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 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 County Council, 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.
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.
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.
- Ashley Twinning - Grid reference: SU 139 049
- Avon Heath Country Park - via cycle lane - Grid reference: SU 121 029
- Moors Valley Country Park - Grid reference: SU 107 055 / Postcode: BH24 2ET
- Cannon Hill plantation (Uddens Drive) - Grid reference: SU 049 013
- Upton Country Park - Grid reference: SY 993 930 / Postcode: BH22 7BJ
- Ferndown Forest Golf Club (opens in a new window)- Postcode: BH22 9PH
We aim to provide access for all. Please contact the Castleman Trailway Ranger if your require further details on your access needs.
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