Ringstead Bay - Chaldon Down - Ringstead Bay

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An easy walk, with only gentle ascents and descents, yet offering splendid views over Weymouth Bay and the Isle of Portland, some spectacular inland panoramas, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and ancient monument, a beautiful hidden valley and an attractive thatched pub in a glorious setting en route.

There are some spectacular views of both countryside and sea and lovely scenery at most stages of this walk. Although total ascent and descent is just over 1,000 feet, there are no long or hard climbs and all descents are gentle. Wayfinding is straightforward and paths are generally good.

The first part of the walk crosses the southern part of Chaldon Down, depicted in 1835 by Samuel Palmer in his oil painting On Chaldon Down, Dorset, now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Turning inland and passing a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an ancient monument, the walk proceeds up the bottom of a beautiful hidden valley to the charming small village of East Chaldon, or Chaldon Herring.

The author Sylvia Townsend Warner lived in the village for a number of years in the 1920s and 1930s and some of the finely observed tales in her book Dorset Stories are set there. The Sailor's Return pub in the village is well-situated to offer refreshment, being about two-thirds of the way around the walk. After a short section of walking on a quiet narrow lane along the valley to West Chaldon, a path leads again over Chaldon Down, with more fine views and eventually back to the car park.

England - South West England - Dorset - Countryside


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Great Views, Hills or Fells, National Trust, Pub, Sea, Wildlife
1/25/2014 - Paul and Tracy Dawson

Did the walk today, sunny and very blustery, which made the second half of the walk (gradually uphill) from East Chaldon hard going! Good paths and bridleways, considering the amount of rain we've had, and fantastic views. Easy to follow walk details, and we managed to knock one and a half hours off of Ryders time!

6/23/2010 - Ryder Cowan

Walked on June 17 2010. All okay except for an overgrown section of bridleway between waypoints 14 and 15 for about 200 yards. As a consequence, most users are making the obvious diversion a few feet to the north-west parallel to the line of the bridleway, through the adjacent grass field. The landowner clearly doesn't approve, but as the overgrown bridleway is not being trampled down the overgrowth is just getting worse, making it ever less likely that users will follow the correct line. A report has been made to Dorset County Council footpaths team.

4/11/2009 - Roy Davenport

OK 17th March 09 RD

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