Circular routes in and around the vale
This series of walk information has been produced to help one of the UK’s rarest habitats; lowland heath. Once covering large swathes of the county, 80% of Dorset’s heaths have now been lost and the remaining fragments are still under threat. Without realising it, the very people who enjoy strolling across the heath could be putting the wildlife at risk. Rare ground nesting birds such as nightjars are very vulnerable to disturbance and can even abandon their chicks if they are scared off by people or dogs.
You can help your local heathlands by reducing the unintended pressure from visitors and choosing some these walks instead, especially during the bird nesting season (Feb – Aug). They have all been picked for their circular nature, with dog walkers in mind and the leaflets in this guide give you lots of information about each route do you can choose the best one for you.
Bog Lane Natural Greenspace
Bog Lane is a brand new greenspace on the outskirts of Wareham. There are a selection of routes to choose from, winding through a variety of habitats.
Burngate is a hilltop walk notable not only for its panoramic view of the Jurassic Coast but also inland over Frome Valley.
A pleasant mixture of gently undulating farmland and pine woodland starting from the edge of the village of Wool.
This walk offers spectacular views of the Jurassic Coast to Portland while avoiding the crowds of nearby Durdle Door.
Following the Winfrith Newburgh Village Trail, this walk takes you alongside a babbling brook and down a blackberry-lined ancient droveway.
Following part of the Jubilee Trail, this walk is particularly noted for its riverside wildlife. Keep an eye out for kingfishers and brown trout at the picturesque ford.
A surprising combination of peaceful country lanes and mixed farmland just a stone’s throw from the village of Crossways.
Hedgerows and their wildlife are a particular feature of this easy to follow route which lies close to Tolpuddle.
Crossing a patchwork of fields bordering West Knighton.
This nature reserve offers a variety of routes through mature broad-leafed woodland. Thorncombe benefits from easy parking, a dog friendly cafe and bluebells in spring.
A well-surfaced route through mature pine forest with stunning views over Morden Bog National Nature Reserve.
The majestic 14th century, thatched Woodsford Castle provides a spectacular backdrop to much of this riverside walk.