Welcome To Wessex

Click on the headings below for suggestions. They have been chosen for quality and interest.

 

Golf.

Of the many excellent golf courses throughout Wessex, those below are chosen for the challenge they present, the particular beauty of their surroundings and the great welcome in their clubhouses.

Cumberwell. BA15 2PQ Since its opening in 1994, Cumberwell Park is now established as one of the best courses in the South West and has been awarded four stars in Golf World’s Top Courses in Britain.

Bowood. SN11 9PQ One of the most beautiful championship courses in a Capability Brown setting. In addition, stay at Queenwood Lodge, a luxurious Georgian manor house beautifully furnished and decorated by Lady Bowood, between the 7th and 8th fairways!

High Post. SP4 6AT Golf Monthly has described the course as a 'hidden gem'. Its great strength is it's all year round playability over the free draining chalk downland.

Salisbury and South Wilts. SP2 8PR There are 27 holes available, made up of a main 18 hole course which is recognised as a good golfing challenge to all types of golfer, and a 9 hole course that weaves tantalisingly in and out of Salisbury Racecourse.

Hamptworth Golf and Country Club. SP5 2DU More than just a golf club, it is beautifully situated on the edge of The New Forest enjoying some of England’s most magnificent and ancient countryside.

Ferndown Golf Club. BH22 8BU Known as one of the best private members clubs in the country open to visitors. A classic heathland links of 27 holes cut through natural countryside. It has fully earned its reputation as one of the finest and most interesting.

Parkstone Golf Club. BH14 9QS A jewel of a course that sets an intriguing and varied test of golf set amongst heather and pine fringed fairways. In 1996 English Nature designated the course a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Manor House Hotel and Golf Club. SN14 7JW Breathtakingly situated on the southern edge of the Cotswolds in 365 acres of parkland, Peter Alliss designed golf course, Italian gardens and lawns sweeping down to the River Bybrook. The house itself dates back to the 14th century.

The Dorset Golf & Country Club. BH20 7NT It hosts 27 holes of the most challenging golf in Dorset and is recognized as one of the golfing gems of the South of England. The Martin Hawtree designed; Lakeland/Parkland and Woodland courses are built to full USGA specification and are extremely well maintained, presenting excellent playing conditions for all levels of golfers.

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Walking.

Wessex is immensely rich in beautiful land and seascapes which make walking, be it long distance or just a stroll, such a pleasure. The following list is not exhaustive!

Exmoor National Park. Beautiful rolling countryside and an amazing coastline. A centre of horse riding and home of the unique Exmoor pony. A National Park since 1954.

New Forest National Park. The "New Forest" is an English medieval deer hunting area created in 1079 by William the Conqueror - his "Nova Foresta", still largely in the possession of the Crown. It is a nationally important environment of woodland pasture, heaths, bogs with ancient villages and byways.

South West Coast Path. The Path in Wessex includes the western part of Exmoor in the north and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset in the south, both giving wonderful coastal scenery, wildlife and heritage.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Wessex is particularly fortunate in having seven areas of outstandingly beautiful countryside (as their title suggests!) designated by government for enjoyment, conservation and enhancement. They are, going from north to south:

Cotswolds:
North Wessex Downs:
Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs:
Quantocks:
Mendips:
Blackdown Hills:
Dorset:

Map coverage. Ordnance Survey probably do the best range of maps for planning and for walking.

Tourism Information Centres. These will have other very good specialist local maps, and advice on many aspects of the area.

Weather Click for up to date local and national forecasts.

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Cycling.

Routes. The Sustrans‘ National Cycle Network offers miles of cycle routes on quiet country lanes and traffic-free paths, using easy to follow route signs and connecting towns and villages. To discover routes where you want to go and to find out about what you'll see along the way, visit the Sustrans site

Cycle hire. Visit County Lanes for advice and help. Most towns of any size have a cycle shop where it is possible to hire bikes.

Taking bicycles by air and rail. This is never easy! Visit www.bikeaccess.net/ for helpful knowledge and advice.

