North Dorset


Group name: North Dorset

This group is a part of Dorset Area.

01963 370009


Following Government announcements on March 16th, Ramblers GB is suspending the following activities from Wednesday 18 March until further notice, and will be subject to  developments:

  • all group led walks.
  • all Ramblers Walking for Health schemes.
  • all activities by Ramblers volunteers including training, path maintenance working groups, coach trips and holidays, meetings, group and social events
    training for Ramblers.

The Ramblers North Dorset Group Committee took the decision to cancel led walks until the end of our current programme - that is June 2020 - and this will be reviewed thereafter, and following guidance from Ramblers GB.


1 June 2020

We are reviewing our guidance regularly in response to the latest government advice. Our priority is to protect the health of our members, volunteers and staff and to help suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  

The easing of lockdown measures allows more freedom for walkers. However, the advice remains to limit your contact with others. 

At this stage, all Ramblers group walks and activities remain suspended. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will reintroduce these activities only when we feel confident it is safe to do so.

New government rules

Rules for contact with others have recently been updated and there are now significant differences between England, Scotland and Wales. Under the new rules:

  • People in England can exercise with up to five others from different households provided strict physical distancing guidelines are followed.
  • In Scotland, members of two different households - up to eight people - can meet outdoors provided physical distancing guidelines are followed.
  • In Wales, people from two different households can meet each other outdoors – with no limit on the number of people - provided physical distancing guidelines are followed.

Our advice to walkers

Whether alone, with your family or with members of another household, we advise all walkers to:

1 - Be prepared 
Some hotspots could be busy and facilities such as car parks, shops and especially toilets may be closed or access reduced, so plan ahead before setting out - including checking the relevant website for your destination.  Some locations remain closed to visitors

2 - Be safe
Support our NHS, emergency services and rescue teams by avoiding riskier outings and abiding by the latest guidance for England, Wales and Scotland including on hygiene and physical distancing – particularly if you meet anyone from another household.  

If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home. People 70 and over, those with certain underlying conditions and pregnant women are more vulnerable than others, and so are advised to take particular care to avoid contact with others.

3 - Be considerate 
Be sensitive to rural communities if considering travelling further from home to walk.  In many cases, the best option will be to stay local and explore the local area on foot.  Make sure you follow the Countryside Code (England and Wales) and Access Code (Scotland). 

There is also nation-specific government advice regarding travel, which all walkers should observe:

  • In England you can travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance, as long as you can return the same night and do not put others at risk because of services you may need in the time you are away. Read more.
  • In Scotland walkers should continue to stay local. You can travel up to about five miles for exercise before starting out. Read more. 
  • In Wales you must continue to stay local - within five miles as a "general rule". Read More.

Thank you for supporting us at this difficult time.

Please check the Ramblers Home Page for regular updates.


The North Dorset area covers Evershot in the west of the County to Shaftesbury in the east, and Blandford Forum in the south, but walks take place in any part of Dorset, as well as South Somerset and SW Wiltshire.

The North Dorset Group aims to provide two walks each week, one midweek on Wednesdays, and one on Sundays. The distance for either ranges between 5 and 12 miles, with the occasional longer walk.  We try to provide walks with 'added interest' when possible, and take part in path clearance work as the occasion arises. We encourage car sharing for our walks.

In 2020, a monthly 'shorter walks' programme will be trialled, on Saturday mornings, aiming to  provide walks under 5 miles. These are planned to finish at or near a pub/cafe, with the option of a (self-funded) pub lunch, with the intention of being accessible by public transport.