Walking Breaks in Dorset

Dorset is becoming a leading destination for walking breaks in the UK. And with over 4,700 signposted footpaths, bridleways and byways to explore our amazing coast and countryside, there are so many choices, you will keep coming back year after year.

The mild south coast weather means you can enjoy all-year-round walking in Dorset. Just don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of the wild landscapes.

Specialist companies including The Carter Company and Jurassic Jaunts can design bespoke holidays to suit your requirements and will help source accommodation and luggage transfers.

Organising your own walking holiday can also be enjoyable - walk with friends or family and stay in accommodation ranging from camping pods to five star luxury log cabins. Take a look at our suggested walking trails for some ideas for days out in Dorset.

South West Coast Path

Fancy walking all 630 miles of the South West Coast Path? This is England's longest national trail and it starts right here in Dorset at Studland Bay and ends in Somerset. There are convenient train and bus routes along the length of the trail, so it's perfectly possible to do a days walking and then return to base by public transport before moving onto the next stop. 

Or if you plan on camping along the way, there are plenty of campsites and holiday parks along the coast to pitch up your tent. Check out the South West Coast Path website for more ideas and inspiration, as well as information about baggage transfers.

Take on a challenge

As well as the South West Coast Path, Dorset has many long distance paths and national trails travelling through the county.

Whether you're doing it to raise money for charity or just for the fun of it, our routes give you enough miles for a couple of days walking all the way up to weeks of walking. Some even cross the border into other counties for a truly challenging walking break.

The Macmillan Way is a 290 mile trail from Boston in Lincolnshire to Abbotsbury on the Jurassic Coast passing through Northamptonshire, The Cotswolds and Wiltshire on the way south. Or why not follow the Great Wessex Way on it's 265 mile route from Salisbury in Wiltshire down through east Dorset to Swanage and then all the way west to Lyme Regis.

Shorter routes include the 50 mile White Hart Link connecting the five Dorset towns of Shaftesbury, Gillingham, Stalbridge, Sturminster Newton and Blandford Forum. You could also choose the 34 mile Avon Valley Path starting at Salisbury in Wiltshire and ending in east Dorset at Christchurch or the 28 mile Liberty Trail between Lyme Regis in west Dorset with Ham Hill in Somerset.

Walking, but not as you know it

Book a trek with the Ancient Trails Company for a unique and relaxing experience that you can't wait to tell your friends all about. You'll get to wander through the countryside with your very own pony who will even carry your picnic for you!

Whether you choose a one day trek or longer you get to see stunning landscapes, picnic in gorgeous locations and if staying overnight, you'll camp wild(ish) in an ancient woodland.

Day walks vary from 3 to 10 miles and include a local produce picnic lunch.

Group travel

Many groups will choose Dorset for the location for their walking get-togethers and group accommodation is available throughout the county.

Take a look at our suggested top ten walks and either head to the coast to feel the wind in your hair or inland for rolling hills and pretty chocolate-box villages.

How about leaving the car behind and travelling purely on foot or by bus?. We've got a range of walking routes available for you to download which start and stop at bus stops. And if you are using the bus or train to travel around, look out for group discounts and special offers to save some money.

Walkers Welcome

Look out for accommodation which makes special provision to welcome walkers. A boot drying area or a luggage transfer is always a nice addition to make your break run smoothly. They may also have suggestions for walking routes and maps to borrow, not to mention a hearty breakfast to set you up for a day of walking ahead.

Where to re-fuel

No walking break would be complete without sampling the local food and drink, whether it is served at a relaxed pub who will welcome your welly boots and dog or buying local produce for your picnic.

There are lots of water refill locations around the county where you can fill up your water bottle for free to save a bit of money and also save buying plastic bottles.

Exciting events

Walking events take place throughout the year. Why not join one of the walks as part of Dorchester, Gillingham or Isle of Purbeck Walking Festivals?

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