We made Chedington our base for our visit to the Jurassic Coast. There is a stretch of coastline in southern England in the counties of Dorset and Devon that have been home to the creatures of the past from eras bygone. Entire fossilised skeletons of dinosaurs, ammonites calcified in rock all lay about to be explored.
Our stay at Winyard’s Gap Inn gave us access to the nearby woodland walks, the village of Chedington, gorgeous landscape views and other nearby attractions.
Although Winyard’s Gap Inn is not located right on the coast, its position midway between the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) of Dorset and the Jurassic coasts made it the perfect location for us. It took us an average drive of 45 minutes to an hour to get to the beach and in particular, the Jurassic Coast.
Winyard’s Gap was affordable option for us especially at the highest peak season of summer in August. It sleeps 3 and is pet friendly so it was perfect for a short stay. The studio apartment also allowed us to cook and prepare meals on the days when we wanted to stay in.
The Winyard’s Gap pub and restaurant is popular and busy but as the accommodation wing is set back away from the hustle and bustle it was not disruptive at all. Given the great weather most restaurant patrons were seated outdoors to make the most of the weather and enjoy the breath-taking sunsets. The wide open space beer garden in front of Winyard Gap Inn enjoys an almost bird’s eye view of the area.
Winyards Gap Walk
Winyards Gap is a long narrow ridge with wide open views across four counties. From Winyard’s Gap Inn (and Pub) head towards Chedington. After a short walk pass the gates, you will see a small lay-by and steps to the footpath. The path takes you right up to a Second World War memorial before continuing into a circular walk in the woods. It is pretty shaded so to truly enjoy the walk filled with magnificent trees, flowers, ferns and woodland wildlife, we recommend taking the walk when there is plenty of daylight. Our dog, Ollie enjoyed the walk just as we did. If you love woodland walks and happens to be in the area (Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), put Windyards Gap on your list. Here’s one of those wide open views you can see from Winyards Gap.
The War Memorial
On Winyard’s Gap is a replica of the memorial built on Hill 112 near Caen, the site of the first battle in which the 43rd Wessex Division took part. The woodlands were given to the National Trust in 1949 in memory of the men of 43rd who fell in the Second World War. The stone memorial in White Hill Plantation has views over Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Wiltshire, the four counties that made up the Wessex Division.
We did not make the journey around the circular walk, but if we did notice some hollows in the landscape. These are remains of old quarries where stone and sand were dug out for the construction of buildings in the village. Also, at the far end of the ridge you will be greeted with wonderful views of Chedington Court, the Manor House around which the village grew.
Address: Winyard’s Gap Inn, Chedington, Beaminster DT8 3HY