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East Dorset walking routes

This walk pack has been designed to help you explore and enjoy the rich and diverse landscapes, towns and villages that East Dorset has to offer. There are a range of routes from flat easy walks for families to more challenging hilly ones.

The pack contains fourteen waterproof A5 individual route cards in a handy binder with maps of all the routes. The maps show not only the highlighted routes in yellow but also show all other footpaths and bridleways. Places of significant interest and refreshment stops are also highlighted.

It is common for bridleways to become overgrown. If you do come across any issues, you can report a rights of way problem.

The route maps are available to download below but the A5 pack can be purchased from Moors Valley Country Park Visitor Centreand Tourist Information Centres.

Route 1 Broomhill

Distance: 4.5 miles / 7 km  Level: Easy
A nice varied walk. Starting with farmland you are soon at the edge of Holt Heath with stunning views south as far as the Isle of Wight; then stroll through the forestry plantation at Whitesheet before heading back through a mix of woodland and farmland.

Route 1 Broomhill.

Route 2 Pamphill, Wimborne

Distance: 4.9 miles / 7.9 km  Level: Easy
This shorter walk from Wimborne is a lovely blend of town and country. Within minutes of leaving the historic streets and courtyards of Wimborne you are meandering next to the River Stour with its abundant wildlife. Pamphill is one of the most picturesque areas in East Dorset.

Route 2 Pamphill, Wimborne.

Route 3 Cranborne (short)

Distance: 5 miles / 8 km  Level: Easy
Overlooking the ridges of Cranborne Chase, this walk is great whether in the warmth of summer when the poppies are out or in the mid-winter with snow on the ground.

Route 3 Cranborne.

Route 4 Alderholt

Distance: 5.5 miles / 9 km  Level: Easy
This walk is an easy, level walk through farmland and woodlands, taking in a section of the beautiful Ashford Water.

Route 4 Alderholt.

Route 5 Sixpenny Handley Roundwalk

Distance: 6 miles / 9.6 km  Level: Easy
An easy grade walk offering lovely woodland stretches and some great countryside views. The tracks are firm and easy on undulating ground. The route has also been waymarked with directional arrows.

Route 5 Sixpenny Handley Roundwalk.

Route 6 Longham

Distance: 6.2 miles / 9.7 km  Level: Easy
Leaving behind the bustle of the busy garden centre and B3073, this walk is soon meandering along river banks and field edges. The river Stour offers tranquillity and a rich variety of wildlife.

Route 6 Longham.

Route 7 High Hall, Wimborne

Distance: 6.6 miles / 10.6 km  Level: Easy
This longer walk from Wimborne is a classic 'Town to Country' walk, taking you north from Wimborne, following the River Allen towards High Hall through delightful rural scenery and quiet country lanes.

Route 7 High Hall, Wimborne.

Route 8 Verwood

Distance: 6.8 miles / 11 km  Level: Moderate
A walk with a nice mix of conifer plantation and open heathland. The start and finish of the route takes you close to Stephens Castle. The view from the lookout spans across East Dorset to the coast.

Route 8 Verwood.

Route 9 Woodlands Roundwalk

Distance: 6.8 miles / 11 km  Level: Moderate
This route crosses many types of terrain from woods and farmland to a golf course! It offers a variety of vistas across the countryside, but perhaps the best is the view looking down over the Edmondsham Estate.

Route 9 Woodlands Roundwalk.

Route 10 Moor Crichel

Distance: 7.4 miles / 12 km  Level: Moderate
This walk begins at the picturesque sports pitch just outside the village of Witchampton and offers wonderful views of Crichel House and lake.

Route 10 Moor Crichel.

Route 11 Sturminster Marshall

Distance: 7.8 miles / 12.5 km  Level: Moderate
The first half of this walk takes you out of the pretty village of Sturminster Marshall along the old railway line, grassy bridleways and field edges to Spetisbury. The second half follows the tranquil river on the Stour Valley Way to White Mill.

Please note: due to limited parking availability at the village hall, please start this walk at point 5, White Mill car park (free). Follow the route into Sturminster Marshall and pick up the beginning of the route instructions from point 1 as you pass the Red Lion pub.

Route 11 Sturminster Marshall.

Route 12 Wimborne St Giles

Distance: 8 miles / 13 km  Level: Moderate
This walk starts in the medieval village of Wimborne St Giles, reputedly the first place in Britain that cabbages were grown. Cranborne Chase spans out from the top of Harley Down, overlooking Ackling Dyke and Gussage All Saints.

Route 12 Wimborne St Giles.

Route 13 Mannington

Distance: 9.4 miles / 15.3 km  Level: Moderate
A walk of great diversity and interest across farmland, ancient forest and close to nationally important and wildlife rich heathland.

Route 13 Mannington.

Route 14 Cranborne (long)

Distance: 12 miles / 19 km  Level: Hard
This route climbs gently to Penbury Knoll then drops down into the small hamlet of Pentridge before crossing Bokerley Dyke onto Martin Down National Nature Reserve. The site is a butterfly watchers dream.

Route 14 Cranborne.

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