To coincide with the release this June of the new film ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’, based on the book by Thomas Hardy, On Foot Holidays – one of Europe’s leading self-guided walking tour operators, is offering five per cent off its Dorset walk, offering Australians the chance to explore the countryside that inspired Hardy’s novels.
Produced by BBC Films and starring Carey Mulligan, ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ follows the story of an independent, beautiful and headstrong farm owner who attracts three very different suitors – a sheep farmer, a reckless sergeant and a prosperous bachelor. The adaption of Hardy’s timeless story is set to be released in Australia on June 25, 2015.
To mark the new adaption, On Foot Holidays is offering a five percent discount on its walking tour of Dorset in which travellers can follow Hardy’s footsteps as they visit Salisbury, Shaftesbury, the Jurassic coast and a number of Dorset’s villages, landmarks and beauty spots. The deal is valid for bookings made before June 30, 2015.
The seven-night walking tour begins in Salisbury with a visit to the cathedral, famous for having a church spire, which at 123m, is the tallest in the UK. Travellers then walk to the hilltop town of Shaftsbury on a gentle ramble through river valleys and past the ruins of Old Wardour Castle. The third day will see travellers head down the famous Gold Hill, past water mills, and then up again to the picturesque Ashmore, Dorset’s highest village. The following day will feature many locations Hardy frequented and was inspired by including Milton Abbas with its ancient abbey and Bingham’s Melcombe, a now abandoned medieval village, before travellers finish at an iconic thatched pub.
After another day walking through the scenic countryside, guests will stay at the Acorn Inn, Evershot, featured in Hardy’s novel ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ as the ‘The Sow & Acorn’ of ‘Evershead’. The following day will include a visit to Mapperton, one of the areas used as a location in the new Hardy film, while the final day will offer a choice between a walk along the Jurassic coast or continuing across the Dorset countryside.
The self-guided tour is of medium difficulty, with five to seven hours of walking each day. On Foot Holidays suggests May, June, July, September and October as the best months to take the trip.
Including seven nights’ accommodation, seven breakfasts and luggage transfers, allowing travellers to just carry a day pack, the package costs from £722 (approximately A$1383 depending on exchange rates) per person, twin-share, including the five per cent discount if booked by June 30, 2015, using the code ‘PPR15’ when booking. A £250 single room supplement is also available. Prices vary from low to high seasons.
Based in the UK and specialising in the ‘art of slow travel’, On Foot Holidays offers walkers around the world 24 self-guided tours across unspoilt areas of Europe for independent travellers who prefer intimate encounters with destinations. Walkers can select their own departure dates and all routes are designed by locals and tested by staff from On Foot Holidays.