East Man Walk in Purbeck, Dorset

Parish Council car park, Worth Matravers, Purbeck, Dorset

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Strip lynchets like these in Purbeck are found in ancient field systems © Will Wilkinson/National Trust

Strip lynchets like these in Purbeck are found in ancient field systems

The Square and Compass provides welcome refreshment at the end of the walk © Jon Bish/National Trust

The Square and Compass provides welcome refreshment at the end of the walk

Route overview

Invigorating walk among the cliffs and limestone grassland of the south Purbeck coast. Starts and finishes near one of the best loved pubs in Dorset.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

East Man Walk map
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Worth Matravers Parish Council Car park SY974777

  1. From car park head downhill along the road, left past the Square and Compass pub and then right down the track opposite to the gate and stile on the left. Enter field and bear right.

  2. Follow fence line to the corner, looking left to the strip lynchets, before heading diagonally down to the valley floor and continuing through the gateway. Follow the hedge line across the limestone grassland.

    Show/HideStrip lynchets

    Strip lynchets appear as parallel lines or terraces on hillsides and were formed by ancient farming techniques. Some people believe they were deliberately created to prevent erosion while others think they came about accidentally as a result of ploughing over a long period.

    Strip lynchets like these in Purbeck are found in ancient field systems © Will Wilkinson/National Trust
  3. As you approach a metal gate you will notice a wet area directly in front of you. This is the site of a natural spring. This area is best avoided by turning left, walking slightly up the slope around the trough and back down the other side to the metal gate.

  4. Pass through the metal gate and continue along the fence line looking across towards Winspit Quarry on the right. You may choose to extend your walk by heading down to this area before returning.

  5. On reaching the cliff fence, bear left and walk along the cliff, enjoying this invigorating view before turning left mid way along and heading to the summit of East Man hill.

  6. At the top, walk along the summit ridge either overlooking the coast or the grassland towards Seacombe before turning left towards a field gate.

  7. Pass through the gate and continue along the wall constructed from locally quarried Purbeck stone, looking towards The Square and Compass pub.

  8. At the end of the track in front of the houses turn left along the fence line and back to the original gate and stile you entered through in front of the Square and Compass.

    Show/HideThe Square and Compass

    The Square and Compass began life as an alehouse in the eighteenth century and has been run by the same family for more than 100 years. A favourite haunt of walkers and locals alike, it makes few concessions to the modern world and retains an old-fashioned serving hatch in place of a bar. Unusually for a pub, the Square and Compass has its own fossil museum featuring finds from the Jurassic Coast. There are regular live music sessions and food in the form of hot pies, pasties and snacks. The landlord makes his own cider on the premises.

    The Square and Compass provides welcome refreshment at the end of the walk © Jon Bish/National Trust

End: Square and Compass pub, Worth Martravers, SY974776

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: One and three quarter miles (3km)
  • Time: One hour
  • OS Map: Explorer OL15 (Purbeck)
  • Terrain:

    Grassland with some muddy loose stoned gateways. Short steep section. Livestock grazing in grassland areas at times - please keep dogs under close control on these occasions.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: Wilts and Dorset service 70 Swanage - Harmans Cross - Worth Matravers, request stop Worth Matravers Pond. From here walk back up hill bearing right past the Square and Compass Pub on the left until you reach a small track on the right, turn down here and enter field through stile.

    By car: A351 to Langton Matravers then B3069 and follow signs for Worth Matravers, parking in car park.

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