From Old Harry Rocks, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, all along the shore of the Jurassic Coast to Lyme Regis, via the glowing summit of Golden Cap and the one-eyed winking lighthouse at Portland Bill, Dorset is a walkers’ wonderland.

The 40 routes in this book roam over hills and across heathland, go through forests and voluptuous valleys, trace ridgelines and precipitous cliffs, passing caves, castles, coves, country pubs and stunning viewpoints, to find vibrant villages and secret beaches. Here you’ll come face-to-face with history, walk with the words of Thomas Hardy ringing in your ears, witness wondrous wildlife and encounter all manner of cottage industries, from community cake- and marmalade-makers to microbreweries bubbling away in back streets.

96 pages / 105mm x 148mm / step inside the guide

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A signature experience of walking in Dorset is exploring the World Heritage-listed Jurassic Coast, which extends from Old Harry Rocks to the Devon border just past Lyme Regis. Dorset has been a hotbed of human activity since prehistoric times. Prior to the Romans the region was ruled by Celts, the Durotriges, who built hillforts all over the county (many of them visited in this book), especially along the border with Devon, then occupied by tribal rivals, the Dumnonii. When the Romans rocked up in 54bc, they utterly overwhelmed the locals and forever changed the face of Southern England. Many routes explained in these pages go right past Roman forts and follow ruler-straight sections of footpath that reflect roads built by the well-organised Italians. Another wave of invaders arrived seven centuries later, with battleships and brutal berserkers. Portland suffered Britain’s first Viking attack in 789ad, sending a tsunami of shock and awe across the country. Wessex’s King Alfred the Great famously fronted the fightback against the Norse newcomers, becoming the first Anglo-Saxon king in the process.


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