01694 723600 info@secrethillswalking.co.uk
We meet as strangers and depart as friends


Isle of Purbeck and East Dorset

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From£555
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Why Book With Us?

  • Value for Money
  • Personal Service
  • Hand-picked Tours & Activities
  • No single supplement (UK only)
  • Flights from local airports (Europe only)

Make an Enquiry

Do not hesitate to contact us. We are an expert team and we are always happy to talk to you.

info@secrethillswalking.co.uk

01694 723600

You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

Our solos guided walking holiday takes in the stunning Purbeck Hills – one of the finest landscape features in Dorset. They extend from the much eroded Handfast Point (or The Foreland) in the east for some fifteen miles to the cliffs of Cow Corner and the lonely cove of Arish Mell in the west.

We pride ourselves in providing guided walking holidays for solos and single in some of the most stunning locations in the UK and Europe. We have an extra speciality in that we also design bespoke holidays for special groups.

  • Three days
  • Refund guarantee
  • Expert Tour Guides
  • Two nights
  • Location: Isle of Purbeck and East Dorset
What you get on a Secret Hills Break
  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite two nights/ three nights if the holiday falls on a Bank Holiday – Spring Bank or August Bank Holiday
  • Dinner- three course.
  • Lunch- except first day
  • Sole Occupancy
  • Personal service
  • Expert guiding- friendly, local guides that know the area superbly well
  • Transport to walks start and finish as needed
  • Flexibility
  • No single supplement
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • Full joining details prior to your holiday
  • Our administration support from the point of booking to you joining the holiday

Hotel and Meals

This holiday uses the Springfield Country Hotel and  Spa, near Wareham, Dorset. The hotel has a spa fro your use.

The Springfield Country Hotel takes great pride in being a family owned country hotel with its own outstanding professional management team.

Evening dinner is three courses and taken in the hotels dining room.

We have lunch in one of Dorset’s lovely country pubs along our walk.

We offer you the opportunity to stay additional nights, and many people extend their weekend as they wish. Just reserve what nights you need.

Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the countryside but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We specialise in organising guided walking holidays for singles and solo travellers
  • We are a small friendly company
  • We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
  • We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
  • Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
  • You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
  • Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
  • We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
  • We always use good hotels. 
  • We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies, because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit on one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.

Directions

Getting to Wareham

From London

M25/M3 for Winchester/Southampton

A350 Poole then A351 to Wareham

From the North West

M6 south/M5 south/M42/M40 for London

A 34 Newbury and Southampton, then A350 Poole then A351 to Wareham

From North East

M1 south to Leicester/M69 Coventry/M40 then A 34 Newbury and Southampton, then A350 Poole then A351 to Wareham

By rail

Wareham is the nearest station

Rail enquiries

Itinerary

Our first walk is on Friday afternoon starting from the hotel reception at 2.30pm, a two hour “get to know you “walk, with a cuppa at the end.  If you cannot make that walk, then we meet on Friday evenings, at 7.00 pm, for a three course dinner and a discussion on what we are doing during the weekend.  Each weekend’s walking has a different theme, to fit into the time of year, or events going on in the area.

We walk on Saturday and Sunday finishing at 4.00pm.

If you have booked an additional night’s accommodation, note there is no walk on the Monday.

Grades and Difficulty

We walk between 8 and 10 miles per day.  We walk at a steady pace, we don’t rush.  We want you to enjoy our lovely scenery – these hills and valleys  are a walkers paradise with good paths and an ever changing landscape.

There are hills to ascend  – we go up to a maximum of 150 metres over two miles of walking, but the climbing is gradual and we won’t rush. What’s the point of huffing and puffing, being exhausted then not being able to enjoy this fabulous land.  Descending is not precarious, and is gentle in relationship to many walking areas.

Footpaths are well marked and generally good with plenty of walking on grassy terrain.

Sample Walks

Friday afternoon – walk along the clifftops to the curious chalk formations of Old Harry Rocks and look across to the vast sands of the Studland Bay nature reserve. Enjoy afternoon drinks at the historic Banks Arms pub.

Saturday – Travel to Worth Matravers, visit secluded quarries and smugglers dens along the dramatic windswept cliffs of Winspit and Dancing Ledge. Lunch in the unspoilt village of Worth Matravers. After lunch,  take the Purbeck Way inland and have tea close to the iconic landmark of Corfe Castle.

Sunday – Travel to the world famous rock arch of Durdle Door, then hike to the blue waters of Lulworth Cove for lunch, along the cliffs of the Jurassic coast. In the afternoon take a loop around the unspoilt heaths of the military range past a fossilised forest and secluded smugglers cove to finish back at Lulworth Cove for a cuppa.

Meet New Friends

Its all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed and stress free occasion. Talking is as important as walking on Secrethills Walking Holidays. We don’t go in for discos, we may use an event that is taking place in the area we are in to boost the weekends activities – but its good, old fashioned chat that makes our short breaks successful.

“Make new friends that turn into old friends” – that’s our motto.

You might be surprised by what fun you’ll have with people who are older or younger than you during a holiday with us, and that’s exactly the sort of atmosphere we encourage; people find it very rewarding. It doesn’t matter what your reasons for traveling with us are, we’ve had people who are single, divorced or widowed, people who have partners that are unable to travel, and people who can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’ve all got married themselves. There are people who want to make friends, see sights, and experience something completely new. Whatever your reason, we’ll welcome you with open arms and our friendly hosts will help you to get the most out of your holiday.

Don’t worry if this is the first time you have ventured to join a group holiday – its always a bit daunting – but we will look after you and ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again. Trust us to to get you back into the swing of things.

Oh – by the way – its not a dating agency – over the years we have had people meet and fall in love – but that’s just chance. Our aim is that you make like minded friends – just relax and enjoy.

