There’s a reason why a country walk in the Autumn is such a delightful thing to do; it’s the feeling of wrapping up warm and breathing in that insatiable smell of fallen leaves, it’s the dazzling display of rich burgundies and warm golds that ignite the landscape around you, it’s watching the animals scurry past, feverishly  preparing for the colder months ahead and it’s the welcoming sound of the kettle boiling  when you return home happy and rejuvenated from your day’s adventure.

Here, Jess from the team shares some of her favourite circular walking trails to experience that 'oh so hygge' feeling for yourselves…

Parkdean Family enjoying an Autumn walk

Commoners’ Way, Corfe Castle (5.5 miles)

This walk is one of a series designed to help families understand more about the history of Purbeck.

The Commoners’ Way starts and finishes by the pretty Kingston Church (known as the Cathedral of the Purbecks) and follows the story of the common working folk who made a living off the land for thousands of years.

What makes this walk so captivating is how the leaflet explains the history behind what you are seeing in front of you, it’s as if you’ve hired your very own private guide!

One of the highlights of the walk has to be the views you get of Corfe Castle over the valley and in Autumn especially, looking down into the valley is a sight to behold!

Jess’s top tip: The wonderfully quaint village of Corfe Castle is an excellent place to stop for a pumpkin soup!

Raleigh’s Country Retreat at Sherborne (6.4 miles)

This walk takes in one of the best displays of Autumn colour you’ll see in Dorset.

The route will take you about 3 hours and leads you past the gentle hills and dairy villages south of Sherborne and through the open parkland and woodland of the majestic Sherborne Castle estate.

The Castle’s 30 acre Capability Brown gardens are planted with Acers and 30 named cultivars of Japanese maples providing spectacular photo opportunities.

Jess’s top tip: If you have time after your walk, then a visit into Sherborne town is a must with many places of interest including the impressive Abbey – the ceilings will take your breath away!

Sherborne Castle in the Autumn

Sturminster Marshall (7.8 miles)

North Dorset really comes into its own in the Autumn and stepping out over the Blackmore Vale as the season turns is a real joy.

The first half of this beautiful walk takes you from Sturminster Marshall along the old railway line, grassy bridleways and field edges to Spetisbury.

The second half follows the tranquil river on the Stour Valley Way to White Mill.

Few things in life can beat walking in this part of Dorset - picking blackberries from the hedgerows, the haunting sound of the deer rut and the puffs of smoke rising from distant cottage chimney pots.

Jess’s top tip: Schedule your walk for a Saturday or Sunday when White Mill is open to visitors, it’s a fascinating property with an idyllic picnic spot by the banks of the river where you can soak up the last of the sun's rays.

Dorchester to Thomas Hardy’s Cottage (7 miles)

Set in the beautiful Thorncombe Woods, Hardy’s home and birthplace lies in a quiet and remote position.

This is a fairly easy walk from Dorchester (although wellies are strongly recommended after wet weather) and takes you past Stinsford and its church, where you can visit the resting place of his heart and his two wives.

As you take in the scenery around you, you can really imagine treading in Hardy’s footsteps as much of the route would have been walked by the great writer and the landscape used as settings and inspiration for many of his works.

Jess’s top tip: Stop off for a warming hot chocolate at the Visitor Centre whilst you immerse yourself in a chapter from your favourite Hardy novel.    

Hardy's Cottage in the Autumn

Wareham Walls (1 mile)

The Wareham Town Walls were built to defend the town from the Vikings and surround the town on three sides (the fourth side being defended by the River Frome).

This short and easy walk around the ramparts will take about 45mins and is perfect for if you have young children in tow or cannot manage some of the longer walks listed above.

The walls give a fantastic view over the Saxon town and the River Piddle and reveal hidden pockets of Wareham you didn’t know existed. There are information boards dotted along the way that reveal the secrets of the past.

Jess’s top tip: We enjoyed solving a Dorset Treasure Trail when completing this walk which added a fun element to our day out.


Wareham Town Walls Walk
Walking Route
Wareham Walls

Wareham Town Walls originally built in Saxon times to defend the town from the Vikings, now form a delightful short walk around the town.

Treasure Trails Dorset
Walking Tour
Treasure Trails Dorset

*Turn a regular day out in Weymouth into a full-blown adventure!* The Weymouth Mystery Treasure Trail is a captivating challenge that combines mind-twisting clues and fascinating stories for anyone with a sense of adventure.

Hardy's Cottage
National Trust Property
Hardy's Cottage

*LATEST UPDATE* Hardy's Cottage is currently closed. Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in this small cob and thatch cottage, which was built by his great-grandfather and is little altered since the family left. His early novels Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd were written here.

Sturminster Marshall Walk
Walking Route
White Mill near Sturminster Marshall

Circular, moderately difficult walk of just under 8 miles taking in the pretty village of Sturminster Marshall, the old Dorset and Somerset Railway line and a section of the Stour Valley Way.

White Mill
National Trust Property
White Mill near Sturminster Marshall

*LATEST UPDATE* White Mill is currently closed. Corn mill with original wooden machinery in a peaceful riverside setting.

Sherborne Castle
Historic House/Palace
Sherborne Castle, Dorset

*LATEST UPDATE* Sherborne Castle, Gardens and other facilities are currently closed. Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 & home of the Digby family since 1617. View Magnificent Staterooms, Nationally Important Collections of Art, Furniture & Porcelain, Raleigh’s Kitchen & a Museum. Explore 42 acres of English Landscape Gardens designed by ‘Capability Brown’ and discover a 50 acre lake, herbaceous borders, magnificent specimen trees and sweeping vistas.

Commoners' Ways
Walking Route
Views to Corfe Castle

A stunning circular walk which starts and finishes in Kingston and is approx 5.5 miles in distance.



  1. Julia
    Some good advise

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