Dorset is best known for its spectacular coastline, but there is also a wealth of beauty to discover inland. One of our favourite places to explore, especially during the autumn months, is Puddletown Forest, thanks to its mature trees and array of wildlife.
Puddletown Forest is located on the outskirts of Dorchester – Dorset’s county town. It’s well worth a visit after checking out other attractions such as Maiden Castle, The Keep Military Museum and Kingston Maurward Gardens and Animal Park.
The land is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust and a great choice if you’re planning a dog walk or cycle ride. It’s over 300 hectares in size and there are a variety of well-marked footpaths of varying difficulty, with something to offer avid walkers as well as those looking for a leisurely afternoon stroll.
Dogs are welcome here and able to explore off lead if under close control. In the autumn it’s a great place for puddle splashing with the children, nature spotting or building dens!
Puddletown Forest is a popular spot for mountain bike riders, with mud trails, jumps and downhill sections to negotiate. If you’re in the mood for a challenge there a number of hills to tackle, which offer commanding views over the local area from the summit.
There are numerous access points with nearby parking, meaning you can explore a different area on every visit. There are no facilities within the forest itself, however there are sometimes toilets and a café available at Hardy’s Cottage.
Whilst Puddletown Forest is a great spot for a picnic, barbecues are not permitted. In recent years there have been an increase in forest fires here due which has had a devastating effect on local wildlife.
Follow signs to Dorchester
Distance from us:
Christchurch is a quiet town on the outskirts of Bournemouth with plenty of independent shopsFind out more >
Dorchester is a traditional market town. Bustling high street and wide selection of restaurantsFind out more >
We booked for two nights in our Motorhome and ended up staying six nights. Staff very friendly and accommodating. Shower blocks were kept clean and water was lovely and hot. Bus stop directly outside site going to Poole and Swanage on the he number 40 bus route. Worth getting a return ticket to save money Mo, Oct 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
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