Colmers Hill & Shutes Lane, Symondsbury

One of Dorset’s most famous landmarks is ‘Colmers Hill’, many people will know of it by sight but not in name or what else it offers for a day out. From Millbrook Guest House in Swanage, it is approximately an hours drive away in the pretty village of Symondsbury which is very close to the market town of Bridport.

It can be clearly seen from the A35 Bridport Bypass, the main road from Dorchester to Honiton & Exeter. The steep hill stands alone over 400ft high and has a few trees perched on the top making it visible from miles around, and making it one of the best vantage points to see the Jurassic Coast and rolling Dorset countryside, including ‘Golden Cap’ which is just a few miles away and is the highest point of the entire South Coast at 191m.

Andy Farrar, a local award-winning photographer has a few different pictures of Colmers Hill which show its true beauty, this one with Colmers Hill shrouded in mist is one of our favourites.

To visit Colmers Hill you can park (for free) at the Symondsbury Estate Visitor Centre (DT6 6HG) which has a few nice shops and galleries, in fact, the scotch egg and quiche we had for lunch were probably the best we had ever eaten! There is a lovely pub there too, the ‘Ilchester Arms’ but it was closed seeing as we were visiting during COVID restrictions.

Our favourite part of this visit was the walkthrough Shutes Lane. This is a little known old track that eventually leads to North Chideock and has been a right of way for centuries and is special as it is mostly sunken, with sandstone walls 10 feet high on both sides with ‘graffiti’ and statues carved in from the past few hundred years. It really is like stepping back into time, or in fact, another world, it feels like a hobbit or elf should come and walk by! Take a look at the Symondsbury Estate website for a detailed description of the walk.

Finally, when its time to head back to Millbrook Guest House, make sure you take the scenic route, and drive the B3157 from Bridport, through Burton Bradstock, Abbotsbury and Portesham, the views are stunning of the Fleet, Chesil Beach and Portland, with plenty of places to stop and admire the views yourself.

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