Dorset’s abundance is all around us. Rolling green hills that continue for miles, leading us to endless places to explore. So, when the weather is great, and you’re in the mood to do just that, what is your favourite place to visit?
We’ve put together a selection of 3 our favourite dog-friendly walks and places to relax surrounding Beaminster.
Buckham Down Picnic Area
Overlooking the town is Buckham Down Picnic Area. A beautiful green patch of land perfect to take in full view of the town, nestled in the valley below. It’s a dog-friendly site, and usually, is kept tidy and neat – inviting those who want to, to relax with a picnic basket and a blanket. A dirt track that starts at the end of Bowgrove Road on the edge of Beaminster leads adventurous walkers from the town, up the hill, ending at the Picnic Area, if you’re in the mood for something a little more active. The track can be slippery if it’s been raining and has places that are somewhat steep in places, but is easily accessible under beautiful shady trees as you meander your way up the hill. If you prefer just having a leisurely picnic, there is small car park at Buckham Down picnic area where you can park your car right next to the grassy area, but be aware that the entrance to the picnic area is narrow – and larger, wider vehicles, may struggle to pass through. If you’re looking for a great photographic opportunity to catch Beaminster in its glory, this is definitely one of the perfect spots! And on a sunny day, you may even be able to see the Jurassic Coast too.
For those looking to conquer this 171m hill, most people choose to park in Stoke Abbott, while others enjoy a walk starting in Broadwindsor. The Gerrards Hill walk, for avid summit-seekers, is a walk which includes a steady climb up to the top, and although it can be quite blustery at times, you will no doubt be rewarded with one of the most fantastic almost-360 degree views over Beaminster to the NE and Stoke Abbott to the SW, from the top. If you’re taking your pooch, be sure to keep a lookout for sheep in the fields, and keep your dog on a lead when livestock is roaming, but your efforts will be well worth it when you’re resting under the shade of the trees perching on the top.
If hill-climbing is not your forte, but you’re looking for a more wooded seclusion on flatter grounds, then Hooke Woods should be on your list, particularly when its Bluebell season in April and May. Hooke Park is a 142 hectare woodland just 4 miles outside of Beaminster. The park is designated as ancient woodland where the Architectural Association School of Architecture is also based and use the site for visiting and residential courses, including programmes in which students design and construct new campus buildings. The Park’s forestry is managed with the intention to explore new uses for home-grown wood. Although there are a few spots to park, parking is limited. But access is easy, with a public right of way through the forest and a network of paths – all passing incredible architectural structures created by the students.
These are just 3 of many. If you’re keen to explore more, you may want to consider the Wessex Ridgeway and Waddon Hill too. Or, you may want to get in touch with the fantastic Beaminster Ramblers – a group of adventurous explorers who have been walking since the 60s. They meet ever 2 weeks for a walk of 5 to 6 miles.
What’s your favourite place to Go Outdoors around Beaminster? Let us know and we may feature it in an upcoming blog!