GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Holt Heath National Nature Reserve

4 miles (6.5 km)

Enjoy a walk through beautiful Dorset heathland in this delightful National Nature Reserve near Wimborne Minster. There are miles of good walking tracks taking you through over 1000 acres of woodland and heathland. In the summer the purple heather and gorse are really beautiful. The area is also fantastic for wildlife - look out for New Forest Ponies, Dartford warbler, Curlews, various reptiles and a variety of butterflies.
This circular walk starts at the Whitesheet car park and follows footpaths across the heath to Cock's Moor Pond and Newman's Lane. You then pick up the Ferndown, Stour and Forest Trail to take you back to the car park through peaceful woodland.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could pick up the Castleman Trailway and head into the nearby Ferndown Forest for more peaceful woodland trails.


BH21 7JZ - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Holt Heath National Nature Reserve OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Holt Heath National Nature Reserve Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Just to the north of Wimborne there's the pretty village of Witchampton where you can visit the 19th century watermill on the River Allen. It's a picturesque spot with a 15th century church and the nearby Crichel Park to see as well.
Just to the north east is the nearby town of Verwood. Here you can enjoy a walk around Verwood Forest, the Cranborne Common Nature Reserve and the Stephen's Castle Nature Reserve where there's a lovely viewpoint.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Dorset Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


Holt Heath National Nature Reserve - - 35055

Holt Heath National Nature Reserve in late summer. View looking north from the Ferndown, Stour and Forest Trail.

Holt Heath and Forest Dorset - - 1060816

View across the north side of the heath from close to the road from Mannington to Holt. This is one of the largest tracts of heathland left in Dorset, now owned by the national Trust. Only 15 per cent of the original acreage of this rare habitat now remains in Dorset. Originally the local commoners' practice of grazing stock and gathering firewood kept the heath in this condition. Nowadays this has to be done artificially to preserve the heath and it rare flora and fauna. Thomas Hardy made this kind of heathland famous in his books such as Return of the Native.

Pond, Near Summerlug Hill, Holt Heath - - 2395492

Pond, Near Summerlug Hill

Tumulus, Summerlug Hill, Holt Heath - - 2395499

Tumulus and yellow gorse, Summerlug Hill

Bull Barrow Tumulus - - 1702545

Bull Barrow Tumulus SW of Crooked Withies. The tumulus almost merges into the hillside, although it is easier to see now they have cut down the gorse and other bushes that grew on it.

Cocks' Moor Pond - - 1702527

Cocks' Moor Pond

Holt Heath, disused pit - - 3462428

Holt Heath, disused pit

White Sheet Plantation, clear fell - - 2331357

White Sheet Plantation, clear fell


GPS Files

GPX File

Holt Heath National Nature Reserve.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Holt Heath National Nature Reserve.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)