Dorset Royal Chase

Take our latest walking adventure and wind a trail through North Dorset.
Hand crafted using local knowledge you will journey inn to inn style from the very heart of Dorset’s Cranborne Chase (a former royal hunting ground) to the county town of Cranborne and beyond.

Kings once came to the beautiful Cranborne Chase to hunt. Today it is little inhabited giving it a peaceful feel as you explore picturesque villages of flint and red brick thatched cottages in an area that is England’s sixth largest area of outstanding natural beauty.

This new four night trail has been created to help guests explore South West England’s Cranborne Chase. England’s sixth largest area of outstanding natural beauty, it catches areas of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire, with this particular trail focusing on Dorset.

North Dorset is an unspoiled area. With a rich human history that stretches back to the times of our earliest ancestors in the neolithic period, the trails take you past ancient burial mounds and earthworks. Whilst history lovers will enjoy the stories there is plenty for nature and beauty lovers too.

The rolling chalk downlands on the trail are home to many wild flower and butterfly species. The ancient woodlands are home to foxes, deer, badgers and birds. Rare Orchids can be found and the views stretch for miles.

The villages encountered on route lie off the typical tourist trails, giving a more authentic experience. Stop for lunch at a farm cafe. Enjoy sandwiches and a real ale at our handpicked country pubs. And stay in two Dorset country inns. The first dates from the 17th century, and is in a gorgeous Dorset village in the heart of the Cranborne Chase. There is fresh seasonal produce and comfortable bedrooms with a local bar. The second is over 500 years old. Full of character and charm the food is all largely sourced from within a 30 mile radius, enabling you to taste the produce of Dorset.

This area of North Dorset has an ancient feel. A peaceful beauty. A fascinating history. Follow in the footsteps of Kings – Henry VIII, King Richard and King James and take our newest Foot Trail, Dorset Royal Chase.

Walking tailored to suit you!

Walking Dorset off the beaten track.

The Dorset Royal Chase is a linear (one-way!) four or five night trail that leads from one country inn to another. You’ll spend two nights at each location on route.

Daily trails vary in lengths from 7 to 12 miles (12km to 20km).

4 or 5 night itineraries are available. All luggage transfers during your holiday are included so you can enjoy a car-free break (just you and your feet!) and walk with just a light day sac. Arrive by public transport (we will advise you of your nearest train station and help you transfer to your first country inn) or bring your car to the start (we can organise a transfer to collect your car at the end of your holiday).

Trail highlights include:

• See ancient burial mounds and earthworks from our earliest ancestors, in the Neolithic period, around 10,000 years ago.
• Explore picturesque Dorset villages which lie off the beaten track, with their flint and red brick thatched cottages. Discover the stories of their interesting pasts.
• Follow ancient track ways.
• Enjoy spectacular nature on Dorset’s chalk downlands including wild flowers and butterflies, deer and foxes.
• Soak up peaceful and atmospheric spots, relax.
• Be amazed by the beauty of Cranborne Chase, former royal hunting ground visited by Henry VIII, King Richard and King James.

For a FREE detailed example itinerary, simply pop your details in the form (to the right).

Getting here...

Getting here is easy, your trail usually begins near Shaftesbury in Dorset.

It’s about a 2 hour car journey from London, 1.5 hours from Bristol.

For a truly car-free option the nearest train station is at Tisbury, Wiltshire. (We will advise when your itinerary is confirmed) Transfer from the station to your inn is about 25 minutes.

For overseas guests the nearest airport is at Bristol or Southampton. London Heathrow is also easy to get to. Convenient Airport transfers can be arranged with a chauffeured car, just ask.

Authentic country inns

All Foot Trails holidays offer a choice of both superior and rustic country inns. Hand-picked, tried and tested and much loved by our guests.

On Dorset Royal Chase inn to inn trail you will enjoy a different country inn every two days, giving you the opportunity to explore where you are before moving on, build in rest days and of course enjoy the comfort of the inn.

Each inn has been chosen for its character, lovely bedrooms, village location and good food. All your bedrooms will be en-suite with your own facilities to make a hot drink.

On the Dorset Royal Chase you will stay each night in both a 16th and 17th century thatched Dorset country inns. Both are set in beautiful villages with ancient churches. One has an impressive manor house and village shop – perfect for stocking up on supplies or a newspaper during your holiday.

Prices & Availability

4 and 5 night holidays available from 01 March to 31 October. These can be ‘car-free’ holidays.

Your holiday will be planned for you to your dates and for how long you wish to stay. There are no fixed scheduled dates.

Prices start from:

£495 per person* based on two sharing for 4 nights

*Based on two sharing, staying on a bed & breakfast basis. Includes all luggage transfers & transport during your holiday.


• Independent (self guided) walking days tailored to the season • Tailored walk and explore pack • Local Ordnance Survey™ maps (waterproof) • Trail guide cards (waterproof one for each day with easy to follow instructions) • Local stories and histories • Recommended lunchtime stops at country pubs and cafes • Nature cards for identifying wild flowers, trees and animals • Seasonal nature guide book • Sweets (for a boost on route) • Your en-suite accommodation • Breakfasts • One bottle of wine • A decade of expertise and know-how • Inn to Inn luggage transfers • Drop off services when it makes a walk better.

How to book?

Just get in touch to let us know your preferred dates and we will look after the rest. You can call us on +44 (0) 1747 820626 or use the form to your right to send a message or request an itinerary.

You will receive a full and detailed itinerary with price quote before you book.

Thank you, we had a really lovely walking holiday.
Relaxing, refreshing, rejuvenating, interesting, FUN.
We had a truly wonderful time!
Sheri and Steve – USA

Just to let you know that we successfully completed our walking holiday last Friday week.
It was a great holiday and certainly exceeded our expectations. Thank you so much for the wonderful service you provided.
We have posted back to you today the printed material that you supplied to us.
Don’t be surprised if we contact you in a year or so for another walking adventure.
Thanks once again.
Malcolm and Rosemary, Australia

The combination of quality Inns, great food, friendly welcoming service and the opportunity to revel in the great outdoors and take in the many fantastic views. For those who do not normally engage in walking activities the achievement of completing wonderfully peaceful routes and the return to quality Inns where you can pamper yourself.

How do I find my way?

Trails are devised using our local knowledge and rigorously tested and checked. Find your way using either the easy to follow trail cards if you prefer not to map read, or the local Ordnance survey maps provided. Or a combination of both. For peace of mind an on call service is provided every day including weekends between 8am and 6pm.

Where will I be walking?

Your walks are on public rights of way and a mixture of paths, tracks and trails through woodland, on farm land, village country lanes and countryside. Most walking is away from roads. Everything you need will be provided in your walk and explore pack.

For a more fully detailed example itinerary for this holiday, simply pop your details in the form to the right.

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Like to find out more?

Call us on +44 (0) 1747 820 626 or complete the form below...

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