Dorset County in the south of England has a long history of human habitation stretching back to the Neolithic period. Over the centuries, it has been shaped by nature as well as mankind, making it a truly unique environment for exploration. The best way to get up close to the stunning scenery is on foot, so grab your favorite pair of hiking shoes and get ready to take some memorable walks through Dorset. You will enjoy trekking across the mix of hills and valleys as well as rivers and the coastline.
Here are five of the best spots to set course for when you get the urge to go hiking through the beautiful Dorset County.
A grand castle is always worth the hike and Corfe Castle is no exception. Trekking around the beautiful ruins that perch high upon a hill will be well-worth the walk. It is believed that Corfe was the inspiration behind Enid Blyton’s Kirrin Castle in the Famous Five books.
Once you have had your fill of exploring the castle, settle down for a nice cream tea at the Bankes Arms Hotel or opt for a stronger refreshment at the Greyhound Inn’s beer garden.
If you want to feel like you’ve stepped inside a Thomas Hardy novel, then taking a turn around the Downs is a must. Get your fill of far-reaching views that will take your breath away. Admire landscapes that have been stunning mankind for centuries. Once you’ve exhausted yourself with your hike, step into The Fontmell for a little lunch and a refreshing drink.
Old Harry Rocks
One of the most recognizable features of Dorset is the chalk sea stack. The formation was created by sea erosion, which is now endangering the existing formation. You can get an amazing view across Poole Harbour to the Isle of Wight and Bournemouth. Walk along the great white cliffs and through the lush grasslands that surround. Step into the Bankes Arms Country Inn for a meal after your hike.
Get a closer look at old fortifications, castles and gun emplacements on your walk around Marshwoods, including two forts from the Iron Age. Climb up into Lambert’s Castle to get a great view of the surrounding countryside and coast. Stop and have a look at the medieval fishpond that is home to the occasional kingfisher and other wildlife.
Take an interesting walk through the natural limestone grassland through the intriguingly named Scratch Arse Ware to a former quarry called Dancing Ledge. You can take a look at the sycamore tree that stands nearby, thought to have once been a hangman’s tree. When you are weary of taking a spin across the “dance floor,” stop in at the Shipp Inn for some refreshments.
Dorset is a beautiful county to explore in England. Whether you’re there for a day or a week, take time to take a stroll through the amazing countryside. Take care on the coastal walks – Dorset’s cliffs are made of limestone and small slips and landslides are a relatively common occurrence. Stick to the path and take care near the edges. The paths on the coastal stretches can be steep. Ensure you have a comfortable and enduring pair of hiking shoes, like merrel shoes.