Maiden Castle and Winterborne St Martin

Follow the footsteps of ancient settlers, from the largest Hillfort in Europe, possibly the world. Wander through the countryside, passing numerous Bronze Age Barrows to Winterborne St Martin. Explore the village to then clamber up through the dry chalk valleys to one of the most populated ancient sites in the country, with views stretching across Dorset to the north and the English channel to the south. Discover the old valley lanes before returning to the ramparty goodness of Maiden Castle. Venture where you dare, minding out for grazing sheep and Roman ruins.

  • Distance: 6 miles/9km
  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Total climb: 570 ft
  • Max height: 538 ft
  • Min height: 260 ft
  • Terrain: Track, path and field.
  • Exertion: Medium, but some of the climbs can be tough. Some mud after rain.
  • Start: Maiden Castle car park (Grid Ref: SY668889, Postcode DT2 9EY).
  • Map: OL Explorer 15 South Dorset
  • How to get there: From Dorchester, head south on to the Weymouth road. After the traffic lights take the third right, signposted for Maiden Castle.
  • Dogs: On leads where livestock is present and in accordance with any notices on the walk and The Countryside Code.
  • Refreshments: Nowhere on route, but the town of Dorchester has many options.

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