• Map and info • Route highlights • Where to stay • Bike hire
The author of Escape Routes, a guide to 60 rural cycle rides on the back roads of England, describes this Dorset circular route as probably his favourite.
Starting from Wareham or Corfe Castle in the beautiful Purbeck district on the south coast, the route takes you through stunning countryside, moorland, nature reserves, and charming Dorset villages.
Terrain: mostly flat; just one fairly gentle hill climb with spectacular views; an all-year-round route on quiet roads and lanes: no muddy off-road paths.
Distance: 13 miles (21 kms), which can be easily extended or shortened.
= Full screen view = Print map. Printing Tips Map Key
The town of Wareham
Wareham is a pleasant town to explore, with attractive old buildings, good pubs and the idyllic River Frome on its south side. Rowing boats, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and small motor boats can all be rented by the hour at Wareham Boat Hire.
This is the name of the village and the 1000-year-old castle ruins that dominate it. The castle is worth exploring, and a tasty lunch can be had in one of the village’s cafes or friendly pubs that date from medieval times.
Meadows and pastures with grazing cattle and sheep, a marshland nature reserve with 200+ species of birds, rugged open heathland with the Purbeck Hills as backdrop combine to make this a great cycle ride through some of England’s loveliest countryside.
Where to stay
Recommendations in Wareham include the 18th century Gold Court House B&B, in a quiet street near the river and the start of this ride, and the Priory Country House Hotel (expensive but worth it).
If you need to hire a bike, Corfe Castle village is your better starting point (See Local Bike Hire below). Choose from hotels, B&Bs or rentals here:
Local bike hire
Cyclexperience Ltd, Corfe Castle
Address: Norden Car Park, Corfe Castle, Dorset, BH205DW
tel: 01929 481606
See more circular cycle routes and tours
Photo credits: Corfe Castle image by Amanda Slater licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0