Great British Walks - Wareham Forest Way
Beautiful views, shady glades, an Iron Age hill fort and lots of wildlife make this a memorable walk.
The full walk to Sturminster Marshall is 13 miles but it can be split into two sections – here we’ve gone for the first half between Wareham and Morden
Follow this guide to plan your walk. We've included details on how long it should take you to complete, where to park, and some places to stop for food and drink along the way.
We've also included a recommendation of where to stay if you're looking to book a pitch nearby and spend more time in this area.
This is a signposted walk through some of the less well known landscapes in the north Purbeck area.
The trail is signposted in both directions with various signs and markers, some showing the distinctive pine cone logo. Some sections of the path become muddy in winter and walking boots are recommended all year – wellington boots are better in winter and after rain
Wareham town’s history goes back over 2000 years, and depending on the direction you choose to walk, you’ either start or finish at Wareham Quay. Up until the 14th Century it was a busy port, but is now somewhere to relax, have something to eat, hire a boat or take a trip along the river.
From the Quay in Wareham travel through the quiet roads of the town, passing next to Wareham Walls. Cross Wareham Common and the River Piddle water meadows.
Follow the winding path through farmland and small woodlands before reaching Wareham Forest’s conifer plantations and heathland. T
he forest is a mixture of large areas of conifer trees and open heathland. Morden Bog National Nature Reserve can be found on the forest’s eastern boundary.
The top of Woolsbarrow Hill Fort is a great viewpoint with views of Poole Harbour and its heathy slopes are an important wildlife habitat.
The species that live there are sensitive to disturbance and can be well hidden. In spring you may be lucky enough to see sand lizards basking on the sandy paths and Dartford warblers perching on gorse branches.
At dawn and dusk throughout the summer, you might see nightjar hunting for insects and hear the distinct churring song of the male birds within the wooded section of the forest.
You may also see grey squirrels, woodpeckers, treecreepers, birds of prey and sika deer during your visit.
Travel through forest into farmland as you reach the peaceful village of Morden where you can enjoy a local ale and a bite to eat at the award-winning Cock and Bottle pub.
After refreshments, catch the 703 bus to get back to Wareham. It involves a change of bus, so check the timetables for more details.
Alternatively travel out by bus in the morning and then walk back – the route is signposted in both directions and this means you don’t have to rush your walk to make sure you catch a particular bus.
If you are feeling particularly energetic you could complete the second half of the walk in the afternoon. Continue on through farmland and country estates for six miles to Sturminster Marshall. There are bus connections between Sturminster Marshall and Wareham via Poole.
PLAN YOUR WALK
Route Wareham to Morden and take public transport back
Distance 7 miles
Time 3 hours
Terrain Some sections of the path become muddy in winter
Difficulty Moderately challenging
Parking Long stay parking is available in Wareham town
Woolsbarrow Hill Fort is a great place to rest and take in the views of Poole Harbour. It’s an important wildlife habitat.
FOOD AND DRINK
The Cock And Bottle, Morden
The Quay Inn, Wareham
Pictures and information courtesy of Purbeck District Council
WHERE TO STAY
WAREHAM FOREST TOURIST PARK
A warm, friendly welcome awaits you at this five-star 55-acre woodland caravan park, which is centrally located for exploring the beautiful Jurassic Coastline and Purbeck Hills. Relax in the peace and tranquillity on site, or take a walk in the surrounding Wareham Forest and heathland. Sample the hustle and bustle of Poole and Bournemouth, or visit nearby Dorchester, Wareham, Weymouth and Swanage.
Open all year, award-winning park, woodland location.
North Trigon, Wareham BH20 7NZ
OPEN ALL YEAR
Price from £19.90 for a standard pitch with 2 adults.
EAT & DRINK
Lots of local eateries nearby, check with reception.
• Great adventure playground
• Outdoor pool with sunbathing areas (high season)
• Park is surrounded by tracks, trails and plenty of walking opportunities
• Parking by pitches
• Electric hook ups
• Washing machine facilities
• Wheelchair-friendly facilities
• WiFi available
• Motorhome waste empty point
• Accepts caravans, motorhomes and tents.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you have a love of the great outdoors and love exploring the beautiful countryside of the UK - and beyond - we have a magazine for you. Our range of outdoor leisure magazines include this selection. There are helpful links to the digital issues of each magazine so you can read more about the content: