Skip Navigation

Wareham Forest Way

Stretching from Wareham to Sturminster Marshall, the Wareham Forest Way walking route travels through some of the less well known landscapes of north Purbeck and East Dorset.

Beautiful views, shady glades, an Iron Age hill fort and lots of wildlife make this a memorable walk. You can start the walk at either end of the route as it is signposted in both directions. From Sturminster Marshall, you can join the Stour Valley Way or North Dorset Trailway to explore the rest of Dorset.

Wareham Forest Way

Start point:Wareham Quay
Nearest postcode: BH20 4LP or grid ref: SY 923 872
End point:

Sturminster Marshall - nearest postcode: BH21 4BU or grid ref: SY 950 003


13 miles (20.8km) one-way but can be split into shorter sections:

  • Wareham to Morden is 7 miles (11.3km)
  • Morden to Sturminster Marshall is 6 miles (9.6km)

This route is signposted in both directions.

Typical time to complete the walk:5 to 6 hours to walk the whole route plus lunch stop.

The first 780m is on a fairly level, well surfaced route through the quiet streets of Wareham between the Quay and Wareham Common. At the entrance to the Common, there is a gate and then a gravel track down to the River Piddle of 480m - part of this track can get muddy and there is a slope back up to the Common entrance. The rest of the route is on public rights of way with stiles or gates. There is parking for disabled visitors at Wareham Quay.

Route leaflet:

Purchase the leaflet from Discover Purbeck Information Centre or download a copy (pdf, 673kb) (opens in a new window).

Relevant Ordnance Survey map:

Landranger map No.195 (Bournemouth and Purbeck) 1:50,000


Explorer map No.OL15 (Purbeck and South Dorset) and Explorer map No.118 (Shaftesbury and Cranborne Chase).

You can buy copies of ordnance survey maps from Discover Purbeck Information Centre.


Walking boots recommended all year - wellington boots are better in winter and after heavy rain.

Public transport:
  • Wareham Railway Station (¾ mile from the town) is on the London Waterloo to Weymouth line
  • Wareham is on bus routes 30, 40 and X54 - download bus timetables
  • Sturminster Marshall is on bus routes X8 and 88 - download bus timetables
  • to travel between Wareham and Sturminster Marshall by bus, catch the 40 or X54 from Wareham to Poole then the X8 to Sturminster Marshall. It is advised to travel out by bus and then walk back - this is so you don't have to rush your walk to catch a certain bus
  • Travel Dorset will help to plan your journey

Long stay parking in Wareham is available at Streche Road or Connegar Lane.

Facilities and Refreshments:

There are  pubs (opens in a new window) along the route at Wareham, Morden and Sturminster Marshall. The nearest public toilets at the start of the route are found on Wareham Quay.

Things to do in the area:

Wareham Walls , The Purbeck Way, The Purbeck Way West Route, Northport Greenway and Sika TrailPurbeck cycle rides, Wareham Forest (opens in a new window), Morden Bog (opens in a new window), Wareham Museum (opens in a new window)

Staying a while in the area?You can find walker-friendly accommodation on the Visit Dorset website (opens in a new window).

This walk along with the Lawrence Trail, Wareham Two Rivers Walks and Purbeck Way were created by Purbeck District Council and Dorset County Council.

Powered by GOSS iCM