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Frome Valley Trail

Starting at Evershot, the second highest village in Dorset, this walk meanders close to the River Frome towards Poole Harbour. The walking route also passes through Chilfrome, Maiden Newton, Bradford Peverell, Charminster and Dorchester.

A wealth of wildlife can be seen in and beside the river. This includes the iridescent flash of a Kingfisher, the bright yellow Marsh Marigold, Water Crowfoot and Brown Trout. At present the trail finishes at Dorchester but there are plans to extend the route to Poole Harbour.

You can currently enjoy the trail on foot or by bike. There is also a short circular route called Ratty's Trail (PDF, 204kb) (opens in a new window) near Dorchester, named after the character from Wind in the Willows. If you keep your eyes peeled you may see 'Ratty' the Water Vole feeding in the river.

Landscape / terrain

Chalk Downland, riverbank, water meadows, woodland fringe. The majority of the walking route follows the River Frome. But there are some sections where diversions are in place when the river is in flood. The majority of the route is on hard surfaced tracks and the remainder within sunken lanes or on pastoral and arable fields. The cycling route follows county roads and farm tracks but you do have to cross the A37 at Giles Cross.

Finding your way

On the ground the trail is signed using an arrowhead disc. This has been designed to reflect the rich archaeological findings dating from the Bronze Age within the river valley. Where the trail meets other rights of way or a road, specially designed signs continue to point you in the right direction. At times the route may change from that shown on a map. Please follow the waymark discs and signs.

Route maps and leaflets

Frome Valley Trail Leaflet Stage 1 (pdf, 164kb) (opens in a new window) 

Frome Valley Trail - Evershot to Maiden Newton (walking) (pdf, 93kb) (opens in a new window)

Frome Valley Trail - Maiden Newton to Dorchester (walking) (pdf, 97kb) (opens in a new window)

Frome Valley Trail - Cycling (pdf, 100kb) (opens in a new window)

Ratty's Trail, Dorchester (pdf, 204kb) (opens in a new window)



I would just like to say how much i enjoyed walking along the Frome Valley Trail. We joined the trail at Maiden Newton and it was so pretty by the river. Unfortunately we didn't see any Water Voles but we will definitely be back so hopefully we will see them next time.

April 2009

We recently did Ratty's Trail near Dorchester and really enjoyed it. We can recommend a detour to the Sun Inn. Just take the path on the right by the river when you get to the back of Loders garage and then right again and follow the cycle lane until you get to the pub.

October 2008

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Start Point: Evershot
Finish Point: Dorchester
Total Distance: 26 km / 16 miles
Districts Covered: West Dorset
Map Information: OS Explorer Maps 117
Average Time needed: walking - 8 hours, cycling - 3 hours

Trail Managed by:   Dorset County Council (Area Greenspace Management Team - West) 

Linking trails and walks

Places of interest

  • Evershot
  • Chilfrome Church
  • Maiden Newton
  • Roman Aqueduct near Dorchester 
  • Dorchester

Parking and public transport

There is parking at Evershot Village Hall and Rockpit Lane car park, Maiden Newton. There are train stations at Maiden Newton and Dorchester West. There are also a number of bus routes along the way. .

Places to eat / refreshments

  • Evershot
  • Cattistock
  • Maiden Newton
  • Charminster
  • Dorchester 
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