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Best Picnic Spots in West Dorset

Let's get lost in a Dorset summer daze. We're dreaming of moments like these; clifftop wandering for the perfect picnic spot, nestling in a wildflower meadow with a book in hand and views to mesmerise. Picnics and panoramas, uncover our secret list of the best picnic spots in West Dorset.

Abbotsbury Hillfort

An Iron Age hill fort, Abbotsbury Castle enjoys an elevated position and boasts far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside. In a multi-toned palette of greens and blues that paint the horizon, clear days here reward picnickers with superb panormas, with glimpses of Fleet Lagoon, the Isle of Portland and the world-famous Chesil Beach – not bad for a drop of tea and a sandwich!

Chesil Beach
With ample space for you to settle down with a picnic, Chesil Beach’s 18 miles slip into the distance in a pebble and shingle sprawl. Extending all the way from West Bay to Portland, this iconic beach has inspired wordsmiths and wanderers for generations and is a must-visit if you are looking for somewhere atmospheric to sit down with a hamper and soak in the views. 

Colmer’s Hill
Characterised by its tree-topped pinnacle, Colmer’s Hill is an easily recognisable sight. Not far from Bridport, its modest summit bid is enough of a challenge to discourage lots of crowds but only a 30-minute hike to the top. From here, views of Symondsbury Estate and rolling countryside are all yours. If you are visiting in autumn, pack a few blankets and admire the burnt hues.

East Cliff, West Bay
Providing another point of view over the stunning West Bay and Chesil Beach below, East Cliff is also a great choice for a picnic. A golden façade topped with a soft, green carpet of grass, you can easily veer off from the footpath, throw out a blanket and tuck into a spread of local goodies as the views unfurl before you. If some of these scenes seem familiar, you may well recognise the cliffs from the popular ITV drama, Broadchurch.

Golden Cap
Enjoying the title of England’s only natural World Heritage Site and the highest point on the south coast of England at 191 meters above sea level, Golden Cap is the place to go. Showing off 365-degree views including snapshots of Lyme Regis, Portland, West Bay, Seatown and beyond on a fine day, this dramatically beautiful picnic spot may well distract you from your food.

Maiden Castle
One of the biggest and most complex Iron Age hillforts in Europe, Maiden Castle spans the size of an impressive 50 football pitches. Its large ramparts were predominantly built in the 1st century BC and were used to protect hundreds of residents who made their home amongst the verdant landscapes. These days, it’s a fascinating place to explore and plonk yourself down with a mug of hot chocolate, letting the immensity of the area’s history sink in.

Pilsdon Pen
Another of history-rich Dorset’s iron age forts, Pilsdon Pen was used by early settlers over 10,000 years ago. Standing at 277 meters, it provided clear views over the surrounding lands and it is these same views that attract many walkers today. Woven with trails and footpaths, you can retrace the steps of time and lap up the views of Marshwood Vale, Golden Cap and the sea before pulling out some delicious goodies and relaxing in the sunshine.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Dorset here.

 

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