If you’re visiting Dorset in the winter months then make sure you take advantage of the quieter times. There are loads of great winter walks in south Dorset. Don your wellington boots and woolly hat and head out for a leisurely walk, taking in some of South Dorset’s best scenery. Enjoy peace, quiet and tranquility as you hike along some of the regions best footpaths and trails. Don’t forget to pack your camera, you’re guaranteed to capture some stunning views.
After a busy day of exploring on foot, head back to the comfort of our Dorset holiday park, where you can warm up and cosy down for a relaxing evening.
Here’s our pick of the top 10 winter walks in South Dorset:
Take a stroll around the pretty village of Corfe Castle. With a heritage railway, a model village and of course the castle ruins themselves, there’s no shortage of things to do. Corfe is also a great location to start a number of superb circular walks. Head up on to the ridgeway which runs either side of the castle and you can take in some spectacular views of Purbeck. When you’re back in the village there is a number of pubs and cafes for you to take on some well deserved refreshments.
Another National Trust location which is great to visit out of the high season is the Kingston Lacey Estate. Visitors can opt to buy tickets just for the grounds and can choose from the many walking routes around the grounds. Dogs on leads are welcome in the woods and gardens here too so the whole family can enjoy the fabulous surroundings.
The deserted village of Tyneham near Kimmeridge is a great location for a winter walk in south Dorset. Take your time to wander around the old dwellings, church and other buildings that were suddenly abandoned during the second world war. If you want to extend your walk head on down the path towards the coast and you will end up at the stunning Worbarrow Bay.
Take a trip out to Dorchester and you can experience the walking upon Englands largest iron age hill fort. At the top of Maiden Castle there is a flatter area which is the size of around 70 football pitches. Surrounding this is a series of steep ramparts which are great to get the kids to run up and down should some energy burning be needed.
If you enjoy bird watching then a trip to Durlston is a must. Here you can walk around the coastal park which is a home to a variety of many different bird species. There is also the visitors centre and art gallery located in a renovated Victorian castle. Take a stroll along the coast path out towards the lighthouse and from the cliff tops you may see peregrine falcons, puffins and possibly glimpse dolphins in the waters below.
Take a trip out to Hardy’s Cottage near Dorchester and you can stroll through the ancient woodland of Thorncombe Woods. There are 26 hectares of mixed woodland which surround the picturesque thatched cottage of the acclaimed author. You will be sharing the woods with small herd of Dartmoor ponies which have been introduced to help maintain the landscape.
Not far from our holiday park is award winning Upton Country Park. Here you can enjoy a peaceful walk through the woodland area and along the shores of Poole harbour. If you’d prefer a more leisurely stroll, you can spend some time walking through the walled gardens, which are situated in the grounds of the Grade II listed Georgian manor house. Children can run around to their hearts content in the brand new adventure play park, which features slides, swings and climbing frames. Once you’ve work up an appetite, make sure you stop at the tea room for a bite to eat!
Arne Nature Reserve is managed by the RSPB and a must visit during your time in Dorset. Spend the day walking the woodland trails that cut through the heart of the forest, before opening out onto secluded beaches, which boast stunning views across Poole harbour. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, because herds of deer and a range of birdlife is regularly spotted here. Bring your binoculars and climb the hides, which offer an elevated view across the heath and marshland. You never know, you may be fortunate enough to spot a rare species!
Take a scenic boat trip to Brownsea Island for an unforgettable day out. Enjoy beautiful views of Poole Harbour and the Sandbanks peninsula before on the journey to the island, which is owned and managed by the National Trust. You can easily circumnavigate Brownsea on foot in a day, with plenty of time to explore each of the different habitats. Try and spot the red squirrels in the forest and the wading birds that spend their time in the lagoon.
Poole is home to a number of sandy beaches, which are the perfect destination for a winters walk. Blow the cobwebs away on a blustery winters day as you walk along the sand, enjoying the salty sea air! Many of the beaches are dog friendly in the winter months, so you can bring your four legged friend along too! Winter walks in south Dorset don’t get much better than this.
Absolutely superb! Very speedy, efficient check in. Office couldn't do enough for you. Customer service top class. Our family party stayed in 3 dog friendly shepherds huts. Beautiful decor. Nice little self contained area for the 5 shepherd huts. Clean and modern toilet and shower facilities within less than 2 minutes. Large socially distanced communal washing up area. Large 2 acre area for exercising the dogs within 3 mins walk of shepherds huts. Couldn't fault this stay. Margaret, Apr 2021
We had a simply fabulous time at South Lytchett Manor last month. We were not sure about camping in October but the site is well insulated, the playground kept our kids well entertained and the facilities were super clean and comfortable. We loved having a shop onsite and there are water taps and electricity points in abundance.. we have stayed at a number of sites and couldn’t recommend this Beth, Nov 2020
Great campsite, really friendly and polite staff. Very clean facilities and felt ‘safe’ with all the hand sanitizer and clear signage, highly recommend - we’ll probably book one of the huts next time.... Richard , Oct 2020