Opening times for 2 December 2023
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Free parking in A352 lay-by (not National Trust) with a viewing area and offers the best view of the giant. Suitable for coaches
Dogs are welcome, but please keep them on leads
The car park is on flat, level tarmac and has one designated accessible parking space. A viewing area is located in the car park and offers the best view of the giant. The giant itself is on a very steep slope along a mixture of grass and chalk surfaces. It can get very muddy after wet weather. Dogs should be on leads.
The car park is on flat, level tarmac and has one designated accessible parking space.
The giant itself is on a very steep slope along a mixture of grass and chalk surfaces. It can get very muddy after wet weather. To avoid damage and erosion, access to the giant is restricted
Sign-posted just off the A352, 8 miles north of Dorchester and 10 miles south of Sherbourne.
From the centre of Cerne Abbas village it is a gentle ¼ mile walk along a sign-posted footpath to the Cerne Giant viewing area.The Wessex Ridgeway passes 1 mile from the Cerne Giant and is linked by quiet roads and other footpaths. It is a long-distance trail running along ancient trackways from Marlborough in Wiltshire to Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast.
Maiden Newton train station 6 miles, Dorchester West train station and Dorchester South train station, both 8 miles away.
Bus service Damory Coaches 216 between Dorchester and Sherborne stops at the Cerne Giant viewing area and car park, and Cerne Abbas village. It runs on weekdays only.
National Cycle Network route 26 between Castle Cary and Dorchester, mainly on quiet roads with some traffic-free sections heading into Dorchester. From Dorchester it's 8 miles along a quiet, but rough and uneven road to Cerne Abbas.
An ancient naked figure sculpted into the hillside. At 180ft, it's Britain’s largest, and possibly best-known, chalk hill figure.
Many rare chalk downland plants and invertebrates thrive in this chalk grassland which is of national and European importance.
Take in the best view of the Giant
The best place to view the Giant is from the Giant’s View car park, or on the short walk up to the Giant’s feet. From different viewpoints, in different lights, the Giant can look starkly white or even be just a faint outline.
The Cerne Giant is an ancient naked figure sculpted into the chalk hillside above Cerne Abbas in Dorset. Standing at 180ft tall the Cerne Giant is Britain’s largest chalk hill figure and perhaps the best known.
Many theories have surrounded the giant’s identity and origins, including ancient symbol of spirituality, likeness of the Greco-Roman hero Hercules, mockery of Oliver Cromwell and fertility aid. In 2021, after extensive scientific analysis, National Trust archaeologists concluded the giant was probably first constructed in the late Saxon period.
Above the giant is a rectangular earthwork enclosure, known as the Trendle, which is believed to date back to the Iron Age. It is still used today by local Morris Dancers as a site for May Day celebrations. The chalk grassland where the giant lies is of national and European importance for the many rare chalk downland plants and invertebrates that thrive here. Try and spot a marsh fritillary butterfly in May, and look out for wildflowers in summer.
The giant was given to the National Trust in 1920. Part of conserving the giant means leaving it alone as much as possible – the chalk is replaced every decade or so, a process that takes days of work by National Trust rangers and volunteers. The more the ground is disturbed, the quicker the giant erodes away.