Chalbury and Holt Forest

On the southern edge of Cranborne Chase, explore the thick, ancient forest of Holt. Walk through the traditional village of Hinton Martell to discover a decorative Mediterranean fountain, adapted for the animals. Pass the impressive Gaunt’s House, once owned by royalty and now a spiritual retreat. Wander between gnarly oaks and fern lined paths, over red rivers and under thick branches of the woodland. Today it is a peaceful landscape filled with squirrels and deer, but was once a dangerous place filled with wolves and wildness!

Distance:  6 miles/8km

Duration: 3 hours

Ability: Easy.

Max Height: 350ft.

Min Height: 100ft.

Total climb: 330ft.

Terrain: Track, path road and field.

Map: OS Explorer 118 Shaftesbury and Cranborne Chase.

Start Point: All Saints church, Chalbury. (Postcode: BH21 7EY, Grid Reference: SU018068, What Three Words: compiled.symphonic.hometown).

How to Get There: From Blandford, travel north east on the A354. After about 5 and a half miles, turn right to Horton. Continue on the same road for just over 4 miles, passing the end of the Dorset Cursus, a collection of barrows and cutting through a Roman road. At the Horton Inn, turn right and then take the next left. Follow the road into Chalbury and the parking spot for the church will appear on the right.

Dogs: In accordance with the Countryside Code and any notices on route.

Refreshments: None on route but nearby are the Old Inn in Holt and the Cross Keys Inn on Holt Road.

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