Dorsetshire Gap – the finest views in North Dorset? 6.2 miles | Dorset walks

Enjoy big views with ever-wide skies on Dorset Walks as you complete the circle from Lower Ansty – starting with easy parking in the village, then a few simple climbs to enjoy the best of Hog Hill looking out over Lyscombe Bottom and down via the Dorsetshire Gap ridge.

On Dorset Walks looking north across Melcombe Bingham to Nordon Hill and the Dorsetshire Gap
The view from Henning Hill, looking north across Melcombe Bingham to Nordon Hill and the Dorsetshire Gap to its left. 

Bingham’s Melcombe is a beautiful estate – do wander out of your way to visit the church and pause to enjoy the view of the gardens.

snowdrops on Dorset walks at Binghams Melcombe

At this time of year there are swathes of snowdrops on the Bingham’s Melcombe estate
Don’t forget to pause and look back towards the coast as you approach Nettlecombe Farm on the front edge of Hog Hill
Don’t carry on up the apparently very obvious path over Henning Hill; you turn right BEFORE the barn to get to this view. 
We admittedly go straight on through the gate (wrong) Every. Single. Time.

Perhaps also opt to walk the footpath around the front of Nordon Hill from the Dorsetshire Gap – the views are spectacular, but the rough path runs awkwardly across a steep hill: you’ll potentially spend all your time trying not to break an ankle. We did it once, but now always opt for the simpler-going route around the back, and sadly miss the view!

The view north from the Dorsetshire Gap ridge – it’s after this point you will bear left round the back side of the ridge, and miss out on the amazing right hand views!

This route is filled with great lunch spots, but my top two would be the cross dykes on Hog Hill – one of my favourite spots to sit and enjoy the view – or from the Dorsteshire Gap ridgeline, with spectacular views both sides.

The Dorsetshire gap crossroads – it’s never not muddy! But the trees on your right at this point

NB the Gap crossroads is always muddy – do watch your footing as you descend.


All of our monthly ‘Take a hike’ features of Dorset walks can be seen here. The routes we feature have always 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 in the app here. All images Laura Hitchcock

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