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20 fantastic trails in North & West Dorset — National Trust

The National Trust

20 fantastic trails in North & West Dorset — National Trust

Hiking Collection by National Trust North and West Dorset

20

Tours

28:35 h

60.7 mi

7,550 ft

The areas of North and West Dorset are an eclectic mix of wonder and beauty stretching from Lyme Regis in the west to Ringstead Bay in the east, and Melbury and Fontmell in the north. Here, you can discover a wealth of coastal and countryside sites within a protected landscape including the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site and Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast of Great Britain. You walk through flower-rich grasslands, spot amazing wildlife and visit places of cultural and historical significance such as ancient monuments, Iron Age hillforts and the literary houses of Thomas Hardy and T.E. Lawrence.

In this Collection, we present 20 fantastic walks for every ability. Some are around a mile (1.6 km) long, perfect for everyone in the family from the youngest to the oldest. With orienteering and brass rubbing trails, it’s easy for young ones to get excited about exploring. Other routes are longer, ideal for rambling afternoons with a flask and a camera.

While one of the walks is linear, the rest are loops starting in or near car parks – adventuring has never been easier. Every walk is close to a village or town where you can find refreshments if needed.

So, choose a route and lace up those walking shoes – Dorset’s glorious scenery is waiting.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Golden Cap Trust10k — National Trust walks in North and West Dorset

    Intermediate
    03:07
    6.60 mi
    2.1 mph
    950 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This 10-kilometre (6.2 mi) trail follows the course of the excellent Trust10 and starts from the National Trust’s Stonebarrow car park. Marked with red arrows, it’s easy to follow at any time of year. The figure-of-eight loop provides a wonderful exploration of the area including the airy summit of Golden

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Intermediate
    01:44
    3.68 mi
    2.1 mph
    550 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This is the first half of a wonderful Trust10k route.

    

    1: Starting at the bottom end of Stonebarrow car park, go through the gate and follow the path down through the field. Stay on this track heading towards Golden Cap. Keep on the path and head through a gate, the Trust10k will be signposted.

    2: Follow

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Intermediate
    02:00
    3.68 mi
    1.8 mph
    425 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This gorgeous 3.7-mile (6 km) route starts at the fantastic Hardy Monument and takes you through undulating farmland with wonderful vistas of the coast. From the monument’s car park, this is a perfect short adventure for any age.

    

    1: Begin by Hardy’s Monument and walk a short way north east to Smitten

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    00:28
    1.10 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This mile long (1.7 km) walk is a perfect stroll to blow away the cobwebs and get some fantastic views. It begins at the National Trust’s Hive Beach car park close to Burton Bradstock and takes you on an easy loop of the cliffs.

    

    You’ll find the car park at the end of the Hive Beach road.

    

    1: From the car

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    00:30
    0.98 mi
    1.9 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This short and sweet walk is a mile (1.6 km) long and leads you on an exploration of Lambert’s Castle Hill, the site of a former Iron Age hillfort. You start from the National Trust’s Lambert’s Castle car park.

    

    1: From the car park, follow the trail leading south east over the hill.

    2: Take the north

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    01:59
    4.39 mi
    2.2 mph
    525 ft
    550 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This is a 4.4-mile (7 km) adventure taking in two neighbouring Iron Age hillforts and some glorious panoramas over the undulating patchwork landscape down to the sea. The starting point is the National Trust’s Lambert’s Castle car park and while this route is hilly by definition, the gradients are usually

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    01:31
    2.70 mi
    1.8 mph
    375 ft
    375 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This fantastic 3-mile (4.8 km) walk takes you on a Tour of one of the country’s most iconic chalk hill figures set into Dorset’s gorgeous countryside. You see the Cerne Abbas giant as well as some of the village’s oldest spots. The starting point is the car park immediately above the village, which itself

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Intermediate
    02:30
    5.84 mi
    2.3 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This 6-mile (9.3 km) walk offers you beachside adventures, undulating countryside paths and sweeping coastal views. You start at the National Trust’s Hive Beach car park and hike along the beach to the west before heading inland on a glorious loop to Cogden Beach and back to where you started. If you

