Approximately 6,000 steps
About 90 minutes
Watch out for all the rubbish on the verge – not much of a welcome. Dorset Council has plans to clear parts of the A31 of litter, fingers crossed they will get around to this part.
From the car park (a permit is required to park here) set off up a path that leads up a small hill following the purple sign with a buzzard on it. There is traffic noise from the A31. You will pass a concrete/stone design that is nice to climb over and there is a bench nearby. Parts of the heathland look barren due to tree removal. Follow the buzzard signs and you will come to a green open space with a standpipe. This is useful if you have a dog because you can fill the ‘chained’ pan with water for your thirsty pet.
The path we chose took us through woodland (which is fenced on one side) to some small ponds. Following the fence line we came to Avon Heath activity centre, car park, reptile centre, bird hide and playground. It was busy and there is a café. Lockdown rules have affected some facilities which were closed when we visited.
From there we once again picked up the buzzard trail and meandered through woodland, back on to the heath then up a grassy and fairly steep hill to return to the car park. There were some pretty cattle on our route that looked friendly. Dogs must be kept under control.
To obtain an annual parking permit (£30) and become a friend of Avon Heath call at the ranger office or email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01425 478082.
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