The best walks in the Purbecks

The Purbecks are a brilliant area for walking; whether you’re looking for something short and easy, or longer and more strenuous, there’s plenty of walks to keep you busy. Due to the nature of the area, most of the walks are relatively hilly so we’d recommend checking out your route fully before embarking. And of course, please stick to public footpaths and away from livestock!

Swineham and the Piddle

3 ¼ miles – 1 ¾ hours

This walk will take you around Wareham and to Swineham, which in old English means ‘where the swine are kept.’ There’s no pigs here now, but there is lots to keep you interested including the salt marshes, reedbeds and mudflats of Poole Harbour. You’ll then be able to follow the route back through grassland and woodland, and eventually ending up in Wareham. Click here to find out more.

Acton and Langton Matravers ‘Quarrymans Way’

1 ½ miles – 1 hour

This is another circular walk, starting in the village of Acton and taking in Langton Matravers. The walk highlights the days that the local population was heavily made up of quarrymen, and is full of interesting historical tidbits. This walk provides a chance to imagine what life would have been like in Purbeck 100 years ago, and the brochure (found here) gives some really interesting bits of information, and is interesting enough to keep children entertained as well.

Studland Round Walk

4 ½ miles – 2 hours

Starting in Studland village and taking its walkers round and up onto Ballard Down, before heading across to Old Harry Rock and back towards Studland, this route is hilly but worth it for some incredible views. The views change from the sea at Poole Harbour and back across to ‘the mainland’, to Swanage Bay, hills and countryside. The views from Old Harry Rock are also pretty spectacular. It’s worth grabbing a drink or a bite to eat in The Bankes Arms in Studland, you’ll need some fuel!

Kingston to Corfe ‘Commoners Way’

5 ½ miles – 3-4 hours

This route highlights the lives of ‘commoners’ who worked the land in Purbeck for hundreds of years. This walk is another hilly one, but because of this you’ll get some amazing views all the way along the route. The path does get a bit tricky in some spots, so this definitely isn’t a good one for those with lower mobility. We’d recommend stopping in Corfe village for a drink at the Greyhound before making your way back through Corfe Common. There is a wide range of wildlife that loves the Common, so be sure to watch out for wild chamomile, damselflies and bluebells in the Spring.

The Purbeck Way

27 ¾ miles – 15 hours

This is definitely not one for the faint hearted, but the Purbeck Way walk takes in the best of the Purbeck countryside and coastal areas. It can be split into several shorter, more manageable walks, or can be walked in one go. The scenery changes constantly as you walk; from the town of Wareham and it’s historic Saxon walls, to the river Frome, heathland, woodland and the stunning Jurassic Coast. There’s definitely an unbeatable sense of achievement once the route has been completed, even if you do nothing else but eat, drink and sunbathe for the rest of your holiday! Detailed directions (and information about the smaller, circular routes) can be found here.

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