Fine views: a long ridge walk, followed by spectacular perspectives of the chalk cliffs, and finally a delightful valley. No stiles, three modest gradients on main walk.
7.7 miles (12.4 km)
Walking time:
04h 00m

Start location

East Chaldon, DT2 8DJ grid ref SY796834

lat: 50.6499719

lon: -2.2894955




1 of 0

Getting there

By car: East Chaldon (also called Chaldon Herring) is signposted from the A352 Wareham to Dorchester road.  Starting point as above or, alternatively, there is also a small free car park near East Chaldon village green, alongside the outward route.

People travelling from Weymouth might find it easier to join the walk from the Ringstead National Trust car park.  Ringstead is signposted from the A353 between Osmington and Poxwell.  Keep ahead on this narrow country lane and do not turn right towards Ringstead village.  From the car park walk eastwards (sea on your right) for about half a  mile to join the route at point [4]. Pass the junction on your left to Holworth and in 100 yards follow the track as it swings right downhill....

By bus: The buses vary from season to season. The First Group X53 Poole to Exeter bus plies the  Poole-Wareham-Wool-Weymouth section several times a day Mon to Sat all year round.  At present, there are no Sunday buses during the winter season (dates vary).  In recent years, during the school summer holidays, the  X43 service has shuttled 4 times a day, including Sundays, from Poole to Dorchester via Wareham, Wool, Lulworth Winfrith and Weymouth.  Alight at West Fossil Farm, about 1 mile west of the Red Lion at Winfrith.  (NB.  There is no bus-stop sign at West Fossil Farm but it is a designated stop according to the  traveline website timetable.  Do check current timetables.)  See Alternative Route 1 for details of accessing the walk. The Wilts and Dorset No. 40 plies between Swanage and Poole via Wareham. X54 Weymouth - Poole runs 4 buses a day Mon - Sat along the A352 to West Fossil Farm.  
For bus timetables try the website  



From the car park, turn left along the road to East Chaldon and reach the village green in about 1/4 mile.  Turn right and head along the road, passing The Sailors Return (the only place for refreshments on the route).  As you head up towards the ridge, take care on the left-hand bend;  the road is not busy but it is narrow and visibility is restricted.


At the right-hand bend at the top of the ridge, take the bridleway heading left along the ridge. (A) However, before proceeding, you may wish to take the ridgeway path to the right to look at the line of tumuli called The Five Marys, situated about 100 yards along.   Also reach these by taking the path to the right at the left-hand bend on the road (above). Go through the gate then almost immediately left up the hill. Turn left at the tumuli to rejoin the route at Point 2. Alternative 1. If you are travelling by bus, alight on the A352 at West Fossil Farm.  About 100 yards west of the entrance to the farm there is a good bridleway (Sandy Drove on the Explorer map), which heads directly up to the ridge.  On reaching this, turn right to pass The Five Marys and join the main walk.  This will add some 15-20 minutes each way. Follow the ridge for about 11/2 miles (35-40 mins) , crossing a minor road (to West Chaldon)  to meet a second minor road.


Turn left here and keep straight ahead, ignoring all side turnings.   The road passes through the hamlet of Holworth, becomes an unpaved bridleway, and, after a total of about 1 1/2 miles (35 mins),  comes to a T-junction with another good track.


Turn left here for about 100 yards and follow the track as it  swings right and goes downhill (ignore the private drive on the right just before the bend).  In about 200 yards you will come to a fork.  Keep left here (sign-posted White Nothe).  In a further 100 yards, turn left through a hand-gate off this track and follow the coast path (again sign-posted White Nothe).  You will soon have fine views of Ringstead Bay behind you and White Nothe ahead , with the former coast-guard cottages standing out prominently. The coast path skirts round the right-hand side of the cottages. Alternative 2.  As you pass the cottages, a stone signpost points half right to White Nothe.  By  rounding the headland thus, you will get better views of the chalk cliffs (see photo).  Additionally, it is hard to believe, but a path zig-zags down from the headland to Ringstead Bay.  It is not particularly hazardous, but is not advised for anyone who suffers from vertigo.  What is more, you need good lungs and good knees to negotiate the path both ways!


In just over 1/4 mile (some 10 minutes) beyond the cottages you come to a stone signpost.  Leave the coast path here by turning left through a hand-gate to follow the path towards Daggers Gate.  Following the fence on your left, after 300 yards you will find another stone signpost.  Follow the bridleway towards Daggers Gate, ignoring the inviting kissing gate which leads onto open access land.  Veer slightly away from the fence to avoid ending up in a blind corner, then pick up the fence again at an open corner after a few minutes.  (However, see information point B below.) (B) If you hug the fence closely you will find, near the far left-hand corner, a large block of stone, which is an inscribed monument to Llewelyn Powys.   Member of a talented family, he was a writer and lived for a time at Chideock Farm (see below). Follow the fence seawards and turn left round the open corner to rejoin the walk. You will very shortly see a row of three stone embrasures. (C).  The second two contain stone sculptures of shells, but the first is currently empty - probably for renovation/repair.  They are by Peter Randall Page and apparently designed to celebrate the Celtic field system of the nearby Warren Once past the sculptures, continue following the fence on your left for about 1/2 mile.


Turn left through a hand-gate with a stone signpost to East Chaldon. This track is not marked as a right of way on the map but is nonetheless a permissive footpath on a well-established route.  Follow the track as it heads down between the buildings of Chideock Farm (see Llewelyn Powys above).


At the bottom of the hill, before the track rises again, leave the track to follow a stone signpost (about 75 yards before a cattle grid) pointing to the right along the valley floor towards Daggers Gate.


After about a mile, meet a track and follow the stone signpost left to East Chaldon.  In less than 10 minutes you will reach your starting point.


Ideally, you should have with you OS Explorer map OL15 - "Purbeck & South Dorset" or OS Landranger 194 - "Dorchester, Weymouth & surrounding area" .

Although very much a walk in its own right, this route might be considered as a shorter and easier alternative to walk I.D. 223.9 "Jurassic Coast, Dorset", as it takes in a fine section of the same coastal route.

Problem with this route?

If you encounter a problem on this walk, please let us know by emailing If the issue is with a public path or access please also contact the local highways authority directly, or find out more about solving problems on public paths on our website.

Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking


Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking