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Summer walking routes in Dorset part 1

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Dorset was one of the most important areas for my teen and early adult years, and I definitely think it's one of the most impressive and naturally beautiful areas in the UK. In general, the natural beauty here can be divided into two different types of zones. The first is the rolling green hills and tree-lined roads of the inland parts of Dorset. The second is the more rough and wild coastal areas, where cliffs, windy but gorgeous beaches and blue seas are the theme, like Lulworth Cove. Both areas offer different types of walks, views and experiences, and both make Dorset a fantastic area to walk in when the British sun finally makes its brief but welcome entrance.

Part two will look at a nature reserve in Dorset and more.

Avon Valley Path

This route is Salisbury to Christchurch, beginning at the beautiful cathedral and finishing at the harbour in Christchurch. This walking route basically takes you due south, heading towards the sea, and is a little over 55 km, so is a pretty long one. This route is probably best taken as either a two or three day route, with stops at maybe Fordingbridge and Ringstead on the way. This route will take you through open and wild countryside, small cute towns and villages, as well as larger towns and cities. Although it is fairly long, it's a great way to really see a lot of Dorset, and get a sense of what this green and idyllic county is like.

Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral
The Close, SP1 2EJ Salisbury, Wiltshire

Brit Valley Way

This is a cliffside walk, with more extreme views and a bit more elevation up and down. This route is almost the exact opposite of the previous route, starting at the steep cliffs on the southern coast and then heading inland for almost 18 km. The walk starts at West Bay, and then heads north towards Bridport, Netherbury and then on to the final destination of Cheddington. You will be able to see the 'Jurassic Coastline' with the steep and sharp cliffs and beautiful beaches, and then on to the more idyllic and green hills and forests on central and northern Dorset.

The Jurassic coast, World heritage site
The Jurassic coast, World heritage site
Jurassic Coast, Dorchester DT2, UK

Bulbarrow Hill

This last route is a nice short one, at just four km, but is perfect for a morning or afternoon look at what Dorset has to offer. The route starts at Bulbarrow Hill (in the car park to the east) and then heads up the hill, around the Iron Age hillfort here. Hillforts are surprisingly common in Dorset, and I previously showed you a hillfort in Dorset before. The 274 metre elevation of the hill will give you incredible views over this relatively flat county, and on a good clear day, you will be able to see for miles around. On one of these sunny days, you can see Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon from here.

Bullbarrow Hillfort
Bullbarrow Hillfort
Bulbarrow Hill, Woolland, Blandford Forum DT11 0HQ, UK

The author

Joe Thorpe

Joe Thorpe

I am Joe. I grew up in the UK, have lived in Africa and Paris, and now reside in Spain. An outdoor enthusiast, I like nothing more than to find a deserted beach, build a campfire and enjoy the view.

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