Five Beautiful Walks in Dorset

 
 

Whether you’re relaxing in the 16th century Acorn Inn or enjoying a sense of nostalgia at the Summer Lodge, you’ll relish the old world charm and tranquility of Dorset, and the friendly village atmosphere that follows you wherever you go. But it is worth venturing out beyond these historic hotels to explore the great Dorset

 

Whether you’re relaxing in the 16th century Acorn Inn or enjoying a sense of nostalgia at the Summer Lodge, you’ll relish the old world charm and tranquility of Dorset, and the friendly village atmosphere that follows you wherever you go. But it is worth venturing out beyond these historic hotels to explore the great Dorset countryside, and there’s no better way to see the true beauty of the area than by putting on your walking boots and heading out along one of the numerous trails. From Thomas Hardy’s quaint cottage to the famous harbour of Lyme Regis, follow our guide to some of the best walks in Dorset.

View of Summer Lodge and its grounds © Red Carnation

Hardy’s Cottage
Greenwood Tea Rooms – Hardy’s cottage – Norris Mill Farm – Hardy grave
See full details here
Difficulty: Moderate/Length: 5 miles.

A trip to Dorset wouldn’t be worthwhile without visiting Thomas Hardy country. Roam the picturesque surrounds that once inspired one of England’s most revered wordsmiths and finish up where Hardy’s heart was literally laid to rest. Not far from the walk circuit is Max Gate, the home Hardy designed and lived in for most of his adult life. Visitors can explore the rooms, which have been restored to look just as they would have done when Hardy was alive.
Distance from hotels to Hardy’s Cottage approx. 18.9 miles/Journey time: 35 mins.

Corfe Castle © Aquasolid/iStock/Thinkstock

Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle – Corfe Common – Corfe Castle Village
See full details here
Difficulty: Easy/Length: 1.5 miles.

Explore the remnants of one of England’s most romantic castles, built by William the Conqueror more than a 1000 years ago. Rising above the hillside, enjoy peering down at the pretty village below before venturing across Corfe Common, where wild chamomile litters the fields. Corfe Castle village is also a great place to pick up some arty mementos and souvenirs from local artists and craftsmen to remember you trip by.
Distance from hotels to Corfe Castle approx. 35 miles/Journey time: 1hr10mins

Melbury Downs Wildlife Walk
Melbury Beacon – Compton Down – Fontmell Down
See full details here
Difficulty: Moderate/ Length: 3.3 miles.

At over 260m above sea level, Melbury Beacon offers breathtaking views across the Melbury Downs towards Compton. Over the summer months of June and July you can also catch sight of the magnificent glowworms and stunning bright blue butterflies in the area.
Distance from hotels to Melbury Downs approx. 4 miles/Journey time: 15mins

Durdle Door along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset © trdar/iStock/Thinkstock

Guided Fossil Walk
Lyme Regis
Book a space here
Difficulty: Moderate/Length: varies

Lyme Regis Museum offers popular guided tours throughout the summer along the Jurassic coast and the beach of Lyme Regis. Join Geologist Paddy Howe and Marine Biologist Chris Andrew as they take you on a hunt to discover fossils that have been washed up on the beach for millions of years.
Distance from hotels to Lyme Regis approx. 24 miles/Journey time: 45mins

Late evening light on Chesil Beach, Dorset © Paul Whiting/iStock/Thinkstock

Chesil Beach
Abbotsbury – Chesil Beach
See full details here
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate/Length: 6 miles

Marvel at the ancient relic of Abbotsbury Castle and stop off at the Subtropical Gardens before making your way to the 17-mile stretch of Chesil Beach. Pay a visit to fleet lagoon, a unique spot that’s home to an abundance of wildlife including Mute Swans.
Distance from hotels to Abbotsbury approx. 16 miles/Journey time: 30 mins.