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Buzzard with name on white discCerne Valley Trail

42 km / 26 miles

The Cerne Valley Trail is a circular route taking in the villages and hamlets of Minterne Magna, Cerne Abbas, Nether Cerne, Godmanstone, Forston and Charminster. The route follows the course of the River Cerne, from near its source in the basin formed by the hills of High Stoy and Dogbury to its confluence with the Frome, in the water meadows below Charminster. The Trail can be started at any point but starting from Dorchester will enable you to walk the entire length of the trail. Parking is available at public car parks in Dorchester Town Centre.

The eastern arm of the route parallels the river closely, exploring the rich and varied habitats along this chalk stream, visiting Forston and Godmanstone and Cerne Abbas, to pass below the Cerne Giant, Britain's largest hill figure cut in the chalk. The Minterne Valley is landscaped in the manner of Capability Brown and home to the Churchill family. Continuing below Hillfield Hill Local Nature Reserve - this reserve contains a small remnant of rare chalk heath - the Trail returns between chalk hills via Charminster.


Path Type
Other Paths
Waymark: Buzzard with name on white disc
Buzzard with name on white disc
Average Gradients; Downland/Wolds; Railway
Start and Finish
SY691906 - Dorchester, Dorset
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Publications, Badges and Certificates:

External PDF
Cerne Valley Trail (Dorset County Council)


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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
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Accommodation within 5 Km of this Path:

From Path
Along Path
Greenwood Grange Farm Cottages  (bookable online)
3 Km
40 Km

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Route Profile:

38.5 Km (23.9 miles)
640 m (2,100 ft) ascent
264 m (866 ft)  maximum height