Winter in Dorset is a magical experience. With crisp coastal walks, spectacular frosty scenery and cosy evenings by the fire, you’re bound to enjoy an unforgettable break in one of our lovely holiday cottages.
Of course, Dorset’s famous walking trails don’t shut down in the colder months… in fact, many become even more enjoyable! We’ve picked five of our favourite winter walks in Dorset to get you out and about during your visit…
Lulworth Cove in Dorset
This enjoyable walk takes you right around the famous Lulworth Cove, including a visit to the incredible Fossil Forest; the petrified swirls are all that remain of a petrified cypress forest from the Jurassic period. Please note the forest is located on the Lulworth Firing Range and so can only be visited when the range is open (most weekends and school holidays). You’ll also take in some spectacular views of the arches of Stair Hole, the famous Lulworth Crumple and down to the Cove itself. Make sure to take some time to enjoy the beach at Lulworth Cove, where the white pebbles and turquoise waters make it popular with families.
This is a good, easy route to enjoy with children, who will love hunting for fossils on the beach. Dogs are also welcome, and can run off-lead on the beach before curling up in the local pub. More information.
The dramatic remains of Corfe Castle make for an awe-inspiring sight against the pale winter sky. This iconic castle was first built by William the Conqueror in 1086, and was destroyed during the Civil War in 1646. And the castle is just one of the highlights that walkers can spot on this historic route. You’ll pass farming furrows dating back to the Middle Ages, Bronze age burial mounds, plenty of wildlife and pay a visit to Corfe Common; England’s largest area of common land and home to the rare wild chamomile plant.
If you like the idea of frosty woodland and misty downs, this wonderful walking route is sure to blow away the cobwebs. Stroll through country estates, past bubbling streams and among ancient history, including the site of a Roman dam and reservoir – what better way to enjoy a fresh winter morning? This charming route is a wonderful one for wrapping up warm and making the most of Dorset’s breathtaking countryside… there’s even a nearby pub, the Saxon Arms in Stratton, where you can reward yourself with a hearty meal and some real ale!
Wareham Forest Woodlark Trail
Wareham Forest is one of the largest valley mire habitats in England, and its many areas are just as lovely in the winter months as in the summer. This circular route has good surfaces and some gentle hills, but makes for a pleasant woodland walk that the whole family can enjoy. It starts and finishes at the Sika Trail car park, and is waymarked the whole way around. Visitors can enjoy a picnic on the benches, or treat themselves to a hot drink in the pop-up café. There’s a high chance of spotting a wide variety of wildlife during your walk, including Sika Deer.
The Wareham Forest Way also passes through the forest, and takes walkers between the towns of Wareham Quay and Sturminster Marshall.
Old Harry Rocks
This lovely circular pub walk takes you from the National Trust car park and up to Old Harry Rocks. Simply follow the signs to ‘Old Harry’ and enjoy the breathtaking coastal views. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you might even spot Peregrine Falcons swooping across the sky.
The rocks are one of the most famous landmarks in Dorset, but are noticeably quieter in the colder months, where the crisp sea air and bright winter sunshine makes for a bracing and enjoyable walk.
With cosy cottages, crackling fires, brisk sea breezes and spectacular countryside views, Winter is a wonderful time to visit Dorset. Book your next Dorset cottage break today and experience the magic of this beautiful part of the country.