Wide and easy Tarrant Valley Circular 11.5 (OR 6.5!) miles | Dorset Walks


This full day hike can easily be chopped down to 6.5 miles with a simple shortcut.

This is a fabulous day’s walk, a really easy going route with lots of wide views interspersed with beautiful woodland. We first walked it in late spring, enjoying the carpets of celandines, bluebells and wood anemones all around the route.

The Tarrant Valley circular route follows mostly along wide bridleways or farm tracks, with very little in the way of map reading required. Out of the woodlands the route enjoys expansive views on open chalk downland – on a sunny summer’s day this route will get HOT, so do take plenty of water!

To follow this route using the Outdooractive App, please find the route here.

For a shorter 6.5 mile alternative route, simply use the Jubilee Trail from Handcock’s Bottom to Tarrant Gunville, and then turn left to follow the path parallel to the road towards Stubhampton. 

Tarrant Valley Circular Walk
Celandined lined path walking through Hinton Bushes.

You’ll note that there’s an extra leg which doesn’t make much sense across Chettle common; this is added in purely because I love this small section of the common. Feel free to keep to the main track (but I strongly recommend the detour simply to say hello to the ancient trees). 

As expected for a BV Dorset walk, you can expect to not see anyone along most of the route, though the couple of miles nearest the back of Blandford Camp across Pimperne Long Barrow were moderately busy on a sunny Sunday. 
Harbins Park Estate are doing some great work re-wilding the estate: it’s a hive of activity as they clearly have a major plan of re-installing hedgerows, deciduous forest and wildlife corridors. In the summer the farm is a joy of wildflowers, making up for the current forest of plastic pipes as the new deciduous woodland plantation gets a foothold.

Tarrant Valley Circular Walk

I know I’m not alone in loving a giant oak standing proudly in its field, am I? This one is to your right as you leave Hinton Bushes, and approach the Jubilee Trail.

Tarrant Valley Circular Walk

The wide valley view appears behind you as you walk up from Pimperne Barrow

Tarrant Valley Circular Walk

The view to the left of the path in Handcocks Bottom, the dense carpet of celandines disappearing from view.

Tarrant Valley Circular Walk

Bluebells and celandines line the enchanting Handcock’s Bottom path

All the Dorset Walks we feature have been created and walked recently by ourselves, so you know you can trust them – we aim for unpopulated routes with as little road and as many views as possible! You can always see the route and follow it yourself via the free Outdoor Active app – see all our routes here.


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