The Castleman Trailway is one of Dorset's gentlest way-marked, walking, cycling and horse riding routes. This 16.5 mile (26.5 kilometres) trailway follows much of the old Southampton to Dorchester railway line. The trailway takes you through some of East Dorset's stunning landscape whilst also connecting a string of settlements between Ringwood and Poole.

Whether you are using the route for recreation or commuting to work, the Castleman Trailway offers a beautiful and practical route to take you where you want to go. As you travel along the trail you will pass some of the county's internationally important heathland, cross rivers and pass through forestry plantations.

The trailway also links with Avon Heath Country Park, Moors Valley Country Park and Upton Country Park.

The Trailway is named after Charles Castleman, a Wimborne Solicitor, who was responsible for building the original railway line and the first to connect Dorset to the wider rail network. The Southampton to Dorchester to railway line was nicknamed the Castleman Corkscrew, after its founder and the meandering route it took. It was closed by Dr. Beeching in 1964. However it had been a secondary route once a coastal main line had been established between Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole.

The Trailway is managed in partnership by Dorset Council, BCP Council and Hampshire County Council with support from other organisations.

Finding your way

Castleman Trailway logo

On the ground the route is marked with the green and yellow Castleman Trailway Logo. The Trailway logo can be found at main entrances, on way marker posts and on street lampposts.

Within Poole it is also identified as National Cycle Network Route 25.

There is no way marked cycle route through Wimborne (Canford Bottom Roundabout to the Willet Arms) although a riverside route can be taken by pedestrians. Horse riding is allowed from Ringwood to West Moors Plantation and Ameysford (Uddens Plantation) to Stapehill.

Trail maps

Castleman Trailway leaflet overview map
Use the 'Recreational Trails and Greenspaces' layer on Dorset Explorer


  • Ashley Twinning - Grid reference: SU 139 049
  • Avon Heath Country Park - via cycle lane - Grid reference: SU 121 029
  • Moors Valley Country Park - Grid reference: SU 107 055 / Postcode: BH24 2ET
  • Cannon Hill plantation (Uddens Drive) - Grid reference: SU 049 013
  • Upton Country Park - Grid reference: SY 993 930 / Postcode: BH22 7BJ
  • Ferndown Forest Golf Club Postcode: BH22 9PH

Transport links

The trail can be accessed by train from Poole railway station via cycle/pedestrian link. There are also a number of bus routes.

Disabled access

We aim to provide access for all. Contact the Castleman Trailway Ranger below for more information and to discuss your access needs.

Linking trails and routes