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How can a bunch of trees on a hill be so fascinating and inspire so many local artists and photographers to try to capture its essence? Whether you have stayed in Dorset, passed through on a long journey or you live locally, we’re sure this iconic hill will have caught your attention.
SO, what is it about Colmers Hill? Is it the shape of the hill? The outline of the trees? No. It is a feeling. Colmer’s is time. Colmer’s is beauty. Colmer’s is continuity. Most of all, Colmer’s Hill is home… even if you’re just passing through. We’ve put together this useful guide to Comer’s Hill to help you experience its magic for yourself, whether that’s on two legs, through the lens of a camera or by the stroke of a paintbrush.
Where is Colmer’s Hill?
One of the most recognisable scenes in the West Dorset landscape, this iconic conical-shaped hill rises 417 feet above the village of Symondsbury on the edge of Bridport. As you drive along the A35, or walk down South Street in Bridport, you will catch a glimpse of Colmer’s Hill, often referred to as the ‘Watchman of West Dorset’.
History of Colmer's Hill
The hill originally took its name from 'Colmer Tenement' back in the 17th century. Owned by the Colfox family, it has been part of Symondsbury Estate for over one hundred years and is open to the public with a permissive path up to the top. During the First World War, the woodman to the Colfox family, John Sprake, planted Caledonian Pine on the hill, and more recently, the family have added Monterey Pine which together gives the iconic silhouette so loved by photographers and walkers.
Colmer’s Hill for walkers
Colmer’s Hill Walk from Symondsbury Estate
Take the short walk 30 – a 40-minute walk from the Symondsbury Estate car park to the top where you will be greeted by panoramic vistas out to the sea and across the idyllic villages and the rolling hills of Dorset. At the summit, you will also find a trig point which offers a great spot for gathering around to take photos. You can take the shorter path back to the estate where you can have a browse in the shops and have a bite to eat in the Symondsbury Kitchen. Dogs on leads are welcome.
Colmer’s Hill to Golden Cap
From one stunning summit to another. This beautiful walk starts at Colmer’s Hill in Symondsbury and heads towards the coast, taking the in-land drovers’ route and through the ancient Dorset Holloways before climbing to the highest point on England’s south coast, Golden Cap. The route is approximately 6 miles in length, so you’ll be ready to tuck into a portion of fish and chips from a nearby pub and enjoy the views across Lyme Bay.
Colmer's Hill for photographers
Colmer’s is at its most beautiful in late Autumn when the bracken on one side changes to gold. The light constantly changes the appearance of the hill and it is often surrounded by an early morning mist so it’s definitely worth getting there early.
Colmer's Hill for art lovers
Local artist Hilary Buckley has produced copious versions of Colmer’s with many available to buy as prints. Our favourite is Art Deco inspired 'Patterns of Colmer’s Hill'. Her work can often be seen showcased at local exhibitions and art fairs – take a look at where she’ll be during your visit to Dorset.
Would you like to see more of Dorset’s famous landmarks? Check out these things to do in Dorset to help plan your holiday in Dorset.
Where to stay near Colmer’s Hill
In terms of location in relation to Colmers Hill, it doesn’t get better than this. Set against the backdrop of the iconic hill, you can walk to the top from the doorstep of this charming stone cottage. With the local pub approximately 200 meters from the front door and gorgeous south-facing garden to enjoy the views from, Shutes farm is a fabulous base from which to discover the magic of Colmers Hill and the rest of Dorset.
Approximately 2.5 miles from Colmer’s Hill, this chocolate box cottage is nestled within the charming village of Chideock. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and the character of the village, it’s a beautiful base for a family or group of friends looking to explore the Dorset Coast and countryside. With the village pubs just meters away and an abundance of walks on your doorstep, we’re confident you will fall in love with Chideock.
Badgers, Salwayash: sleeps 4
Less than 5 miles further inland from Colmers Hill this cosy barn conversion offers a couple or small family and peaceful retreat in the heart of the Dorset countryside. With views across a wild valley and a short 400-meter walk to the village pub, it really does offer a typical break in the countryside with all the charm and peace you would expect. Just 5 miles from the beaches of West Bay, you can enjoy the best of both worlds here.
Would you like to see more cottages near Colmer's hill? We have a selection of self-catering holiday accommodation from where you can easily visit Colmer's Hill and the Symondsbury Estate. Both the Bridport and Lyme Regis areas to the west of Dorset offer the ideal base to stay and visit not only this enchanting piece of the countryside but also the stunning Jurassic Coast.