Cycle tour operators. To be completed.

Map coverage. Ordnance Survey probably do the best range of maps for planning in addition to Sustrans’ offer. .

Tourism Information Centres. These will have other very good specialist local maps, and advice on many aspects of the area.

Weather Click for up to date local and national forecasts.

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Horse riding.

Wessex has everything for the rider. There are world class three-day events, long distance riding routes, one day shows run by the local hunt, or just opportunities to ride from a local livery stable. The best place to start is the British Horse Society site and then click on its link to the South West Region.

Map coverage. Ordnance Survey probably do the best range of maps for planning.

Tourism Information Centres. These will have other very good specialist local maps, and advice on many aspects of the area.

Weather Click for up to date local and national forecasts.

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Sailing.

The Wessex sailing area.

The main sailing areas on the south Wessex coast are the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the Hampshire coast, and off Poole and Weymouth. The north coast of Wessex fronts the Bristol Channel which presents many more challenges varying from strong tidal streams, lack of ports of refuge and few charterers.

The Solent has probably the widest variety of small and large harbours, and their associated attractions, anywhere in the world. There are many yacht charterers offering an immense range of boats, both sail and power. Key ‘Solent Yacht Charter’ into your search engine to see the range. Three possibilities are:

A sailing experience. ‘Leopard of London’ is, for novice or expert, a 90 foot, 25 knot vivid sailing experience like few others. She was launched in 2000 and has a highly successful corporate, racing and cruising calendar. Visit www.leopardoflondon.co.uk for the full details.

Classic Cruising. For a more a more leisurely experience, cruise in pre-war style in Charles Telfer’s Ragna-R, a 54foot English built wooden classic. Based in Portsmouth Harbour, she is ideal for exploring the English south coast. Visit www.classic-cruising.com for the detail.

Five Star Sailing. This is a sailing school which specialises in the racing scene and which posted some excellent results in 2005. The American designed J109s are the mainstay of its very successful fleet. Details are at www.fivestarsailing.co.uk

Weather Click for up-to-date local and national forecasts.

Charts. Click here to find out where the nearest chart agents are located and how to order.

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Fishing, shooting and hunting.

Fishing. Wessex Fly Fishing www.goflyfishing.co.uk/ is one opening available. A much wider view of what is available can be got from www.fishingnet.com

Game and other forms of shooting. www.basc.org.uk/content/bascssw provides the entry point for all things shooting in the Wessex area. Of equal importance are the supporting cast of game shooting for whom the National Organisation of Beaters and Pickers Up www.nobs.org.uk exists!

Hunting with Foxhounds. There are over 40 packs in Wessex with some splendid and varied hunting country.

Hunting the Hare. There are several Harrier packs in Wessex recognised by the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles.

Deer Hounds. Three packs hunt the Red Deer - the Devon and Somerset Stag Hounds, the Quantock Stag Hounds, Tiverton Stag Hounds.

Map coverage. Ordnance Survey probably do the best range of maps for planning and for walking.

Weather Click for up to date local and national forecasts.

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Bird watching.

Reserves. The Wessex is very fortunate that its many different types of terrain and land usage bring in and sustain a wide variety of birds. Visit the South West Region page of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds site for a list of the reserves within Wessex – to which should be added Langstone Harbour to the East of Portsmouth.

Guide Books. There are many good guide books for bird watching. Key “field guide to birds of britain and Europe” into www.amazon.com to see the many excellent books on offer.

Map coverage. Ordnance Survey probably do the best range of maps for planning and for walking.

Tourism Information Centres. These will have other very good specialist local maps, and advice on many aspects of the area. .

Weather Click for up to date local and national forecasts.

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Horse Racing.

On the flat and over fences. For dates, times and venues look at:

Wincanton.
Bath.
Wilton, Salisbury.
Taunton.

Point-to-point racing. There are 20 meetings on 11 courses of this most exciting form of racing throughout Wessex in 2006. Go to www.pointingwessex.co.uk for all the details.

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