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Castleman Trailway

The Castleman Trailway is one of Dorset's gentlest way-marked, walking, cycling and horse riding routes. This 16.5 mile (26.5 kilometres) trailway follows much of the old Southampton to Dorchester railway line. The trailway takes you through some of East Dorset's stunning landscape whilst also connecting a string of settlements between Ringwood and Poole.

Whether you are using the route for recreation or commuting to work, the Castleman Trailway offers a beautiful and practical route to take you where you want to go. As you travel along the trail you will pass some of the county's internationally important heathland, cross rivers and pass through forestry plantations.

The trailway also links with Avon Heath Country Park, Moors Valley Country Park and Upton Country Park .

The Trailway is named after Charles Castleman, a Wimborne Solicitor, who was responsible for building the original railway line and the first to connect Dorset to the wider rail network. The Southampton to Dorchester to railway line was nicknamed the Castleman Corkscrew, after its founder and the meandering route it took. It was closed by Dr. Beeching in 1964. However it had been a secondary route once a coastal main line had been established between Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole.

The Trailway is managed in partnership by Dorset County Council, Borough of Poole and Hampshire County Council with support from other organisations. 

Finding your way

Castleman Trailway logo On the ground the route is marked with the green and yellow Castleman Trailway Logo.
The Trailway logo can be found at main entrances, on way marker posts and on street lampposts.

Within the Borough of Poole it is also identified as National Cycle Network Route 25.

There is no way marked cycle route through Wimborne (Canford Bottom Roundabout to the Willet Arms) although a riverside route can be taken by pedestrians. Horse riding is allowed from Ringwood to Westmoors Plantation and Ameysford (Uddens Plantation) to Stapehill. 

Trail maps

Map 1 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Ringwood to Ashley Heath (PDF, 655kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 2 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Ashley Heath to West Moors (PDF, 664kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 3 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - West Moors to Ameysford (PDF, 626kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 4 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Ameysford to Stapehill (PDF, 706kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 5 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Stapehill to River Stour (PDF, 663kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 6 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - River Stour to Broadstone (PDF, 721kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 7 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Broadstone (PDF, 849kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 8 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Broadstone to Upton Country Park (PDF, 779kb) (opens in a new window)

Castleman Trailway Overall Map 1980s (pdf, 421kb) (opens in a new window)

View our Interactive cycle maps pages to plan your route outside the Castleman Trailway boundary. 


Transport links

The trail can be accessed by train from Poole railway station via cycle/pedestrian link. There are also a number of bus routes.

Disabled access

We aim to provide access for all. Contact the Castleman Trailway Ranger for more information and to discuss your access needs.

Linking trails and routes

Start Point: Ringwood, Hampshire

Finish Point: Poole

Total Distance: 26.5 km / 16.5 miles

Time Needed: 3 hours as a leisurely cycle ride

Districts Covered: Hampshire, Dorset (East Dorset & Poole)

Map Information: OS Explorer Maps OL22 and 195 Bournemouth & Purbeck

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