Where to Hike in Dorset

May 26, 2022
Hambledon Hill
The South-Western coastline is renowned for world-class hikes, so expect nothing less in Dorset. The county features Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is part of the Jurassic Coast, so get ready for some exceptional views wherever you choose to hike. 

But if you’re unsure where to hike in Dorset, we’ve pulled together a list of our top five routes, with options to suit any experience level. 

The challenging hike: Hambledon Hill

Key information: This challenging hike involves a steep climb up Hambledon Hill but shouldn’t take more than two hours.

A Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI), Hambledon Hill is one of the best-preserved Iron Age forts in the UK, making it a significant archaeological site. The hill rises 190 metres, and once you’ve reached its summit, you can enjoy a birdseye view of Dorset, along with the nearby counties of Wiltshire and Somerset.

Enjoy this challenging circular trail, and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views in the county.


The easy hike: Golden Cap

Key information: This easy hike should take no longer than an hour and covers just under two miles.

The Golden Cap is the South-West’s highest point, and this route runs through the surrounding countryside estate. Starting at the National Trust’s Stonebarrow car park, you’ll embark on a circular walk through rolling hills and picturesque countryside. Towards the end of your hike, you’ll walk along the Jurassic Coast, admiring the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As this hike will take you through rural countryside, it’s a good idea to download a map beforehand.


The coastal hike: Old Harry Rocks

Key information: This moderately difficult hike covers over three miles and should take one to two hours to complete.

There’s no shortage of coastal walking trails in Dorset, but perhaps one of the most well-known is Old Harry Rocks. This circular trail starts and ends in Studland and will lead you past breathtaking natural landmarks of the Jurassic Coast. Overall, this is a gentle hike with a few steady climbs, perfect for an afternoon’s walk. Be sure to download the trail map before heading off.

These iconic rocks are only a 10-minute drive from our Compass Point development in Swanage. We have a selection of 2,3, and 4 bedroom homes, only a stone’s throw from the Jurassic Coast.


The countryside hike: Wessex Ridgeway

Key information: The entire route is 100km, so scan the trail map and pick a section you’d most like to take on. Mostly a gentle walk, but some areas have steep valleys to climb.

Those unfamiliar with where to hike in Dorset should opt for the Wessex Ridgeway.
This route follows a chalk ridge, making it easy to find your way. The trail spans the whole county and passes Cerne Abbas, Marshwood and Blackmore Vales before finishing in the seaside town of Lyme Regis.


The family-friendly walk: Kingston Lacy Park

Key information: A full lap of the park will cover almost three miles, taking around two hours. This is an easy walk without any steep climbs.

Knowing where to hike in Dorset is a particular challenge for young families. But the woodland trail at Kingston Lacy Park features a covered track, perfect for pushing prams. This is one of the most accessible trails to follow in Dorset, where you can explore the estate’s beautiful woodland.

If you like what you see at Kingston Lacy, how about calling this area home? We have brand-new properties in Wimborne, only a seven-minute drive from the woodland trail. Browse our modern collection of 2 and 3 bedroom homes on the Quarter Jack Park development and take advantage of the fantastic local amenities.