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    00:37
    1.48 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A 1.5-mile walk (2.4 km) around a sprawling Iron Age hillfort is one of the most Dorset things you can do as this beautiful county is brimming with ancient history. Hambledon Hill, in Child Okeford, is one of Dorset’s most amazing examples of defensive earthworks and this route leads you through them

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    00:36
    1.37 mi
    2.3 mph
    125 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    If you’re looking for a beautiful stroll to blow away the cobwebs then this 1.4-mile (2.2 km) walk might be exactly what you need. Starting at the National Trust’s Langdon Hill car park, it takes you on a complete loop of this vibrant, wooded hill. On the route, you’ll find secret viewpoints across the

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Intermediate
    02:53
    6.04 mi
    2.1 mph
    975 ft
    950 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This 6-mile (9.7 km) walk takes you to two fantastic spots on Dorset’s stunning coastline as well as the vibrant woodland of Langdon Hill. You pass through the hamlet of Seatown twice, so you can stop for a pub lunch if you like. The starting point is the National Trust’s car park at Langdon Hill.

    

    1

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    01:00
    2.35 mi
    2.3 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This lovely 2.4-mile (3.8 km) walk offers you sweeping panoramas of Lyme Bay in the south of Dorset. Starting at the National Trust’s Cogden Beach car park on the B3157, this route takes you along the clifftop to Burton Beach, just below the charming village of Burton Bradstock. You then return along

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    01:06
    2.55 mi
    2.3 mph
    150 ft
    175 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At 2.5 miles (4.4 km), this is a wonderful walk for anyone who needs a bit of beach in their day. Starting at the National Trust’s Cogden Beach car park, this trail takes you along the fields above the beach for sweeping views before leading you down to the shore to hear the lapping waves.

    

    1: Walk to

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Intermediate
    03:02
    6.20 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This wonderful walk is from the show, ‘Best Walks with a View with Julia Bradbury’ and is linear, so you need to plan in advance how to get to the start and end points. At 6.2 miles (10 km), this is a great day walk leading you from the village of Symondsbury across Dorset’s gorgeous, undulating landscapes

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Intermediate
    02:01
    4.31 mi
    2.1 mph
    575 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This 4.4-mile (7 km) walk takes you on a beautiful ramble about the ancient landscape above Ringstead Bay. You’ll start at the National Trust’s Ringstead car park and stay high, exploring the cliffs so you can enjoy the soaring views across Lyme Bay and along the Jurassic Coast.

    

    1) Walk south east through

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    00:50
    1.70 mi
    2.0 mph
    300 ft
    325 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This is a lovely 1.7-mile (2.7 km) walk above Ringstead Bay and offers you stunning views along Dorset’s Jurassic coastline. You start at the National Trust’s Ringstead car park, which sits high above the sea meaning that the panorama is exceptional from the moment you step out of the car.

    

    1) Walk south

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    00:26
    0.94 mi
    2.1 mph
    150 ft
    125 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This is an orienteering trail aimed at families and beginners. Before you follow the komoot route, download this map and try your hand at following a map the old fashioned way: nt.global.ssl.fastly.net/jurassic-coast-/documents/waxcap-trail.pdf

    

    Discover orienteering around the site of a Bronze Age burial

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    00:34
    1.23 mi
    2.2 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This is a fantastic family trail created by the National Trust taking you and your family back to the time when smugglers patrolled this area. The loop should take 1 – 1 ½ hours and features nine checkpoints with brass rubbings for children to enjoy (remember to bring some paper and a crayon!).

    

    You can

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    00:22
    0.84 mi
    2.3 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This is a short but perfect little trail which takes you to the Cain’s Folly viewpoint and gives you a brief opportunity to explore Stonebarrow. With fairly easy terrain and tremendous views, this 0.8-mile route is ideal for families.

    

    1: From the pay and display machine at the National Trust car park

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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  • Easy
    01:18
    2.70 mi
    2.1 mph
    450 ft
    425 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    If you’re after a short, beachside hike, this might just be what you’re looking for. This lovely walk starts and ends at West Bexington car park (not a National Trust location), taking you along the beach and then up the hill to capture even better views. At 2.7 miles (4.3 km), it’s a particularly great

    by National Trust North and West Dorset

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    20
  • Distance
    60.7 mi
  • Duration
    28:35 h
  • Elevation
    7,550 ft

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20 fantastic trails in North & West Dorset — National Trust

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