The car parking is just off the A352 and gives a great view of the Cerne Giant. At 180 feet tall the Cerne Giant is Britain’s largest chalk hill figure.

Many theories surround the giant’s identity and origins: a likeness of the Greco-Roman hero Hercules – club in one hand and lion skin (now disappeared) in the other? A more recent theory is that it is a mockery of Oliver Cromwell; there is no record of the Giant before 1694. Local folklore has long held it to be an aid to fertility and it’s not difficult to make this link.

Above the Giant is a rectangular earthwork enclosure, known as the Trendle. Like the Giant, the Trendle is of unknown origin, but is believed to date back to the Iron Age. It is still used today by local Morris Dancers as a site for May Day celebrations.

The village of Cerne Abbas grew around a great Benedictine Abbey, which was founded in AD 987. The remains are worth visiting. There was a thriving brewing industry here and the village once boasted 15 pubs for a population of about 1500. There are considerably fewer now, but still plenty to choose from if you’re looking for refreshment.

The walk itself is easy and traverses the slope below the Giant with lovely views over the rolling Dorset countryside.

Download file for GPS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *