3 Great Day Walks in Dorset from Talolo Boots

I am delighted to be publishing a guest blog post by a fellow lover of walking.  Sharing 3 of the best day walks in Dorset there is something here for everyone. From a long hike along the South West Coast path to circular walks taking in the fabulous Dorset countryside.  Explore Hambledon Hill, an iron age hill fort near Blandford Forum or lookout from the Hardy Monument.  All of these walks can be broken down into shorter segments if you don’t have the time for a long hike.

Meet Lucy from Talolo Boots

Having spent many years involved in festivals and events, Dorset based events planner Lucy and her sister spotted a gap in the market. Bored of standard welly boots at muddy festivals they came across Talolo boots.  A fabulous range of funky styles that look like cowboy boots but are made from waterproof welly boot type material.  Have a look at the current range at the end of this post as well as a link to enter a competition to win a pair of these great boots. #AD

Top Best Walks in Dorset 3 walkers on a hill
Lucy shares 3 great Dorset walks that she enjoyed with friends.

 

In October my long-awaited plan to walk Hadrian’s wall with old school friends went awry as Northumberland headed into regional lock down. Suddenly there was nowhere to stay on the route. As desperate as we were to do the walk, the thought of sleeping in our cars with dogs, didn’t fill us with much joy.

We reluctantly decided to reconvene at my humble abode in the Piddle valley and do day walks. Rather selfishly, I insisted on walks I had never done before so that ruled out most of the coastline and obvious Dorset walks. The forecast looked horrendous, so we agreed that pub lunches were allowed! On day one we set off with the intention of a short, fairly easy walk as I had broken ribs and was rather black and blue from a horse fall.

Martinstown near Dorchester to the Hardy Monument and Abbotsbury

The plan was a gentle walk from Martinstown near Dorchester to the Hardy Monument. Heading on to lunch at the Kings Arms in Portesham then a loop back. This circular route is about 7 miles in total on a mix of country lanes and footpaths.

We arrived at the Hardy Monument on the top of the Black Down overlooking the English Channel in what felt like about 3 nano seconds and without drawing breath. How time flies when old friends catch up!

Being rather early for lunch and as it wasn’t pouring with rain, we marched on along the South Dorset Ridgeway until St Catherine’s chapel came into view.  Another instant later we were in Abbotsbury.

After a rest stop for lunch we headed back to Martinstown.  In the end we walked a  lot further than planned, over 40,000 steps and 6 hours of solid chat! It was a fairly easy walk though, in total 27 km (17 miles).

Notes – The shorter circular walk can also be made by heading East on the South Dorset Ridgeway after exploring the Hardy Monument and back to Martinstow (8miles).  A linear walk from Martinstown to St Catherine’s Chapel via Portesham and Abbotsbury is about 12km (7.5 miles).

The Hardy Monument is a National Trust site and makes a great base for walks or explore nearby if you have less time or prefer a short walk.

Hambeldon Hill and Hod Hill Iron Age Forts

Day Two, the weather looked as if it was going to be even worse, so we thought that we would brave the iron age forts of Hambeldon Hill and Hod Hill. Just image what the iron age incumbents might have experienced and latterly the poor Roman legion of foot soldiers and cavalry without the luxury of Gore-tex.

In fact, the sun shone and the spectacular hill fort with incredible ramparts was stunning as it opened up views across the whole of the Blackmore Vale. As we dropped down to Stourpaine for a delicious lunch at The White Horse, we were humbled by the knowledge that these forts dated back to 2850BC.

Evidence of vine cultivation had been found thousands of years ago, only to be return to cultivation again in recent years. We walked nearly 18km as we skirted around the hills through beautiful woodland and crisp autumnal colours back to Iwerne Courtney.

Hambledon Hill Fort Best Dorset Walks
Notes – Hambledon and Hod Hill are 6 miles from Blandford Forum on the A350. There is a small car park opposite the Church or park considerately on the roadside in the village in Iwerne Courtney.  A shorter circular walk from the village to both forts is about 5 miles.  The walk begins from the cricket pitch in Fairfield Road.

Alternatively, park in the National Trust carpark of Hod Hill for a 1 mile circuit and wide ranging views over the Dorset countryside.

Kimmeridge to Swanage on the South West Coast Path

Day Three was the big one as the sun promised an appearance. We set out from Kimmeridge Beach car park to follow the coastal path to Swanage.

We realised quite quickly that chatting wasn’t going to be quite so easy as some of the ups were very steep, including the first climb up to the Bay Tower.  Puffing we enjoyed the view behind us of Portland harbour. Then we turned and continued along the windswept grassland to Chapmans Pool. The climb out was hard, even on all fours one point.

Chapmans Pool Best Walks in Dorset
Marching on to St Aldhelm’s Head and down into Winspit Quarry where we got a little lost in quarry dead ends. Climbing out we sat down to enjoy the sea view while sharing our meagre rations. We hadn’t factored in a pub or realised how long the 24km walk would take us.

We passed Dancing Ledge, and then the walk did happily flatten out a little as we approached Anvil Point lighthouse. Finally into Swanage for a well earnt crab sandwich. The face mask clad taxi ride back to Kimmeridge brought us back to the Covid world we had left behind during our heavenly Dorset escape from it all.

Reading these posts makes me realise that there are so many new walks to discover in the area.  Although it can be harder to find walks that are not too muddy or slippery in the winter, I feel that somehow getting outside is more important.  Make sure you have a look though the archives on this blog for a range of walks from coast to countryside.

So grab your walking boots, wellies or how about these great waterproof boots from Talolo.  They will look equally stylish for a Sunday walk or a dash to the supermarket.

Competition

I am delighted to be collaborating with Talolo Boots giving you chance to win a fabulous pair of boots from their current range.

Head over to the Talolo Boots website here and enter their great winter giveaway.  All you have to do is tell us where you have enjoyed walking in the South West. Entries close on Friday 11th December.

Plus,  follow one of my social media pages and keep an eye out for a special offer code to save 15% of a pair of boots.

Best Dorset walks with Talolo boots
Talolo Boot range

Disclosure: Talolo Boots have sponsored this post by gifting me a pair of their lovely boots.  
The Competition is being hosted by Talolo Boots and T&Cs are available from their website on entry. 

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