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The Hardy Way


The Hardy Way at the Rings, near Corfe Castle, Dorset

The Hardy Way is a long distance path related to locations in novels of Thomas Hardy's "Wessex". It begins at his birthplace, Hardy's Cottage in Higher Bockingham in Dorset, and makes a two hundred mile circuit ending at the churchyard at Stinsford, close to Higher Bockingham, where his heart is reputedly buried. On the way the path visits Puddletown, Lulworth Cove, Kimmeridge, Corfe Castle, Wareham, Wimborne, Cranborne Chase, Shaftsbury, Sturminster Newton, Buckland Newton, Eveshot, Bridport, Weymouth, Dorchester and Stinsford.

The path can be walked in its entirety, or in sections. A guide book such as The Hardy Way by Margaret Marande will help you. I walked a short section of the path around an ancient earth work fortification known as the Rings. This is close to Corfe Castle, which appeared in Thomas Hardy's book The Hand of Ethelberta





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