North Dorset Trailway Traffic-free Cycle Route

North Dorset Trailway Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The North Dorset Trailway is a 9 mile traffic-fee and stunning cycle route, built mostly on a disused railway. It links Sturminster Newton with Blandford Forum, and mostly follows the route of the old Somerset and Dorset Railway.

All photos by TessOfTheVale. Also visit her rather good site.

Surface on the North Dorset Trailway

The route is partially tarred, and where tarred is smooth. The bulk of the route is surfaced with self-compacting gravel, and can be somewhat bumpy in places.


You can use any kind of bicycle along the route. After rain, you will benefit from mudguards.


There are toilets at the start, then at the Old Shillingstone Station Café, and at the Railway Hotel in Blandford Forum.


Safety: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐⭐
Barriers: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐

Points of Interest

If you can, consider visiting Sherborne Castle. At Shillingstone station, work is progressing with a heritage railway.

Routes in Dorset


There are no barriers along this route, but there are some gates, and a few bollards. The bollards shouldn’t prevent a trike from getting through. The gates form a loose and quite wide chicane.

Forecast for the North Dorset Trailway

What the North Dorset Trailway looks like

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Getting there

The nearest train station is Sherborne, but there is no straightforward way of cycling to the start. Any route will inevitably involve at least some stretches of a fast A-road. Sadly, that means most people are reduced to getting to the start by driving.

See also  Middlewood Way Traffic-Free Cycle Route

More Routes

To find more routes, click this link.


DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.

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