Soaked in history

Dorset is rich in history and evidence of this unique historic past can still be found in Dorset’s villages and towns today. Using the signs that we see today in the built environment, and the landscape, we can begin to piece together enticing stories of what life was like for those living in the past.

Walks around the unique and varied towns and villages

Using these guides, created by the Stepping into Nature project, you’ll get a better feel of the place and understand what makes it unique.

These walks are located across all of Dorset and are designed for those without a rich knowledge in history but would like to know a little more about the area. Old photos are used, often from postcards, to see what has and hasn’t changed over the past century or so.

We recommend 1 hour 30 mins to complete these walks but this allows for lots of time to sit and enjoy the surroundings on route. All walks avoid steep hills and difficult to walk areas.

You can download the walks below or for a free printed copy of the walks, email the Stepping into Nature Team ( or 01305 224788)  for a copy.

Walk 1: Blandford Forum

Distance: 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Generally level route on tarmacked paths. Slight incline around the church.

Walk 2: Cerne Abbas

Distance 1 mile/1.6km
Difficulty Generally level route on tarmacked paths with a few small gravel areas and an optional short slope. Near the end of the walk the path narrows with some raised tree roots, if this is an issue use the alternative path shown on the map

Walk 3: Eastern Dorchester and Fordington

Distance 1.2 miles/2km
Difficulty Generally level route with one downhill section on the outskirts of Dorchester’s town centre and local streets. Steps to access church

Walk 4: Sherborne

Distance 1 mile/ 6km
Difficulty Generally level route on tarmacked paths. Not a dog friendly route

Walk 5: Swanage

Distance 1.2 miles/ 2km
Difficulty Generally level route on tarmacked paths, with a gentle slope through the gardens and town. Seafront seats at regular intervals.

Walk 6: Weymouth

Distance: 1 mile /1.6 km
Difficulty Level route on tarmacked paths with seats at regular intervals.

Walk 7: Abbotsbury

Distance: 0.8 miles / 1.3km with optional hill further 0.6 miles / 1 km
Difficulty: Flat and mostly tarmacked paths with optional steeper path up hill. Dog friendly.

Walk 8: Beaminster

Distance: 1.4 miles / 2.3 km
Difficulty: Mostly flat and short gentle slopes on tarmacked paths. Dog friendly, except Memorial Playing Fields.

Walk 9: Bridport

Distance: 1.1 mile / 1.8 km
Difficulty: Flat and tarmacked paths. Dog friendly.

Walk 10: Shaftesbury

Distance: 1 mile / 1.6 km
Difficulty: Mostly flat and on tarmacked paths. Dog friendly.

Walk 11: Sturminster Newton

Distance: 0.9 miles / 1.5 km
Difficulty: Mostly flat and short gentle slopes on tarmacked paths. Dog friendly.

Walk 12: Wareham

Distance: 1.2 miles / 1.9 km
Difficulty: Generally flat on tarmacked paths. Dog friendly.