The ultimate guide to West Dorset’s bluebell woods

12 October 2021West Dorset Tourism

For just a few weeks of the year, between mid-April and the end of May, many areas of Dorset woodland undergo a dramatic transformation with the emergence of bluebells. The carpet of colour is a breath-taking sight to see and makes for some fantastic photo opportunities and springtime walks through some of the county’s most untouched and beautiful countryside locations. Here we walk you through the very best bluebell woods in West Dorset, including some hidden gems you will likely not have discovered before.

Explore our interactive map showing some of the best bluebell woods in West Dorset, alongside our holiday parks for reference.


Charmouth Forest, Chideock, Bridport DT6 6DF

Known locally as Charmouth Forest, you’d be surprised to discover that this area of woodland is actually not in Charmouth at all, but a few miles North, next to a small village called Wootton Fitzpaine, hence their alternative name of Wootton Hill or Champerhayes Woods. Bluebells can be found here in the lower section of the woods amongst the beech trees and a circular walking route provides lovely sea views. Children have built a number of dens out of sticks and some of the trees are fantastic for climbing.

Parking: 2 car parks available.

 

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Colmer’s Hill, Symondsbury, Bridport DT6 6HF

Colmer’s Hill is one of the most iconic hills in Dorset, distinctly shaped and visible for miles. It’s a steep climb to the top but you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views in all directions. The south-facing side is where you’ll find the bluebells, and there are walks over the nearby Eype Down which look over this famous landmark. Sheep do graze on the hill so please remember to keep dogs on leads.

Parking: Free at Symondsbury Estate

 

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Coney’s Castle Hill Fort, Marshwood Vale, Long Lane, Bridport

This Iron Age hill fort is managed by the National Trust and is less than a mile away from the popular Lambert’s Castle. Despite having no remaining castles on site any more, you can feel the history of the places and it is easy to explore both in the same day.

Parking: Free for National Trust Members, a charge for non-members

 

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Delcombe Wood, Blandford, DT11 0HQ

Delcombe Wood is mostly privately owned but does have some limited public access. The drive along the road from Bulbarrow to Milton Abbas can be spectacular, with carpets of bluebells mixed in with wild garlic.


Hardys Cottage in Thorncombe Wood, Dorchester DT2 8QJ

Thomas Hardy’s Cottage, in the hamlet of Higher Brockhmpton, near Dorchester, sits on the edge of Thorncombe Woods. With popular mountain bike trails, this is also a great location to walk amongst the bluebells in the spring. The ancient woodland and heath area covers 26 hectares and is split up by a roman road running through it. In such a scenic location, it is not hard to imagine how several of Hardy’s novels and poems were inspired by the area directly surrounding his cottage.

Parking: £1 for 2 hours or £3 All Day

 

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Hooke Park, Hooke, Beaminster DT8 3PH

Hooke Park houses the Architectural Association’s Dorset-based school and its network of paths take you on a tour of a number of fascinating sculptures created by the students there. The 142 hectare area of woodland also gives rise to beautiful carpets of bluebells each spring.

Parking: Free but limited spaces

 

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Langdon Woods, Chideock, Bridport DT6 6SF

Langdon Woods, above Chideock, is a popular spot for dog-walkers and has an easy, 1.5 mile circular walk through the pine forest with a small children’s play area. The trail will allow you to spot an abundance of wildlife all year round as well as lots of bluebells when the time is right. It’s not far from the trail to get up to Golden Cap, the highest point on the South Coast of England, where you will get fantastic views across the Jurassic Coast.

Parking: National Trust car park

 

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Lewesdon Hill, Beaminster DT8 3JZ

The highest point in Dorset, Lewesdon Hill is an ancient hill fort which is covered in mature woodland. The views are therefore somewhat limited to certain spots, but the glimpses through the trees of Dorset, Devon and Somerset are worth the hike to the top. You’ll find a dense carpet of bluebells here in spring, some amazing fungi in the autumn, and numerous homemade swings hanging from the trees.

