Living an active lifestyle not only benefits our physical health but also nourishes our mental well-being. What better way to stay active than by venturing into the beautiful landscapes of South Somerset and Dorset? These idyllic regions offer a range of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore, exercise, and rejuvenate.
In this blog post, we’ll uncover some of the best places to keep active in South Somerset and Dorset for nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts alike.
1. Exmoor National Park
Nestled on the border of Somerset and Devon, Exmoor National Park is a captivating landscape characterised by rolling hills, dramatic valleys, and serene moorland. It offers an array of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, and wildlife spotting. The park features an extensive network of trails catering to various fitness levels, providing opportunities to explore its enchanting woodlands, ancient ruins, and picturesque rivers.
Exmoor National Park also hosts sporting events such as trail running races, mountain bike challenges, and endurance events like ultra-marathons, attracting participants from all over the country.
2. Ham Hill Country Park
Located in South Somerset, Ham Hill Country Park is a great place to get active while enjoying stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The park boasts extensive walking and cycling paths that wind through woodlands, wildflower meadows, and the historic Ham Hill Fort.
With designated picnic areas, a children’s play area, and a café, this park is perfect for families seeking a day out in nature. It also hosts local sports events, including charity runs, orienteering races, and even outdoor fitness boot camps, providing a range of options for fitness enthusiasts.
3. Montacute House and Gardens
Situated in South Somerset, Montacute House is a magnificent Elizabethan mansion surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. Owned by the National Trust, this historic site offers a serene setting for outdoor activities. Explore the extensive grounds, take a leisurely stroll through the formal gardens, or join a yoga class amidst the tranquil surroundings.
Montacute House occasionally hosts wellness retreats, outdoor fitness sessions, and charity runs, allowing visitors to combine physical activity with cultural and natural beauty.
4. Yeovil Country Park
Located near the town of Yeovil in South Somerset, Yeovil Country Park is a delightful green space ideal for staying active. The park features well-maintained walking and cycling trails that meander through woodlands, meadows, and around picturesque lakes. Take a leisurely walk, jog, or cycle, and embrace the tranquil ambience of the park.
Yeovil Country Park occasionally hosts local running events, making it an excellent spot for participating in organised races or simply enjoying a brisk workout amidst nature.
5. The Jurassic Coast
Stretching for 96 miles, the Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This stunning coastline is renowned for its breathtaking cliffs, hidden coves, and fossil-rich beaches. Spanning from East Devon to Dorset, it provides an abundance of opportunities for coastal walks, hiking, and trail running. With its dramatic cliffs, picturesque villages, and panoramic views of the English Channel, the Jurassic Coast is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
Fancy testing your endurance against the stunning backdrop of this unique destination? The Jurassic Coast also hosts various sports events, including coastal marathons, cycling races, and open-water swimming challenges.
6. New Forest National Park
Stretching across Hampshire and parts of Dorset, the New Forest National Park is a haven for outdoor activities and sports events. Its vast woodlands, heathlands, and meadows offer endless possibilities for running, cycling, horse riding, and wildlife spotting. The park’s extensive network of trails caters to all fitness levels, from leisurely family bike rides to challenging trail runs.
The New Forest hosts sporting events throughout the year. It is famous for cycling sportives, cross-country races, and endurance events, making it a thrilling destination for keeping active.
7. Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door
Located on the Jurassic Coast, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are iconic landmarks that offer a multitude of active pursuits. Embark on a coastal hike along the South West Coast Path, which leads you to awe-inspiring viewpoints overlooking these natural wonders.
If you’re up for a challenge, you can descend the steps to the beach and enjoy swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding in crystal-clear waters. The area also hosts swimming events, triathlons, and coastal trail races.
8. Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens
Located near the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens provides a unique setting for outdoor activities and events. The beautifully landscaped gardens offer tranquil walking paths, and the surrounding countryside provides opportunities for trail running and cycling.
The gardens occasionally host wellness retreats, outdoor fitness classes, and charity runs, allowing participants to combine exercise with the serene ambience of these subtropical landscapes.
9. North Dorset Trailway
Once a disused railway line, the North Dorset Trailway has been transformed into a picturesque multi-use path spanning approximately 14 miles. This trailway winds through the enchanting countryside of North Dorset and connects towns and villages such as Sturminster Newton, Blandford Forum, and Spetisbury. Offering a peaceful and idyllic route, the trailway is ideal for cycling, running, and leisurely walks amidst the region’s natural beauty.
With its gentle gradients and stunning rural vistas, the North Dorset Trailway provides a delightful escape into nature. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful stroll or an invigorating bike ride, this scenic railway offers the perfect opportunity to embrace the charm and tranquillity of North Dorset’s countryside.
10. Kingston Lacy Estate
Situated near Wimborne Minster in Dorset, the Kingston Lacy Estate is a vast country estate featuring beautiful gardens, parklands, and woodlands. The National Trust-owned estate offers a network of trails for walking, jogging, and cycling, allowing visitors to explore the picturesque landscape.
Fitness events like charity runs and orienteering races occasionally take place within the estate, providing a unique opportunity to combine exercise with the grandeur of this historic location.
Ready for a day out?
South Somerset and Dorset provide a remarkable tapestry of natural beauty, offering endless opportunities to stay active and embrace the outdoors. Whether you prefer coastal walks, hiking through national parks, exploring historic gardens, or participating in sports events, these regions have something to suit every taste and fitness level. So, put on your running shoes, hop on your bike, or dive into the invigorating waters, and embark on an adventure to discover the wonders of South Somerset and Dorset while staying active and energised.
At our clinics in Yeovil, Crewkerne, and Beaminster, we offer a wide range of services tailored to meet your diverse needs, including chiropractic care, aromatherapy, remedial and sports massages. Our primary objective is to support you in leading an active and healthy lifestyle, enabling you to enjoy a higher quality of life.
If you’re looking to stay active and maintain your overall well-being, our team is here to assist you. Whether you require guidance on enhancing your exercise routine, advice on injury prevention, or information on any of our services, we’re more than happy to help.
Contact us today to embark on your journey towards improved well-being.