Favourite Walks - With or Without a Dog
Dorset is a beautiful county full or contrasts, wonderful views and ideal for walking - with or without a dog. Whether you remain in Thomas Hardy Country and the Blackmore Vale, or venture further towards the coast, Swanage, Poole, Bournemouth and the New Forest, there is something for everyone to enjoy. We also provide information on walks in the cottage. Here are some of the walks Georgie, our Norfolk terrier, enjoys.
Near our Cottage (10 miles radius)
There are good dog walks to the left and right as you leave the cottage parking area. However, we recommend taking the car the short distance because there are a lot of farm vehicles at this time of year – and no good verges on which to walk with absolute safety. To the left, you will see a track on the opposite side to us a little way past the Manor Farm. To the right, there is a track just past Waterston Manor on the opposite side of the road. Both would be a five-minute walk but – until we get road calming – safer by car.
The Puddletown Forest (1.5 miles) offers many possibilities. The roads within the Forest are poor but the walks are lovely.
A beautiful 'chocolate box' village featured on numerous postcards of West Dorset. Walk around the village of some 36 almost identical thatched cottages; up Luccombe Hill (near the church); or go down to the lake; walk around the Abbey. The village has a pub and tearoom; drive down the hill to enjoy a coffee or light meal at the Abbey School's Tuck Shop which has been refurbished.
So many trails, beautiful walks - whatever the weather.
Thomas Hardy’s Birthplace
At Thomas Hardy's cottage, you can park at the bottom by the New Visitor Centre & Café and walk the Nature Trail which is good even when the weather is damp.
Park at Lidl and use the little walkway to the right of Lidl as you face the supermarket. This takes you down past The Judge’s House and river. You can walk for miles on well-trodden paths.
One of our favourites is in Athelhampton (3+ miles). Drive past Athelhampton House and turn in just before Athelhampton church on the right. There are two very good walks to the left and ahead.
Turn right out of our car parking area and drive through Piddlehinton and Piddletrenthide (about 5 miles) taking a very sharp right turn to Plush. There are wonderful walks around the valley from The Brace of Pheasants.
Cerne Abbas: Around the Giant
Starting at the Cerne Abbas car park picnic area this circular walk follows a footpath to the Benedictine Cerne Abbey, then through the cemetery and up the south-east side of the Cerne Abbas Giant hill. It returns down the north-west side of the Hill and passes the Giant before returning to the car park. There are excellent views of the Dorset downlands and the Cerne Valley from both sides of the hill.
A circular walk from the wonderfully picturesque and cosy Acorn Inn in Evershot through Melbury Park estate.
Durlston has a huge variety of wildlife in a relatively confined area, making it one of the best places in Britain for wildlife watching. It's home to nationally and internationally important species with:
500+ species of plant
250+ species of bird
500+ species of moth
80+ species of fungi
34 species of butterfly
32 species of snail
March is usually good for Bottlenose dolphin sightings.
Click on the link (above) for what you might see each month.
Dorset Walks to Download & Print