Mar

    Nov

Leisurely

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 77704

Book now from £585

Book with Confidence

  • Our Refund Guarantee
  • Covid-Safe Travel
  • Flexible Deposits
  • 100% Financial Protection
Close

View Destinations

Close

Our holiday walking grades

Leisurely

Grade 3

Easy countryside walking with plenty of breaks, normally taking up the whole day.

Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing.

You are unlikely to walk more than 6 miles and the cumulative ascents and descents will be gradual and range from minimal to 300m.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in views from Hardy's Monument across Dorset and Portland
  • Enjoy the sea air walking to Portland Bill
  • Learn about Hardy in Dorchester, fictional 'Casterbridge' with our Blue Badge Guide
  • Wander through Poundbury, Prince Charles vision on ideal living
  • Explore Weymouth's Georgian splendour with our Blue badge Guide
  • Climb to St Catherine's Chapel above Abbotsbury for more fine views

Dorset offers beautiful coastline and enticing rural countryside. It boasts myriad historic remains from the beginnings of time to the memorials to local lads Thomas and Admiral Hardy.

We stay on the seafront at Weymouth with a sandy beach a stone’s throw from the hotel. Our Blue Badge Guide will take us around the highlights. Weymouth’s relationship with the sea is lengthy, varied and intriguing.  From conquering Romans to medieval merchants and fishermen, settlers to the New World, smugglers and campaigning soldiers, the town has been a place of trade and travel.  This afternoon we will take the bus to Portland for a walk to the Bill and great views of the Dorset coast and Chesil Beach.

The next day we are off to Dorchester, capital of Hardy Country. Our Blue Badge Guide will cover all the literary connections. The town sits in a landscape rich with prehistoric monuments and Roman remains. Dorchester inspired Thomas Hardy’s Casterbridge. Many locations on this walk exude the spirit of the 19th rural scenes he captured. In recent decades the town’s links with the Duchy of Cornwall have transformed it as the Poundbury development; an experiment in modern living has taken form. We can look around before we walk to ancient Maiden Castle with time to explore and enjoy the views.

On final day we walk from Portesham village up to the Hardy Monument for the finest views of the holiday and on to Abbotsbury for a lunch stop. This afternoon we climb briefly to St Catherine’s Chapel and down on to Chesil Beach.  A lovely walk with views of sea and dale and a fitting way to end a wonderful holiday.

We’ll be making use of the local public bus network. All fares are included in the price of the holiday. However, if you have a bus pass you may choose to bring it with you for convenience. The bus pass would be useful should decide to head out to explore on your own.

  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance

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.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Arrive at the hotel from 4 p.m. onwards. Our RWH leader will arrange to meet everyone in the hotel before dinner. Dinner is taken in a local restaurant a short walk from the hotel tonight.

Day 2

Weymouth and Portland

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Distance

    3.6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    130/150m

After breakfast our Blue Badge Guide will meet us at the hotel. Our sightseeing starts from the front door of the hotel. Highlights include the Old Harbour with its brewery, the harbourside cottages, the Esplanade and the views of the Jurassic coast painted by Constable, and out towards the great naval harbour of Portland. We will finish at the statue of George III where we will break for lunch.

After lunch we take the public bus 30mins south to Portland to walk a scenic circuit taking in Portland Bill and many fine views. The Bill is marked by the famous red and white stripped lighthouse.


Day 3

Dorchester and Maiden Castle

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Distance

    4 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    50/70m

After breakfast we catch an early train north to Dorchester. We will meet our Blue Badge Guide at the station to start our tour of the town. Highlights include Maumbury Rings - site of an ancient henge, the remains of  the original Roman walls, Elizabeth Frink statues, the historic High Street, the Roman townhouse and Hangman’s cottage and various Thomas Hardy locations . At the end of the tour we will catch a bus up to Poundbury for lunch with time to explore before walking out to Maiden Castle. We have more time to explore before heading back into Dorchester for the train back to Weymouth. If the weather is not as hoped some may prefer to stay in Dorchester this afternoon and visit the excellent, recently refurbished Dorset Museum before returning to Weymouth.

