This is the final trio of peaceful, lush and wild walks that visitors can enjoy in Dorset, one of the most natural and untouched areas of the UK, and one with, in my opinion, the very best scenery in the area. In the first part of these three part series I talked about the Avon River, Bulbarrow Hill and the Brit Valley paths. In the second part I showed the weird Agglestone Rock in Godlingston Heath Nature Reserve as well as the Arne Nature Reserve and the Blue Pool in Dorset. Keep reading to see the final three walks, and if you managed to go out and do all of the walks in these three articles, I think you'll have developed just a strong a love for Dorset that I have!
What could be better than walking along an abandoned, overgrown and fairy-like rail line. This walk takes you a fairly hefty 26 km's, from Ringwood to Poole. There is not too much elevation change, and the route is very simple to follow, so this is a fantastic walk for a family looking for a long day out, without too much worry. As the old train line ran very straight, with only the occasional curve, it's an ideal walk, and one where you can really enjoy your surroundings. With some long hikes, navigation and route planning can almost be the primary concern for walkers, and this can sometimes take away from the natural beauty (which really is the point of the whole thing). With this walk, the path is ahead, and the road is clear, so you can really focus on spending time with loved ones and looking around you at the green and lush countryside surrounding you.
The weird giant figures in the hillsides of Dorset are a strange sight at first, but these pictures, cut into the sides of the chalk hills, are important parts of the history of Dorset. The circular walking route is around four km, and starts at the Cerne Abbot viewpoint and ends there too. As you would imagine, the route treks around the hill picture, which is 55 metres high, and was created at some point in the 17th Century. The route loops up to the top of the hill, then comes back down, passed the 10th Century Cerne Abbey. People say the giant represents fertility and was created to bring greater prosperity to the people who lived here then, but no-one really knows.
A very popular climbing spot, and a fairly extreme part of the UK coastline, Dancing Ledge is a place where I spent time climbing with my dad, and really shows the power of this wild ocean meeting the land. The walk starts in the little village of Langton Matravers in the central car park and heads down to the coastline. The spot is called Dancing Ledge as when the wind is up, waves crash against the rock ledges and make them look as if they are moving, shimmering and dancing.
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