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Cerne Valley Way

This circular walk takes in the hamlets and villages of Minterne Magna, Cerne Abbas, Nether Cerne, Godmanstone, Forston and Charminster.

This walk follows the course of the river, from near its source in the basin formed by the hill of High Stoy and Dogbury to its junction with the River Frome in the water meadows at Charminster. Along the route you can see the smallest pub in England, the Smith's Arms at Godmanstone, Britain's largest hill figure, the Cerne Giant and visit Hilfield Hill Local Nature Reserve.

The Cerne Valley Leaflet (pdf, 241kb) (opens in a new window) includes more information on the trail, the history and wildlife and a map of the route.

Landscape / Terrain

Chalk Downland and River Cerne valley. The route passes through the River Cerne Valley and then onto the chalk ridge before sauntering downhill back to Dorchester. There are few steep sections particularly where you climb up and back down the chalk ridge. The majority of the route is on hard surfaced track ways, the remainder within sunken lanes or on pastoral and arable fields.

Finding your way

On the ground the trail is signed with a round white disc with a buzzard in the centre. Buzzards can be seen circling above the trail along the whole route. Follow this waymark disc to find your way along the entire length of the trail.

Parking and Public Transport

Parking at Hilfield Hill Local Nature Reserve, Cerne Abbas and Dorchester. Train stations at Dorchester and various local bus services.

Linking Trails and Walks

Places of Interest

Start Point: Various
Finish Point: Circular route
Total Distance: 42 km / 26 miles
Districts Covered: West Dorset
Map Information: OS Explorer Maps 117
Trail Managed By: Dorset County Council (Area Greenspace Management - West)

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