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Rural Dorset & South Wiltshire


Stourhead


Welcome to RURAL DORSET & SOUTH WILTSHIRE


To the west of the New Forest lies the market town of Ringwood, now bypassed and once more a pleasant place to stroll and shop or eat at one of the many pubs or restaurants. There is a fine church at Ringwood but lovers of ecclesiastical architecture should head southwest from the town to seek out Wimborne where the old town huddles around the Minster. A very unusual building, this, built in a chequer work of brown and grey stones, it is a complete mixture of styles from Norman up to the 15th century.


Not as well known as the New Forest, Cranborne Chase is recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty, a country of high chalkland with an expansive landscape. It is exceptionally fine country for walking, riding or picnicing. Formerly a Royal Hunting Forest, the deer remain and can often be seen grazing at the edge of the stands of hazel coppice which are a feature of this area.


And only a stone’s throw north, the Wiltshire border, which leads to an area dominated by Salisbury Plain and laying at the heart of Wiltshire, it stamps its character on the surrounding countryside. You’ll find wide rolling downland with vast fields of both crops and pasture great walking on grassy tracks which the troops of Alfred trod as they went to battle with the Danes.


Reminders too, of a much older civilisation as you come westward from Amesbury and see the great monoliths of Stonehenge - a dominant role in the landscape, its surrounding roads are


www.touristhandbook.co.uk Portland Wimborne


CRANBORNE CHASE


Barton on Sea


now hidden in tunnels or cuttings. Older still is Woodhenge, a short way to the north-east.


The great cathedral at Salisbury, immortalised by Constable, makes a wonderful centrepiece to the town, surrounded by wide lawns and then the narrow old streets with their fine houses and


PURBECK


shops. This is not a city to rush through or to try to explore in one morning.


We can only give you a taste of the area, but hope that it will be sufficient to encourage you to explore more for yourself. You will not be disappointed.


We hope you enjoy these pages: please leave for the enjoyment of others 21


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