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    Melbury Downs Circular Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    6.8 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    296 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Melbury Downs Circular Walk

    The Melbury Downs Circular Walk is a fantastic outdoor excursion in Dorset that will allow you to experience the undulating landscape that is characteristic of this part of England. While out walking the trail, you will make your way through open fields and traverse the rolling countryside while taking in the scenic views of the surrounding chalk hills. This is a lovely trail if you are looking to get out for a spot of exercise and enjoy a pleasant backdrop while doing so.

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    Route Description for Melbury Downs Circular Walk

    Walking the Melbury Downs Circular Trail will take you through some rolling hills, some of which are fairly steep. Be sure to wear proper walking boots and bring walking poles to help with stability while traversing the undulating terrain. Additionally, the terrain here can be quite wet and soggy after a good rainfall, so water-resistant shoes are also recommended depending on the conditions. There is also a good chance that you will encounter livestock along your walk, so try to keep your dog on a leash at all times.

    While it might not be located along the famous Jurassic Coast, the Melbury Downs Circular Walk will allow you to experience another of Dorset’s well known features, the chalk downs. These hills create a beautifully scenic rolling landscape that are excellent for exploring, so strap on your boots and get ready for a fun adventure in the southwest of England.

    Setting out from the trailhead, you will make your way to the northwest along the top of the hillside and enjoy the scenic views that extend out across the undulating landscape. After reaching the viewpoint atop Melbury Beacon, the trail will loop around and begin to take you down the steep terrain of the chalk downs in a southern direction.

    Eventually, you will make your way past a number of buildings, including a small church, before continuing on to the charming village of Compton Abbas. Turning to the southeast, you will begin to make your way up the steep hillside, where you will enjoy some more scenic views of the rolling hills. Here, the trail will bend to the northeast and lead you across the hilltop on the return to the car park where you started the Melbury Downs Circular Walk.

    Getting to the Melbury Downs Circular Walk Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Melbury Downs Circular Walk can be found at the car park along Spread Eagle Hill, just 4.2 km southeast of Shaftesbury.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


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