5 Dorset walks to take your breath away

old-harry-rocksThere’s no better way to experience Dorset than to explore the beauty of its stunning coast and countryside and there are hundreds of trails and pathways to explore.

 

Whether you fancy blowing away the cobwebs on a windy cliff top, a peaceful stroll along the river side, a meander around local some villages (stopping to enjoy a refreshment or two at a local village inn, of course), or working up a sweat with a woodland trek, we promise you that Dorset has all you could hope for, and more!

 

Over half of the county is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so whether you’re a keen rambler or simply enjoy taking the dog for a nice afternoon stroll, there is so much to experience on a Dorset walk.  So, here are 5 of our favourites:

 

The South West Coast Path National Trail

This stunning path stretches a whopping 630 miles from Worth Matravers in Dorset to Minehead in Somerset.  Whether you’re looking for the ultimate hiking challenge or just to take in the unspoiled, rugged beauty of this spectacular coastline, this is the trail for you. You’ll experience some of the most dramatic landscapes and breath-taking seascapes along the way.  Just Follow the Acorn!

 

Corfe Castle Village Walks

This magnificent ruin sits on the top of a hill and can be seen along the winding country lanes of Corfe on your approach.  You can enjoy a relaxing walk around the village whilst taking in its vast history.  From Corfe, you can also take a 20-minute trip on a beautiful steam train across to Swanage; Corfe Castle Station itself boasts spectacular views of the castle. Click here for more info.

 

Old Harry Rocks

This 3 ½ mile walk to the chalk headland offers stunning views across Poole Harbour, Bournemouth and on a clear day, even the Isle of Wight.  From here you’ll see Old Harry and his wife; three beautiful chalk formations formed by sea erosion.  Starting at The Bankes Arms Inn, the trail takes you along the cliff top, down through the chalk grassland and back to the Inn.

 

Brownsea Island

It was voted Britain’s favourite nature reserve in 2013 so if you’re a keen wildlife enthusiast then this 1 mile walk in the middle of Poole Harbour will be a real treat.  This beautiful place is a wildlife refuge and home to a wide variety of birds including the Oystercatcher! You may also see lizards and deer.  Take some time to be still and take in the breath-taking views of the Purbeck Hills and if you’re lucky, the rare red squirrel may make an appearance. There are a variety of guided walks here too.

 

West Bay

West Bay was the backdrop to the award winning TV drama, Broadchurch, so if you’re a fan of the show, you’ll love the coastal walks here. There are a number of walks starting out at West Bay, taking you to a number of other beautiful beaches and picturesque inland spots.

If you fancy going on a fossil hunt then a few miles west of West Bay, you can search for Ammonite fossils which are often be found on the beach after a stormy tide.

Happy walking!