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Top 10 Walks in Dorset

Looking for the best walking spots in and around Dorset?

From dramatic jurassic coastline to rolling countryside, we’re definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to scenic walks in Dorset. Whether you’re looking for a new dog walking route or a weekend walk with the family, we can guarantee a special walk is round every corner here in Dorset. But if you’re looking for the best of the best, we recommend you give these a go!

Take a look at our list of the Best Walks in Dorset below!

Top Tip: We recommend Kingston Country Courtyard if you're in the Purbecks and we think Knoll House Hotel is worth a visit as it's right by Studland Beach and the South West Coast path, which is the ultimate spot for walkers. 

As we head in to summer, if you like our walking guide you may like our guides to where to find the Best Beaches in Dorset and our Top 10 Dog Walks in Dorset.

Embarking on a lengthy stroll and in search of a charming pitstop along the way? Dorset boasts numerous picturesque pubs that serve as ideal havens for a refreshing beverage, ensuring you stay energised throughout your journey. Check out our Cosy Pubs in Dorset guide here and our the best Country Pubs in Dorset here.


South West Coastal Path

South West Coastal Path

Now, we can’t imagine you’d want to walk the entire South West Coast Path, which is 630 miles long, but with the endpoint being at Poole Harbour, it’s certainly a good trail to follow! The South West Coast Path is popular in Poole not only for its breath-taking coastal views but also for the way it brings families and friends together for a relaxing morning walk or afternoon out with nature. 

Location: South Haven Point, Poole Harbour

Distance: However long you want it to be, but just remember however far you walk, you have to walk back again!

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Poole Park

Poole Park

Poole Park is a firm favourite for many, so it does often get busy in the summer months due to the extensive walks and activities it has to offer! Dogs can enjoy a splash in the lake, whilst children can enjoy spotting a variety of wildlife and even a train ride if they fancy it! There is plenty of parking on site and perfect picnic areas, so why not make a day of it? 

Location: 5 Mount Pleasant Rd, Poole BH15 1TU

Distance: Approx 1.2 mile walk around the main park. 

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Poole Harbour Trails

Poole Harbour Trails

As the biggest harbour in Europe, here in Poole we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to coastal walks. Whether you prefer a relaxing stroll or a hard-hitting hike, there are six linear walks of all lengths (from 1.5 miles to 7.5 miles) making up the harbour trail to allow you to take in the beautiful scenery and sea views. Find the full list of the walks here! 

Location: Various locations around Poole Harbour

Distance: The choice is yours - between 1.5 and 7.5 miles

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Upton Country Park

Upton Country Park

Upton Country Park is the estate home to a grand Grade II* listed Georgian Mansion House just a few miles north of Poole. With 160 acres of gardens, parkland and woodland to explore, it’s the ideal location to enjoy a stretch of the legs. We recommend a visit to the tea room on site too, it goes down a treat after a long walk!

Location: Poole Rd, Upton, Poole BH17 7BJ

Distance: Approx 2 miles around the park, but walkers can explore further around the shoreline for a longer walk. 

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Hamworthy Park Poole

Hamworthy Park

Although Hamworthy Park is most famous for water sports, many of us enjoy a good old stroll down there too! Marvel at the watersport experts gliding through the Dorset waters, enjoy a dip in the paddling pool (or the sea if you’re feeling brave!) and stroll along the soft sandy beach or open green space with stunning views of Brownsea Island. Parking available in Lulworth Ave. 

Location: Lulworth Ave, Hamworthy, Poole BH15 4DH

Distance: The park itself offers a short walk, however, you can walk to Ham Common (approx. 1.3 miles) for a more strenuous stroll. 

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Luscombe Valley Nature Reserve

Luscombe Valley Nature Reserve

If you’re ever looking for an array of wildlife in Poole, 10-acre Luscombe Valley is the place to be! Located a mere four miles to the east of Poole complete with streams, lakes, woodlands and scenic views, it’s the perfect place to spot some wildlife and immerse yourself with nature! The main entrance is just a few minutes away from Evening Hill, which we’d also recommend you pay a visit to!

Location: Shore Rd, Poole BH14 8NE

Distance: Circular walk to Parkstone Golf Course approx. 2.2 miles. 


Holes Bay Nature Park Poole

Holes Bay Nature Park

Holes Bay Nature Park is an idyllic spot with 710 acres of woodland and grassland to explore, situated adjacent to the magnificent Upton Lake, which merges into Poole Harbour. Described as one of the best places to see the wildlife at Poole Harbour, we can guarantee a fascinating and peaceful walk for both walkers, families and dog walkers alike! 

Location: Poole BH15 1PH

Distance: There are various walks through Holes Bay Nature Park, allowing you to walk as far or little as you like!

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Compton Acres Poole

Compton Acres

Compton Acres is one of Poole’s most loved landmarks, being one of the South’s finest privately owned gardens with 10 acres of truly breath-taking land for all to enjoy. It’s horticultural heaven and makes a fantastic walk and day out for the whole family. Plan your visit and delve into the exciting world of plants and nature! Please note there is a ticket charge. 

Location: Canford Cliffs Rd, Poole BH13 7ES

Distance: There is a circular walk around all six gardens, please allow 2 – 3 hours for your visit. 

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Harbourside Park

Baiter Park

Baiter Park is situated just a stone throws away from Poole Park, and offers a huge green open space overlooking the harbour. A favourite walk amongst locals is to follow the coastal path from Baiter Park and follow Parkstone Bay around to Whitecliff Harbourside Park. There is a car park on both sites (Baiter and Whitecliff). This flat, easy walk is ideal for families, especially as there's a playground at Whitecliff!

Location: Catalina Drive, Baiter, Poole, BH15 1TQ

Distance: 2-mile round walk

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Wimborne Minster

Kingston Lacy Poole

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy is a National Trust property located north of Poole which sits in acres upon acres of beautiful gardens, woodland and parkland. The extensive estate has a variety of different length walks for both walkers, families and our four-legged friends to enjoy! The National Trust will provide maps on arrival for different walking routes. Please note there is a charge for non-members.

Location: Kingston Lacy, Wimborne BH21 4EA

Distance: Consult National Trust for walking routes

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Top Tip

Top Tip

One of the best things about a long scenic walk or hike is that you can stop at a nearby local cafe and reward yourself with a delicious treat.

We'd highly recommend checking out the below if you're walking nearby:

Little Pickle at The Mill Wimborne

Little Pickle at The Mill

Walford Mill Crafts, Knobcrook Road, Stone Lane, Wimborne, BH21 1NL

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