Gillingham Dorset Walks - Near and Around
Gillingham is notable as the most northerly town in the county of Dorset. There's some lovely country walks along the River Stour and a significant National Trust property within walking distance of the town. Gillingham also plays a part in Thomas Hardy's novels as the fictional Leddenton.
This circular walk from the town follows the Stour Valley Way north to visit one of the highlights of the area at Stourhead. There's some lovely Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire countryside to enjoy as you pass the point where the three counties meet near Bourton.
The walk starts in the town and heads west to pick up the Stour Valley Way. Follow the waymarked footpath north and it will take you to Milton on Stour, Silton and Bourton. The attractive village is notable as the most northerly in Dorset, located on the border with Somerset and Wiltshire. The route continues to Bonham before passing the pretty New Lake and turning east to Stourton and the Stourhead Estate.
After exploring the estate you follow country lanes south to Zeals, Wolverton and Milton on Stour before returning to Gillingham.
Gillingham Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Gillingham Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Gillingham OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Gillingham Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Walks near Gillingham
- Stour Valley Way - This splendid walk takes you along the River Stour from Hengistbury Head on the Dorset south coast to Stourton in Wiltshire
- Stourhead - The 1,072 hectare (2,650 acre) Stourhead estate has miles of lovely walking trails to try. You can follow the well surfaced footpaths around the stunning lake and into the surrounding woodlands, parkland and gardens
- White Sheet Hill - Climb to the 245 m (804 ft) summit of this hill in Wiltshire and enjoy wonderful views over the Stourhead Estate and the surrounding countryside
- Leland Trail - Follow in the footsteps of royal librarian John Leland during his 16th century survey of Britain's churches and priories.
You start at King Alfred's Tower at the north-western edge of the Stourhead in Wiltshire and head west towards Bruton and Castle Cary Walk in Somerset
- Wylye Way - Follow the River Wylye through Wiltshire on this interesting and varied waterside walk
- Bruton - This pleasant town in Somerset has some interesting features including a hill top 16th century Dovecote and a 15th century packhorse bridge over the River Brue, which runs through the town
- Duncliffe Wood - Explore miles of cycling and walking trails in this large area of ancient woodland near Shaftesbury
- Shaftesbury - Enjoy a short walk around the Dorset town of Shaftesbury with a climb to Gold Hill, made famous from the Hovis adverts of the 1970s
- Fontmell and Melbury Downs - Enjoy a variety of beautiful flora and fauna in this nature reserve in Compton Abbas on the Dorset/Wiltshire border
- Win Green Hill - Climb to the highest point in the Cranborne Chase AONB and enjoy wonderful views over Shaftesbury, Salisbury Plain, Glastonbury Tor, the Mendips, the Quantocks, the Purbecks and the south coast
- Wessex Ridgeway Trail - Follow the Wessex Ridgeway Trail and enjoy spectacular views of the Dorset countryside on this shared walking and cycling path.
The trail begins at Tollard Royal in Wiltshire and heads to Hambledon Hill passing through Ashmore Wood and crossing the River Iwerne on the way
- Sturminster Newton - This Dorset based town has some lovely river and country walks with historic mills and local pockets of woodland to visit as well
- Hod Hill - This circular walk climbs to the Hod Hill fort from Stourpaine in Dorset.
- Mere - This delightful Wiltshire based town is a fine place to start a walk with miles of trails to explore the surrounding downland and farmland of the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Penselwood - This little village in Somerset has a noteworthy 15th century church and some nice country trails to try
The Buffalo Inn is a good choice for some post walk refreshment. They serve excellent pasta and pizzas which you can enjoy in the lovely large garden and patio area. You can find them on the western side of the town at Lydfords Lane with a postcode of SP8 4NJ for your sat navs.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
To the south east of the town you can visit neighbouring Shaftesbury and enjoy a climb to Gold Hill, made famous from the Hovis adverts of the 1970s.
Head west and you will come into Somerset where you can pick up the Wincanton Walk along the epic Monarch's Way.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Dorset Walks page.