West Dorset is a cyclist's paradise, with scarcely any major roads to negotiate. Within easy reach is the evocative Blackmore Vale, little-changed for centuries, whilst all around are the impressive hills of the Dorset Downs, leading to the World Heritage Coastline running between the Isle of Purbeck and Lyme Regis.
We know and have cycled on most of the roads in the county and are thus uniquely placed to offer advice on routes, whether you want a gentle meander through the vale past ancient oak trees or a lung-busting challenge over iron-age hill forts with dramatic views of the sea beyond. Due to the topography there will always be one or two hills, but routes can be planned accordingly.
We are currently compiling a library of routes of varying distances, difficulty and direction: perhaps a gentle meander through the vale for lunch in Sherborne with its ancient Abbey, and two castles - one home to Sir Walter Raleigh, where legend has it a faithful servant poured a bucket of water over him whilst he was smoking a pipe, believing him to be on fire. Or a visit to Lyme Regis for an ice cream by the atmospheric harbour, cycling along lanes where you will probably see more horses than cars. Maybe a ride out along the Frome valley to Corfe Castle on the isle of Purbeck, passing close by Thomas Hardy's cottage. There are so many routes to enjoy!
The many bridleways make this ideal off-road biking country with some long and challenging downhills for thrill-seekers.
We offer secure bicycle storage with space for you to service your bike if required, a selection of tools and a power hose for muddy MTBs.
Cattistock is 1 mile from Maiden Newton railway station on the Cardiff / Bristol / Bath / Castle Cary to Weymouth line. From London Waterloo, change at Dorchester South for Maiden Newton or cycle the 8 miles to us. Sustrans route no. 26 passes through the village.
10% discount to CTC members on production of valid membership card.
Dorset has long been a mecca for walkers due to the incredible countryside and fantastic views, combined with a comprehensive network of footpaths and bridleways that criss-cross the landscape. From short strolls around the village to a day-long circuit stopping at a convenient pub for lunch, there is something for all levels of activity. Lying in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty it is no surprise that many rate this as some of the finest walking country in the south.
You will discover hidden valleys and gentle rivers and streams, spotting a diverse array of wildlife along the way - herons, kingfishers, deer, foxes, buzzards as well as domestic animals such as sheep and cows contentedly munching the lush green grass. The chalk downland offers from its heights glimpses of the English Channel to the south, or the seemingly never-ending Blackmore Vale to the north. What Thomas Hardy immortalised in verse and prose is yours to discover to this day.