The best places in Dorset for a spring walk

Sunshine through the leaves in bluebell woods in Dorset. Photo credit: allou, Getty Images/iStockpho

Sunshine through the leaves in bluebell woods in Dorset. Photo credit: allou, Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We round up our favourite spots for a walk surrounded by spring flowers.

Spring is in the air and the weather is finally starting to warm up. This means it is time to start pulling on those wellies or walking boots and taking to the Dorset countryside to enjoy the signs of the changing seasons. We are very lucky to have a range of landscapes in the county from the peaceful broads to the majestic woodlands.

In spring, they come alive with colourful buds and the calls of birds, which makes them the perfect place for a stroll. These are just a handful of our favourite walks to make the most of our gorgeous countryside. 

Snowdrops

Snowdrops bring great joy in the early months of the year, signifying the warmer weather ahead. Like a blanket of snow, they cover the ground of fields and woods to create a truly ethereal experience.

The picturesque and charmingly named village of Affpuddle, located in Purbeck looks like a scene from a chocolate box with its quaint thatched cottages and large stretches of village greenery. However, the early arrival of snowdrops this year is making for an even more idyllic scene. Patches of perfectly formed snowdrops are popping up along the banks of Affpuddle's many streams, making for a gloriously scenic country walk for the whole family.

See more snowdrops walks here

Bluebells

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Every May the ancient woodlands of Dorset are covered in a carpet of bluebells. Whilst Hardy’s Cottage would usually be the star of the show when visiting Higher Bockhampton, the bluebells of Thorncombe Woods steal the limelight come spring. Rushy Pond and Black Heath can also be found here – the inspiration for the work of Thomas Hardy.

Find more bluebell walks here

Gardens

Explore five acres of beautiful landscaped gardens at The Walled Garden at Moreton. Around the winter borders the air is filled with scent from flowering mahonia, sarcococca, and osmanthus burkwoodii. A highlight of a visit is the woodland walk, one of the informal parts of the garden, which is bursting with colour throughout Spring including the delicate fragrant flowers of hamamelis (witch hazel).

See more glorious gardens here

Daffodils

Sir Walter Raleigh's masterpiece and the stately home of the Digby family since 1617, there is much to see at Sherborne Castle. In spring, one of the highlights is the sight of daffodils which only add to the tranquillity of the spot. It's very easy to while away an afternoon walking the grounds and taking in the sights.

Find more daffodil walks here

History Walks

For something just as beautiful but a little more rugged, why not head over to Stonebarrow just east of Charmouth. The multitude of walking options at this National Trust-owned site means you can devise a loop of almost any length to suit the time, weather and ability of all involved. Accompanying the panorama, alongside the bird song, the whistling wind rises up from the dense scrub of Cain’s Folly below, between the base of the cliff and the sea. A resident peregrine falcon frequently hunts pigeons around these cliffs. 

Get all the deatils for this and more breath taking walks around history here

Enjoy the Quiet

Get off the beaten path this spring and avoid the big crowds with a lesser known trail. We recommend the walk from Upwey to the South Dorset Ridgeway. A favourite walk of South Dorset Ramblers, this circular walk from Upwey Wishing Well takes you out along the Ramblers Jubilee Trail to Friar Waddon and Corton Hill and then climbs to return via the South Dorset Ridgeway.

The delightful small Chapel of St Bartholomew at Corton and the stunning panoramic views over Weymouth Bay, Portland and the Fleet are not to be missed. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, you may see hares racing across the landscape or red kites circling overhead. 

Find more details and walks away from the crowds here

Easter Trails

One of the signs that spring is upon us is the arrival of Easter. Why not get into the spirit of the season with an Easter Trail, carefully curated to amaze kids with nature - and reward them with a delicious prize at the end!

We recommend heading over to Brownsea, with all the beauty it brings, as the National Trust will be offering a nature-based Easter trail this year. Discover the wonders of the wild on the island, using your senses to look and listen, meeting their amazing trees, and getting active in the outdoors through a series of fun challenges.

Find more family friendly Easter trails here