Spend a day discovering Dorset by foot and welcome local havens serving up warming meals and locally brewed ales that provide great rest spots. There are some fantastic traditional pubs across the county that are perfect for a break when you are on a stroll across the countryside, rambling across the cliffs, or exploring one of the many pretty villages Dorset has to offer so we’ve decided to round up our favourite pub walks in Dorset below.
North Dorset Trailway
Running along the route of the old disused Somerset and Dorset Railway line the North Dorset Trailway’s largest section is the 9-mile route between Blandford and Sturminster Newton. However, you can join the line for shorter strolls at Blandford St Mary, Spetisbury and Stalbridge. Perfect for pushchairs, mobility vehicles, horses, and bicycles too, this route provides a great way to work up an appetite for a homemade pub lunch at The Swan Inn at Sturminster Newton. Offering a wide selection of freshly prepared dishes and locally brewed tipples, make sure you pop in and relax with fantastic countryside views.
Wareham Forest Way
Explore some of the lesser well-known landscapes of Dorset when you spend the day discovering the Wareham Forest Way walking route. Enjoy breath-taking views, wildlife and even an Iron Age hill fort along the way. The whole route starts at Wareham and stretches to Sturminster Marshall covering 13 miles, but for those who enjoy shorter rambles, you can join the walk at various points along the way. Celebrate with a refreshing drink at the Red Lion Inn in Sturminster Marshall once you have completed the route and take the weight off your feet by unwinding on the comfortable sofas.
Cerne Valley Way
A circular walk covering the hamlets and villages of West Dorset and following the course of the river, the Cerne Valley Way can provide long hikes, casual strolls and plenty of sights to see in-between. Admire Britain’s largest hill figure, the Cerne Giant, keep an eye out for local wildlife at the Hilfield Hill Local Nature Reserve and visit the smallest pub in England along the way, the Smith’s Arms at Godmanstone. Perfectly picturesque with the river flowing behind and Cowden Hill beyond, this unique pub has a wealth of historic charm and character, making it a definite stop off spot to enjoy a refreshment.
Enjoy a 4-mile meander along the river Stour discovering its water meadows in the pretty town of Wimborne. Pathways consist of field paths, lanes, riverside paths and a few stiles during your walk and this circular route is perfect for a short stroll. There is a suspension bridge, ornate railway bridge to enjoy also. Beginning in front of The Oddfellows Arms, a public house in the historic town and brimming with charm, you can begin the walk with a local ale, head off exploring and return for a hearty meal after you have worked up an appetite.