Exploring The Castleman Trailway

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The Castleman Trailway is part of the old Southampton to Dorchester railway line. The railway stopped running in 1964 when a more direct route was established.

Today the Castleman Trailway is a popular walking, horse riding and cycling route between Ringwood, on the Hampshire / Dorset border and Poole in Dorset. As you near Poole, the trail is also known as the National Cycle Network Route 25.

The trailway is by no means in a straight line, and true to the railway’s nickname, the Corkscrew line, you will follow twists and turns along the way.

Castleman Trailway bench

The Ordnance Survey map can be located here to view and print.

The majority of the route is off road and on a mainly flat level gravel surface. There is a section between Canford Bottom roundabout and The Willett Arms in Wimborne where there is no marked route, and this 2.5 mile stretch is mainly on the road.

Across the 16.5 mile trailway between Ringwood and Poole, there are many shorter distances you can walk, with some sporadic car parks, pubs and country parks along the way. 

Related Post – Woodland walks in Dorset

There is a distinct forest walk feel as you are walking along the trails. Even with dog walkers, cyclists and horse riders, there is a lovely peaceful feel to walking the trails.

With plenty of overhead trees, you can be shaded in plenty of areas even on warmer days, and slightly sheltered if you happen to get caught in the rain.

upgraded path on Castleman Trailway

History Of The Castleman Trailway

The Castleman Trailway is named after Charles Castleman. He was a Solicitor in Wimborne who was responsible for building the original railway line and the first to connect Dorset to the larger rail network.

Known as the Castleman Corkscrew, it took its name from its founder and the winding route it took. It was closed by Dr. Beeching in 1964, and is today managed by Dorset Council, BCP Council and Hampshire County Council.

Cannon Hill plantation sign

Castleman Trailway Walking And Cycling Route

Starting at the Ringwood end of the trail, the walk begins by passing Ringwood forest and Moors Valley Country Park before reaching Ashley Heath.

From Ashley Heath, the trailway continues to West Moors, and on through Cannon Hill and Uddens plantation.

Once in Wimborne, there is no off road trail, and the road has to be followed until the trail can be picked up again at The Willett Arms Pub.

bridge along the castleman trailway

From Wimborne, the trail winds through Broadstone and onto Upton Country Park. After this point, there are other trails that will offer walks around Holes Bay and into Poole town. The waymarkers are easy to spot with their green and yellow Castleman Trailway Logo.

You may also enjoy reading about the Stour Valley Way

Pub Walks Along The Castleman Trailway

There are a few pubs along the Castleman Trailway, perfect for planning your walks if you’re looking for a pit stop, drink or somewhere for a bite to eat.

Castleman Trailway at Ashley Heath

Moors Valley Country Park To West Moors Tap And Railway Pub

Parking at Moors Valley Country Park, follow the car access back to the main entrance and cross the road walking left. A few minutes along the main road you will come across a convenience store. The entrance to the Castleman Trailway is at the end of the car park.

Follow the trailway for almost three miles until you reach West Moors and arrive on the main road through the town. The Tap and Railway pub is a few minutes down the road to the right. 

bench along the castleman trailway

Tap and Railway Pub, West Moors To The Fox And Hounds Pub, Canford

Join the Castleman Trailway via Station Road. Facing the Tap and Railway pub, walk a minute or so to your right. Follow the trailway signs as you zigzag through the forest paths for around 6 miles. This route will take you across the A31 flyover and through Cannon Hill and Uddens plantation.

The Fox and Hounds pub is passable as you reach the road at the trailway exit in Canford Bottom. Parking is available at either end.

Read our review of the Fox and Hounds pub

Castleman Trailway signpost

The Willett Arms Pub To Upton Country Park

Join the Castleman Trailway at the top of the Willett Arms pub car park, one of the country pubs near Wimborne. Follow the route past Delph Woods, through Broadstone for around 2.5 miles towards Upton Country Park. There is a lovely tea room at Upton Country park to take advantage of and of course toilets.

Related post – Dog walks in Wimborne

Country Parks Along The Castleman Trailway

The trail links in with three of Dorset’s country parks, Moors Valley, Upton and Avon Heath. Each of these country parks can provide a day out in their own right, but perhaps incorporate a walk along a small section of the trailway as you visit the country parks.

Related Post – Country parks in Dorset

Castleman Trailway in Dorset

14 thoughts on “Exploring The Castleman Trailway”

  1. Fantastic page! Been meaning to try this trail out but didn’t have a clue where to start! This was so informative thank you! Can’t wait to get out on my bike 🙂

  2. I’ve done various bits of castlemans over the years but never knew the bit from west moors carrying on. Glad I can find it now thank you

  3. Have been trying to do the castleman trail for ages but I cannot find a correct decent map for cyclists. There are a couple of places where no bikes allowed but signs point in that direction. Please please can someone halp me as desperate to do this ride

  4. Can you walk from Ringwood along the castleman trailway the other way? Carrying on from Ringwood where I think there is a very decorative bridge

  5. Hello,

    Is the route from the Willett arms pushchair friendly? Thankyou

  6. I would love to know if there’s a map that shows the Castlemain? I frequently ride from the Willets to Upton (and love it!) but I get a little lost from Willets to Ringwood and the cycle paths seem to drop off. Please could you recommend something?


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