Dorset Guidebooks

Dorset Guidebooks and Maps

Below, RambleFest displays Dorset guidebooks and maps, and provides the facility for buying them online.

The dominating chalk ridge of Dorset underpins the Dorset AONB’s landscape. It stretches in a broad band of downland from the Upper Axe Valley eastwards to the Stour Valley near Blandford Wikis and Forums. A southern arm circles Dorchester and extends to the Isle of Purbeck. The rural landscape varies from the ridges and valleys of central Dorset, through chalk ridges and limestone plateau to the sandy heaths and flats of Poole Harbour.
This AONB’s coast, including the famous Lulworth Cove and the great pebble barrier bank of Chesil Beach, is as notable for its complex chalk, limestone and sandstone geology and rich ecology as for its scenery.
The Purbeck Heritage Coast has a particular quality.
Rich in prehistoric sites and field patterns, Dorset AONB contains one the finest Iron Age forts in Europe: Maiden Castle.

Dorset Guidebooks

We display rambling books first, then various books of interest for those visiting the area. We welcome suggestions for inclusion.

Dorset Guidebook

Dorset Guidebook

“The Jurassic Coast of Devon and Dorset, stretching between Exeter and Bournemouth, is a geological wonderland. Natural wonders like Chesil Beach, Durdle Door and fossils so numerous you’ll be tripping over them, combine with southern England’s rolling Downs, tiny villages, beaches and sunny summers to provide a stunning and awe-inspiring landscape to explore. The 30 walks in this guide let walkers discover the best and most spectacular areas on the coast. The walks are between 5 and 25km (3 to 16 miles) and provide a range suitable for all abilities. The guide has been divided into areas: Devon’s Red Beds, the Lias, Chesil Beach, Chalk walks (Lulworth and inland) and the Isle of Purbeck. The geological descriptions are accompanied by strata diagrams, geological timelines, explanations of the creation of the various sedimentary rocks along the coast, and discussion of how and why the various formations formed millennia ago. The incredible – yet readable – detail brings these walks and the landscape alive. And yet, the routes can just as easily be walked for their own sake and the pleasure of rolling downs, high cliffs and beach sunshine. As well as detailed descriptions for every walk, accompanied by OS maps, there are details on available parking, points of interest along the way (on rocks and other sights) and advice on the terrain covered. The general and geological introductions provide background on the region and the appendices give thorough information on local museums and information centres, cliff diagrams, a glossary of geological terms and a quick, look-up guide to the rocks of the Jurassic Coast. More than just a walking guidebook, this book is an invitation to explore and learn about this spectacular Natural World Heritage area.”
– Walking the Jurassic Coast: Dorset and East Devon – The Walks, the Rocks, the Fossils (Cicerone Walking Guides)

Dorset Guidebook

Dorset Guidebook

“From Old Harry Rocks, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, all along the shore of the Jurassic Coast to Lyme Regis, via the glowing summit of Golden Cap and the one-eyed winking lighthouse at Portland Bill, Dorset is a walkers’ wonderland. The 40 routes in this book roam over hills and across heathland, go through forests and voluptuous valleys, trace ridgelines and precipitous cliffs, passing caves, castles, coves, country pubs and stunning viewpoints, to find vibrant villages and secret beaches. Here you’ll come face to-face with history, walk with the words of Thomas Hardy ringing in your ears, witness wondrous wildlife and encounter all manner of cottage industries, from community cake- and marmalade-makers to microbreweries bubbling away in back streets.”
– Dorset: 40 Coast and Country Walks

Dorset Guidebook

Dorset Guidebook

“This fourth book in the series provides twelve circular walks through some of Dorset’s most dramatic scenery. The book encompasses the best of what the county has to offer, introducing the walker to glorious coastline, historic hill forts, tucked away footpaths and idyllic villages. Taking in Dorset’s beautiful landscapes, this guide is aimed at those who seek thirst-quenching views and a good day out in the open air. The ‘drama’ is in the scenery so the walking isn’t necessarily strenuous and all the routes are clearly and accurately described. More than just a walking guide, each route includes details of local watering holes for refreshment, places to stay and nearby places of interest. Wildlife and history notes plus authors tips and suggestions are also included. A Dozen Dramatic Walks in Dorset will also appeal to photographers and birdwatchers who will find plenty of interest along these fabulous routes. The exceptional photography throughout the book tempts both visitor and resident to venture forth and share the authors love of Dorset s great outdoors.”
– A Dozen Dramatic Walks in Dorset

Dorset Maps

The Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure 1:25,000 scale map is available in standard quality (displayed) as well as the all-weather type. We also include other maps.

Click on an image below for more information on Dorset guidebooks and maps, and the option of buying online:


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