Visitor information
Opening hours
How to find us
Parking & prices
Facilities & access
Contact details

Opening hours

Wareham Forest is open all year round, dawn until dusk.

How to find us

How to find us
Coldharbour, Wareham, Dorest
Sat Nav Postcode: BH20 7PE
By Public Transport

Arriving by train: The nearest railway station is at Wareham (on the London Waterloo to Weymouth line). It is a half mile walk or cycle along the Northport Greenway into the Forest. You can take your bike on the train.

Arriving by bus: Wareham Railway Station bus stop. From Bournemouth take the M1 or M2 to Poole, then transfer to number 40 or X54. From Poole take the number 40 or X54. From Swanage take the number 30 or 40. From Weymouth take the number 30 or X54. It is a half mile walk or cycle along the Northport Greenway into the Forest.

OS Grid Ref
SY 906893

50.703262, -2.1344738

Parking and prices

There are no parking charges at Wareham Forest. We have car parks at Sika Trail, Woolsbarrow, Stroud Bridge and Sugar Hill which all lead into Wareham Forest.

Additional information

Number of accessible parking spaces: 3

Facilities and access

Assistant dogs welcome

Contact details

An ideal place to re-connect with nature

Wareham Forest is a special place, requiring special care. Throughout the winter, work will be taking place to restore bogs and wetlands across the Forest. These areas provide vital habitats for many creatures and support a wealth of rare and diverse plant life. They also play an important role in maintaining the health of the Forest and absorbing carbon.

The works are being carried out by local partners and are part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme overseen by Natural England.  

During this time, please take special care when visiting. There may be extra branches or other material on tracks and pathways, and large machinery will be operating and moving around the area. Please look out for special signage providing more information and guidance on diversions.

Wareham Forest is a great place to explore and discover the famous heaths and woods of the Dorset countryside.

Many miles of tracks take you through beautiful and ancient landscapes, where if you are lucky you’ll see some of its special wildlife. This area is home to lots of very special plants and animals. The cycle trail takes its names from the famous Sika deer and the walking trail is named after the rare ground-nesting birds, Woodlarks, who's lovely song you may hear on your walk.

Parts of Wareham Forest are grazed in a way that is sensitive to its plants and wildlife. This traditional practice is helping to create a varied habitat for wildlife. Please do not approach the cattle too closely and keep your dogs under close control and close gates behind you.

All the forests we look after have a forest plan which provides descriptions of the area and shows the process Forestry England goes through when deciding what is best for the woodlands in the long term. We aim to protect, improve and expand our forests through active management, so that we can protect our woodlands against pests and diseases, support our wood processing industries, maintain and improve the biodiversity of forests and make them attractive places for people to visit.

The Forest Plan for Wareham is due to be reviewed again very soon and we will welcome the opportunity to work with local people, neighbours and nature charities to frame the future landscape for Wareham Forest.

Further information about the current Forest  Plan

At a glance

Please give cattle a respectful distance
17/05/2022 13:53
Well behaved dogs are welcome
17/05/2022 13:54
Close the gates behind you
17/05/2022 13:52

Things to do

Cycling is a fantastic way to explore Wareham Forest and soak up the beautiful scenery.

Cycling is available on the forest roads at the site and our family-friendly routes guarantee an enjoyable day out for everyone!

Follow the blue waymarked posts on the ground. Look out for our info board with maps.

This trail has good surfaces and is suitable for most cycling abilities and there are some picnic benches available too!

Winter restoration work 2021

Throughout the winter work is taking place to look after bogs and wetlands across Wareham Forest. These areas provide vital habitats for many creatures and support rare plant life. They also play an important role in maintaining the health of the Forest and help to absorb carbon.

During this time, please take special care when visiting the Sika Trail as there may be extra branches or other material on the tracks, and large machinery will be operating and moving around the area. Please look out for special signs providing more information and guidance on diversions. 

Follow the waymarked posts around a loop which starts and finishes at the Sika Trail car park. 

This route has good surfaces and some gentle hills along the way.

Winter restoration work 2021

Throughout the winter work is taking place to look after bogs and wetlands across Wareham Forest. These areas provide vital habitats for many creatures, play an important role in maintaining the health of the Forest and help to absorb carbon.

During this time, please take special care when visiting. There may be extra branches or other material on tracks and pathways, and large machinery will be operating and moving around the area. Please look out for special signage providing more information and guidance on diversions. 

Nearby forests

Butterfly on leaf

Located five miles west of Wareham, Hethfelton Wood is a native broadleaf wood and is currently undergoing butterfly conservation efforts. 

Woman in woodland

Comprising of mainly coniferous trees, Moreton Forest is located to the west of Poole.

Explore the varied scenery on the interesting public trails that run through Moreton Forest.

We advise visitors, particularly dog walkers, to keep their dogs under close control at all times and keep a safe distance from the livestock that graze here.

sunlight through conifers along woodland path

Situated to the east of Puddletown, Affpuddle offers an interesting landscape of both forest and heathland as well as views across the Purbeck Hills.

Popular with local dog walkers, the forest can be explored on its open paths and bridleways. 

 

Families enjoying cycling in the forest

Moors Valley is a joint venture between Dorset Council and Forestry England and the work we do here goes beyond the remit of most visitor attractions, including countryside management and forestry. With over 800 acres, it's a large site to look after and we always aim to balance the needs of our visitors with those of the environment, whist still providing our visitors with a great day out.

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