Champernhayes woods are a beautiful working woodland in west dorset and can easily be accessed from either the A35 or B3165.
- Location: Latitude: 50.768629N Longitude: 2.916441W
- Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer 116 (ISBN 0-319-23536-X)
- Scale: 1:25 000
- Grid Reference: SY355969
- Walk Distance: Less than 2km (Allow an hour)
- Rating: Easy
- When to Go: Late April/Early May (for the Bluebells); Otherwise any summers day
Champernhayes Woods are managed by the forestry commission. Most of the old woods were replaced with pine during the 1960s, although the earthed banks are still lined with beautiful old beach trees and a few oaks. There is a small car park just off Champernhayes Lane. As always, don’t leave anything in your car that you don’t want to be stolen.
From the car park there are various tracks that take you off into the woods. Please refer to the map for exact routes. The woods are at their most beautiful at the end of April and beginning of May when the bluebells are out. It is also very pleasant to walk through the woods along Champernhayes Lane, but watch out for cars.
Things to do
Champernhayes Woods is a great place to have a picnic during the summer months. I would recommend the field on the western side of the road (the opposite side to the car park).
The resident wildlife includes numerous deer, Foxes, and also Badgers. Badgers and Foxes are often best viewed in the late evening or early morning.
You can get some great photographs of the Bluebells in late April and Early May. You are best advised to bring a tripod.
Other places to visit near by
The Iron age forts of Lambert’s and Coney’s castle lie a few kilometres east of Champernhayes woods and can easily be accessed by driving or walking through Fishpond Bottom. You could even try walking over the top of Lambert’s Castle and into Marshwood village to visit the Bottle Inn.
Other walks include:
- Coney’s Castle
- Champernhayes Woods
- Lambert’s Castle
- Langdon Wood and Golden Cap
- Morcombelake to Charmouth
- Pilsdon Pen
- The Met Office – Check out the weather for Chamerpnhayes Castle.