Lambert’s Castle walk in Dorset

Perched on the edge of the Devon Dorset border, those Iron Age folk certainly knew where the best views were. Of course they did not choose the location for their pleasure, but we should be very grateful for their defensive fortress building.  In more recent times we can thank the National Trust for securing the site. It means Lambert’s Castle is a great walk in Dorset and one for us and future generations to enjoy.

Lambert's Castle walk in Dorset dog walking
Whatever the weather, Lambert’s Castle attracts walkers, view seekers, horse riders and dog walkers.  If you are local you will most likely already know of the place, but for visitors or those new to the area it may be a new walk to discover.

It’s one of those places that never fails to impress whatever the season. The photos in this post are from different walks so you will see how it changes.

Beech Woodland

Just to be clear there is no castle, not even any remains of one.  It is just a fabulous hill.  The view to the north across Somerset is almost completely obscured by trees save for the odd glimpse, but as a result there is a glorious walk through the beech trees.

Lambert's Castle walk in Dorset woodland walk

Some of these lovely trees must be a few hundred years old,  vast and gnarly they provide great opportunities for those young or agile enough to climb trees.  A must in every childhood as far as I’m concerned!

To take the woodland walk head in to the trees from the car park which is to the left of the main gate and footpath. Once you have negotiated the tree roots the path does become relatively easy.

It is possible to take a footpath all around the edge of the fort either starting through the woods or round the left of main plateau. As you follow the path round in a clockwise direction from the car park you eventually dip into the ditch of the fort edge. in the Spring this area is awash with bluebells. 

Lambert's Castle walk in Dorset climbing old trees

The views just keep getting better

Along the North Eastern edge the trees have been removed and it gradually opens up with views across to Pilsdon Pen.  That’s when you get the wow factor.

Keep following the edge round and then you are looking across the Marshwood Vale  – it’s incredible how far you can see; in the near distance the distinctive trees topping Colmer’s Hill near Bridport and right out to Portland on a good weather day.  Look down in the fore ground and see farm buildings, fields and woods with a birds eye view and marvel at beautiful countryside of West Dorset.

Lambert's Castle walk in Dorset with a view

For a shorter route head through the main gate and head across the large open plateau of the fort. This central part would also be OK for a sturdy pushchair and is dryer in the winter months. Overall Lambert’s castle would not be classed as accessible.  There are a number of geocaching spots at Lambert’s Castle.

Lamberts Castle central area dog walkers

Coney’s Castle

For this walk we also took a diversion towards another old fort called Coney’s Castle. From the Southern edge of Lambert’s Castle you drop down a stony track and pop out onto a road junction (a not very busy lane), follow your nose up the lane (we decided the sign was pointing the wrong way) and after about 1/2 mile you reach a small gravel car park.

Although not really well signed, Coney’s Castle is another great and less well known spot for a walk or a picnic and in the spring is awash with bluebells.

After a circuit round the fort we crossed the road and discovered another stunning view out to sea looking onto Charmouth.

Lambert's Castle in Dorset Wessex Ridgeway
Lambert's Castle walk in Dorset spring walking

If you did a car share and had the legs you could extend your walk right down to the coast on the Wessex Ridgeway national trail. I’m a firm believer in studying a physical Ordnance Survey map before I head off somewhere a bit new as it helps me see what else there is new to discover nearby.  I also think the app version is great for checking where you are on a walk if you are not familiar with the area. 

So there you go….

Lambert’s Castle walk in Dorset is another super place to visit.  It’s not really a flips flops walk except in the dry summer months. In the winter the wind can blow so hard you feel like it could hold you up but that’s what makes it a great spot for blowing away the cobwebs!  Do be aware that sometimes there are cattle grazing on the main centre area.  It is a popular place for dog walkers but please be responsible.

 

Here’s a little video – it doesn’t show the views –  I’ll leave you to discover that!

Lambert’s Castle is easy to access off the B3165

From Axminster / Lyme Regis:  Signed Marshwood and Crewkerne off the A35 at Hunters Lodge pass through Raymonds Hill and drive for about 3 miles – keep your eyes open for a NT sign on the right (just after a sign for Fishpond’s Bottom), it’s a bumpy track to small National Trust car park (SY365987). If you reach the Bottle Inn you’ve gone too far.

For Coney’s Castle as above, 3 miles from Hunters Lodge turn right to Fishpond’s Bottom (300m before the Lambert’s Castle track) . At Fishpond’s take the third turning to Wootton Fitzpaine. This road passes through the centre of Coney’s Castle. Car park (SY372976) on left, just before the road enters the hill fort.

From Crewkerne: Pass through Marshwood. pass the Bottle Inn and head up the hill through the trees. the turning to Lambert’s castle is just at the brow of the hill on your left and the turning to Coney’s Castle 300m further on.

What 3 Words – the turning off the A3165 is at ///gravy.tucked.elects

Other Hill Forts to Explore

I love exploring hill forts and many of them do require and bit of an effort to reach the top. Another couple of great locals ones are Musbury Castle with stunning views over the Axe Valley as well as Dumpdon Hill Fort near Honiton.

Lamberts castle view with walkers