Parking: Limited but you can also walk up from the nearby village of Broadwindsor 1 mile away

 

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Minterne Seat Coppice, Dorchester DT2 7AY

This small woodland is privately owned – a good view of the bluebells can be seen from the roadside, however in the past the owners have allowed limited public assess to view them when they are in season.

 

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Powerstock Common Nature Reserve, Dorchester DT2 0EJ

Powerstock Common is a 112 hectare nature reserve run by the Dorset Wildlife Trust consisting of wet and dry grassland, scrub, woodland, ponds and small copses along a disused railway line. A long list of rare and protected wildlife species call the reserve home and during spring you’ll see wild daffodil and early purple orchid as well as bluebells.

Parking: small car park with limited spaces

 

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We hope you have enjoyed our guide to bluebell woods in West Dorset, please remember to stick to paths, keep dogs on leads or under control, take your litter home with you, follow the Countryside Code at all times and ensure you park in the designated places.

Remember, we host an annual photography competition for guests staying at our parks, so if you take some great snaps, we’d love to see them, and you could even win £250 off your next stay with us!

 

West Dorset Leisure Holidays

West Dorset Leisure Holidays are a family run group of 5 holiday parks on or near the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. The parks offer excellent accommodation and facilities and each of them is unique. Accommodation includes lodgescaravansglamping and pitches for touring & camping.

Facilities include Martin’s Bar & RestaurantHighlands End Leisure Club, the Little Fire Station Soft Play and park nature trails. The parks are family friendly, dog friendly and are situated in beautiful coastal and countryside locations with a great range of places to visit and things to do nearby. We have caravan and lodge holiday homes for sale across all 5 parks. Find out more here, or check availability and make a booking.

What our guests say

  • Very peaceful Park

    The wildlife is stunning, we were visited by the ducks on a regular basis which was lovely. Our visit was very enjoyable and we will definitely be back in the future!

    Sarah W - Pitch Up
    Sandyholme

  • 5 out of 5 isn't enough!

    This is simply our favorite touring park along the south coast. The location couldn't be better with views to die for and an abundance of fresh sea air. The park is spic and span and extremely well kept with very friendly staff.

    Big Caravan Adventures - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • Best holiday ever!

    This is by far the best Holiday Park I have been to. The views are breath taking with easy access to the beach and nice coastal walks to West Bay. If you're looking for a relaxing holiday in a stunning location, then this is the place to come.

    Alison D - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • Fantastic holiday once again

    We have been coming here now every year for about 10 years. Its our favourite place and the Park has everything we need.

    Andy M - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • A little bit of heaven!

    Golden Cap is a little bit of heaven. The views are awesome, right next to the sea. It's all relaxed and low key just how we like it.

    Esther Woodhouse - Facebook
    Golden Cap

  • Idyllic setting

    Quiet site in a beautiful setting with exceptionally clean toilets and showers

    Anthony M - Pitch Up
    Graston Copse

  • Would definitely recommend

    Close to beach, a nice local pub, dog friendly and a very relaxed atmosphere.

    Dan M - Pitch Up
    Golden Cap

  • A tour of Dorset!

    An excellent Park as a base to visit the Dorset coast, Jurassic Coast, Chesil Beach, Lyme Regis, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, to name a few.

    Arthur D - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse

  • Fantastic Park

    10 out of 10 is not enough for this Holiday Park. We have been here 3 times and we love it more and more every time. The park has all you need, with some pitches overlooking the sea and a great restaurant.

    Shirley Thompson - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • A hidden gem

    The location is amazing, right on the beach and all the facilities are good. It's a hidden gem this one, one of the best parks in the country

    Mark Tee - Tripadvisor
    Golden Cap

  • Lovely tranquil campsite

    The location was great as we could easily walk to the village or local beaches through the beautiful countryside. I would recommend this campsite to families for a peaceful and safe stay.

    Sarah - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse