Langdon Hill walk
Langdon Hill, Morecombelake, Dorset DT6 6EPRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
A circular woodland walk through Scots pine and larch with spectacular views and year-round wildlife highlights. In spring and summer, Langdon Hill is awash with flowers including bluebells and foxgloves. In autumn, take a look at the weird and wonderful fungi that pop up around the woods. Keep an eagle eye out for buzzards and ravens soaring overhead too.
- Bus stop
Start: Langdon Hill car park, grid ref: SY412930
From the car park, go through the gate signposted towards Golden Cap. Follow the main path around the side of the hill. The clearings on the left as you follow the track around give magnificent views over Chideock and the surrounding West Dorset countryside. The small coastal hamlet of Seatown lies where the River Winniford meets the coast and Thorncombe Beacon is clearly visible on the cliffs beyond.
Langdon Hill was open downland in the 19th century and the earliest maps show that the land was divided between two farms - Filcombe and Langdon. At the beginning of the walk, after about 330yds (300m) look out for the large bank and ditch that once divided the hill. The place name, Chideock, is pre-Saxon in origin and in 1086 the manor was owned directly by the king.
Take the second path that leads off the main track, and bear right along the narrower path. Continue on the path, which runs almost parallel below the main track. Over to the left, you can glimpse Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast at a towering 626ft (191m). It gets its colour (and name) from minerals in the rock that glisten a rusty-gold in the sunlight.
There are five Bronze Age burial mounds on the top of Golden Cap, dating back 4,000 years. Rather more recently, the Cap has been used for military purposes, probably as early as 1539. Two hundred years ago, a signal station was built to watch for invasion by Napolean's armies. After 1814, brick signal houses were constructed. Several excavations have been carried out on the burial mounds, in order to record valuable archaeological evidence before they are eventually lost to the sea due to coastal erosion.
Continue on this lower path until it naturally heads uphill to rejoin the main track. As you walk, look down into the fields below. This is a great place to spot farm birds like the lapwing, linnet and skylark.
When you reach the main track, bear left and follow the track back to the car park, pausing first to take a seat on the bench nearby and admire the view of the unspoilt Marshwood Vale, including the impressive Hardown Hill near Morecombelake.
Hardown Hill used to be quarried by local villagers to make the main road which runs through Chideock and Morecombelake. A group of mounds on the hilltop contained warrior burials dating to the early Saxon period 1,400 years ago.
End: Langdon Hill car park, grid ref: SY412930
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 1.4 miles (2.3km)
- Time: 30 to 40 minutes
- OS Map: Landranger 193
A circular walk following an old Forestry Commission path. This walk is wheelchair (gates require Radar key) and buggy friendly. It can get muddy in places. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, but please keep them on a lead near grazing livestock.
- How to get here:
By foot: The South West Coast Path passes just below Langdon Hill
By train: Nearest station is Axminster, 7 miles (11.3km)
By car: From Bridport and the east, drive through Chideock village on the A35 and at the top of the steep hill, take the next left into the narrow, unmarked lane. From the west, go through Morecombelake and after passing Felicity's Farm Shop, take the first turn right into the unmarked, easily missed lane. Take the first left and follow the signposted track into the National Trust car park
- National Trust car park and small play area at Langdon Hill
- Pub and toilets at Seatown
- Outdoor toilet and picnic benches at Filcombe Farmhouse, and various leaflets and local information available during office hours Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm
- Felicity's Farm Shop with small café, Moore's Biscuits shop and Post Office at Morecombelake
- Two pubs and village stores in Chideock village
- Contact us