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Start Point:
Ringwood, Hampshire

Finish Point: Poole

Total Distance: 26.5 km / 16.5 miles

Time Needed: 3 hours as a leisurely cycle ride

Districts Covered: Hampshire, Dorset (East Dorset & Poole)

Map Information: OS Explorer Maps OL22 and 195 Bournemouth & Purbeck

Linking trails and routes

trail icon

Castleman Trailway

The Castleman Trailway is one of Dorset's gentlest way-marked, walking, cycling and horse riding routes. This 16.5 mile (26.5 kilometres) trailway follows much of the old Southampton to Dorchester railway line. The trailway takes you through some of East Dorset's stunning landscape whilst also connecting a string of settlements between Ringwood and Poole.

Whether you are using the route for recreation or commuting to work, the Castleman Trailway offers a beautiful and practical route to take you where you want to go. As you travel along the trail you will pass some of the county's internationally important heathland, cross rivers and pass through forestry plantations.

The trailway also links with , Moors Valley Country Park and Upton Country Park.

The Trailway is named after Charles Castleman, a Wimborne Solicitor, who was responsible for building the original railway line and the first to connect Dorset to the wider rail network. The Southampton to Dorchester to railway line was nicknamed the Castleman Corkscrew, after its founder and the meandering route it took. It was closed by Dr. Beeching in 1964. However it had been a secondary route once a coastal main line had been established between Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole.

The Trailway is managed in partnership by Dorset Countryside, Borough of Poole and Hampshire County Council with support from other organisations. 

Finding your way

On the ground the route is marked with the Castleman Trailway Logo, a green steam locomotive framed within a yellow footprint. 
Castleman Trailway logo
The Trailway logo can be found at main entrances, on way marker posts and on street lampposts.

Within the Borough of Poole it is also identified as National Cycle Network Route 25.

At present there is no way marked cycle route through Wimborne (Canford Bottom Roundabout to the Willet Arms) although a riverside route can be taken by pedestrians. Horse riding is currently possible on the following sections of the trail - Ringwood to Westmoors Plantation and Ameysford (Uddens Plantation) to Stapehill. 

Trail Maps

Map 1 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Ringwood to Ashley Heath (PDF, 655kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 2 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Ashley Heath to West Moors (PDF, 664kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 3 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - West Moors to Ameysford (PDF, 626kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 4 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Ameysford to Stapehill (PDF, 706kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 5 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Stapehill to River Stour (PDF, 663kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 6 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - River Stour to Broadstone (PDF, 721kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 7 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Broadstone (PDF, 849kb) (opens in a new window)

Map 8 of 8 - Castleman Trailway - Broadstone to Upton Country Park (PDF, 779kb) (opens in a new window)

Castleman Trailway Overall Map 1980s (pdf, 421kb) (opens in a new window)

View our Interactive cycle maps pages to plan your route outside the Castleman Trailway boundary. 

Castleman Trailway - family cycle ride

Parking

  • Ashley Twinning - Grid reference: SU 139 049
  •  - via cycle lane Grid reference: SU 121 029
  • Moors Valley Country Park - Grid reference: SU 107 055
  • Cannon Hill plantation (Uddens Drive) - Grid reference: SU 049 013
  • Upton Country Park -  Grid reference: SY 993 930

Transport links

The trail can be accessed by train from Poole railway station via Cycle/pedestrian link. There are also a number of bus routes.

Disabled access

We aim to provide access for all. Please contact the Castleman Trailway Ranger if your require further details on your access needs.

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