Just arrive and enjoy.

How to Book

To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.

Reserve online  – once you have chosen your holiday, click on Proceed Booking and complete the online form. If you have difficulty reserving online, please  contact us (tel: 01694 723600, email: info@secrethillswalking.co.uk) and we will assist you to complete your booking.

Payment

Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone. You may pay by the following methods when you book online…

  • Paypal – if you have a Paypal account, simply click on the link to the Paypal website.
  • Credit / Debit card – we use Paypal to host our credit/debit cards facility because it is a very secure system. So if you want to pay with a card, simply click on this option which will take you to our page on the PayPal website. Check in there as a “Guest” to enable your card payment. You do not need to have a Paypal account for this transaction.
  • We will also accept a Bank Transfer – you will find our account details on the booking form.
  • Finally, we will also accept a cheque payable to Secret Hills Walking Holidays and sent to: Secret Hills Walking Holidays, 35 Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BH

Please note than an initial deposit is required with each booking regardless of which payment method you choose. Your booking will be accepted when your payment (deposit or full balance) is received. Note – if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.

It is important that you read the terms and conditions before you sign the booking form.

Note – if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.

Location

The Purbeck hills and rolling countryside will enchant you  – and is a land of ever changing vista’s – on any walk we get four or five different landscapes to enjoy.   Walking boots or shoes are obligatory, and many walkers find a walking pole useful, especially on the downhills.  You will also need wet weather gear—generally we have a mild climate, lovely springs and mild autumns and winter walking too is outstanding in theses secret hills. When we send you your joining details a set of walking routes will be included

Purbeck is a district of Dorset that takes its name from the peninsula known locally as the ‘Isle of Purbeck‘. This sixty square mile chunk of land jutting into the English Channel is bordered on three sides by water and, although not actually an island, has an insular character which is largely due to its geography.

A ridge of chalk from the Cretaceous period known as the Purbeck Hills runs along the peninsula from Ballard Down, a National Trust nature reserve north of Swanage managed for its calcareous grassland habitat, through Corfe Castle and almost to East Lulworth a hamlet consisting of 17th century thatched cottages. East Lulworth is relatively low-lying due to a break in the cliff that occurs at Arish Mell, while to the north is Luckford Lake, a small stream feeding into the River Frome, which in turn runs into Poole harbour. In the past the low-lying land would have been very boggy and difficult to cross in winter, hence the ‘Isle’ of Purbeck.

The first settlement in the area would have been at Wareham. Easily reached by road and rail, today’s town forms an ideal base for exploring the Purbeck coast. Wareham’s accessibility attracted regular raids throughout history, especially from the Vikings, and it was eventually captured by King Canute in 1016. Raised earthen walls were built around the town for protection and today these walls are a haven for wildlife and enclose a thriving market town with a Saxon street plan and more than 200 buildings of historic and architectural interest.

Corfe Castle

The nearby Corfe Castle represents another attempt to defend the area from marauding armies. Built in a gap in the Purbeck Hills this ruined castle dates back to the 11th century. It is now owned by the National Trust, who are currently attempting to restore it. The village of  Corfe Castle, built in the gap below the ruins, is a picturesque affair and attracts many visitors each year.

Guided walking in the Isle of Purbeck

The Purbeck coastline is part of the ninety-five mile stretch known as the Jurassic Coast named England’s first natural world heritage site in 2002 because of the unique insight it offers into 185 million years of the Earth’s history. The Purbeck Beds are an internationally important record of the evolution of mammals at the beginning of the Cretaceous period, and a total of more than 100 different vertebrate species have been identified from fossils. The Purbeck limestones are also famous for dinosaur tracks, the most significant of which are at Keat’s Quarry, where footprints more than a metre in diameter were discovered in 1986.

It is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Photos

Reviews

6 Reviews
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Jackie Russell

Solo Traveller

The Hotel was extremely good, comfortable room, good food and the spa was brilliant. Lou was a fantastic guide with great knowledge of the area, she looked after us well making a very wet weekend very enjoyable.

October 18, 2019

Sylvia Barnfather

Solo Traveller

An enjoyable weekend of walking despite the weather. The hotel was very comfortable, friendly staff. Lou was a good leader, helped us when needed, gave us interesting information en route. She also gave us different options on walking routes and places for lunch.

October 18, 2019

Tina Bloch

Solo Traveller

As ever, the booking process  was very easy and clear. Our select party of three plus our guide, Lou, had a great weekend despite despite rain for all except for 3 hours. Lou adapted walks to suit conditions and account for our group preference to walk for longer in the  morning and shorter after lunch, Lou kept us safe in the slippery conditions. The hotel was very grand and I had a lovely room. The breakfast and dinners were both very nice and  tasty. Having the spa was a lovely bonus. All in all, another great holiday with Secret Hills .

October 18, 2019

Sue Wilson

Solo Traveller

My friend has attended your holidays and suggested that I join her on this one.  Pre-holiday information good, gave guidance on what should take as a novice which was helpful. Good accommodation and facilities, especially pool as I swim regularly.
Informative and very approachable/knowledgeable leader. Good organisation,
saw variety of places, lunch venues booked so no time wasted trying to find somewhere. I would consider booking another holiday and recommend it to friends/colleagues.

May 29, 2019

Rosemary Robinson

Solo Traveller

Pre-holiday information was very comprehensive – told me everything I needed to know.
Hotel was very good.  It was useful to have the swimming pool/spa facilities available after a day’s walking. Very much enjoyed guided walking experience. Our guide (Lou) was very knowledgeable and gave us lots of interesting information during the walks.  She was also very calm and organised.  The other walkers were friendly and sociable. Organisation was excellent.

May 29, 2019
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