Around the Purbecks (Dorset)

This 46-mile day tour is recommended by Jack Thurston, in his cycling guide ‘Lost Lanes West‘. It is the second tour from the book that I have ridden (I described my first – Hardy’s Hills – in an earlier post). The Dorset coast is a varied landscape, combining geologically-stressed rockforms with green valleys full of pastoral activity.

This tour of the Purbecks takes the up-and-over approach to a number of steep-sided hills, with one notable elevated section – Povington Hill – offering extensive views of the ‘Jurassic’ coastline, from Poole Harbour in the east to Portland and Chesil beach in the west.

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Hardy’s Hills (Dorset)

Hardy’s Monument, Dorset (Hardy, of ‘Kiss me, Hardy’ fame … Admiral Lord Nelson died in his arms, on the deck of ‘Victory’.)

This 35-mile tour is described in ‘Lost Lanes West’, a guidebook describing thirty-six cycling tours, which cover many of the most scenic places in the southwest of England. The guide is written by Jack Thurston, who has written other guides covering both the south of England and Wales. By all accounts, more will be in the offing in due course. I do hope so. Jack also produces The Bike Show, which is an excellent cycling podcast.

The ‘Hardy’ of the title refers to the writer Thomas Hardy, who lived in Dorset and drew inspiration for his writing from it’s landscape. The tour visits places that Hardy himself would have explored, including Dorset’s rugged ‘Jurassic’ coastline.

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