Day 4

Abbotsbury and the Hardy Monument

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2.5 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    270/290m

We take a private coach out to the village of Portesham. From here we climb northwest to the Hardy Monument. Interestingly this celebrates Admiral Hardy who fought with Nelson, not Thomas. The views from here are perhaps the finest of the holiday. We descend to Abbotsbury village we can enjoy lunch is a café or pub as preferred. In the afternoon we walk up to St Catherine’s Chapel and on down to the shingle beach at Chesil. We have a gentle walk back into Abbotsbury to meet our private coach back to the hotel.

Day 5

Final day

Meals

Breakfast

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and say good bye to our fellow travellers.

Departure dates for your selected tour

21st Nov 2022 - 25th Nov 2022 (4 Nights)

27th Feb 2023 - 3rd Mar 2023 (4 Nights)

27th Mar 2023 - 31st Mar 2023 (4 Nights)

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.

Alexandra Hotel

This comfortable Georgian hotel is across the road from the beach and the South West Coast Path, a 3-minute walk from Weymouth Pavilion and 10 minutes from the train station. Functional rooms have contemporary furnishings and come with en suite bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, plus tea & coffeemaking equipment. A continental breakfast buffet is served. Amenities include complimentary off-street parking (advanced booking is required).

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 3 leisurely holiday which includes countryside walking with plenty of breaks, normally taking up the whole day, and is likely to include an element of sightseeing. You are unlikely to walk more than 8 miles and the cumulative ascents and descents will be gradual and range from minimal to up to about 300m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section 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…

by car: M3 south.

Exit Junction 14 and take M27 to Junction 1. Then follow the A31, A 35 and A354 to Weymouth and the Esplanade.

There is a small on-site secure car park that is reserved for direct bookings only, this is subject to availability. A limited number of parking permits for streets in front and close to the hotel are available on a first come, first served basis on arrival, and are also subject to availability. There is no charge for these permits.

Parking in Weymouth can be a challenge. If you are unable to get a space in the hotel car park or a parking permit, the Pavilion Public Car Park DT4 8DZ is very close by and is free to park between 18.00 and 08.00. Summer charges (1st April - 31st October) are £8 a day or approximately £1 per hour, reduced rates in winter. https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/parking/find-a-carpark/pavilion-car-park-weymouth-main.aspx

by rail: Weymouth Station is situated on the Intercity Rail Network with direct trains from London Waterloo and Bristol amongst other places. The station is situated less than one mile from the hotel.

Taxis from station will cost approximately £5.00.  It is only a five minute taxi ride to the hotel.

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 find our hotels. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk 

Please check the time of dinner on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the hotel bar half an hour before dinner (approximately 7pm) for an introduction to your Ramblers Walking Holidays tour 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.

Entry Requirements

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 breakfasts taken at the hotel. A continental breakfast is provided from 08.00. It comprises freshly baked croissants and pastries, ham, cheese, cereals, muesli, yogurts, fresh juices and fruit, toast and preserves,  together with either barista coffee or Dorset tea.  Certain gluten-free products are also available. Dinner will be taken in local restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

Picnic lunches are not included.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Good quality waterproof walking shoes or trail shoes with a thick, moulded sole with a good tread and a low heel are likely to be all that is required for these holidays. If you are a frequent walker and are comfortable in good quality hiking sandals, these may be adequate for some walks. You can wear lightweight walking boots if you prefer.

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
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun screen
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the days activity)
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Reusable Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)

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

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

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 & Development 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.

Reviews

What customers are saying

View Dates & Book

Choose your preferred departure date

Can't find what you're looking for?

Call for help or regional flights on 01707 331133

View Dates And Book
Close