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Cerne Abbas Giant

Towering over the countryside and shrouded in mystery, Britain's largest chalk drawing is a curious and compelling destination.

The Cerne Abbas Giant is a huge drawing of unknown origins, carved with chalk into the hills above Dorset. At 180 feet (55 meters) high, the mysterious image depicting a club-wielding naked figure dominates the landscape of the area. Marvel at it from a distance or walk in the hills to inspect the landmark from a close vantage point.

Chalk hill figures are scattered throughout Britain, most often depicting white horses such as in Uffington, but no others are quite like the detailed Cerne Abbas Giant. It is widely believed to have been made in the 17th century as a mockery of Oliver Cromwell. Ask locals about it and you may hear other theories, such as its significance as a symbol of fertility or the idea that it represents Hercules.

Enjoy the best views of the giant from the parking lot in Cerne Abbas, where the whole outline is visible. Observe the details of the figure, from the surprised facial expression to the unmistakable genitalia, which make this particular drawing unique. Find a picnic area nearby.

Stroll through the hills beneath the drawing to see a variety of flowers and butterflies. Access to the giant itself is restricted to prevent erosion but the gentle paths are perfect for a picturesque walk on a sunny morning.

At the top of the hill sits the Trendle or Frying Pan, a rectangular settlement dating back to the Iron Age. Come here on May Day when Morris dancers welcome spring at dawn with traditional dances and celebrations.

After your visit, wander through attractive Cerne Abbas village, home to several sites of religious interest. Explore the remains of a Benedictine abbey and take a moment to reflect in the 14th-century St. Mary's Church. End your day in one of the village's historic public houses.

The village and the Cerne Abbas Giant are located 8 miles (13 kilometers) north of Dorchester's train stations and 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Maiden Newton. From here, follow the signposts for a short distance to the viewing area, which is free and open year-round.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 221 properties near Cerne Abbas Giant
The New Inn £100
The New Inn

The New Inn

     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Dorchester, this luxury inn is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Cerne Abbas Giant and within 9 miles (15 km) of Badger Watch Dorset and Roman Town House. The Keep Military Museum and Tutankhamun: The Exhibition are also within 9 miles (15 km).

    Little Thatch
    Little Thatch

    Little Thatch

       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Dorchester, this cottage is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Cerne Abbas Giant and within 9 miles (15 km) of Badger Watch Dorset and Roman Town House. The Keep Military Museum and Tutankhamun: The Exhibition are also within 9 miles (15 km).

      The Hunters Moon - Inn £75
      The Hunters Moon - Inn

      The Hunters Moon - Inn

         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Sherborne, this inn is within 9 miles (15 km) of Badger Watch Dorset, Cerne Abbas Giant and Sherborne Museum. Sherborne Castle and Sherborne Old Castle are also within 9 miles (15 km).

        George Albert Hotel and Spa £85
        George Albert Hotel and Spa

        George Albert Hotel and Spa

           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Dorchester, this spa hotel is 6 mi (9.7 km) from Cerne Abbas Giant and within 12 miles (20 km) of Mapperton Gardens and Badger Watch Dorset. Roman Town House and The Keep Military Museum are also within 12 miles (20 km).

          The Greyhound Inn £89
          The Greyhound Inn

          The Greyhound Inn

             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Dorchester, this inn is 3 mi (4.8 km) from Cerne Abbas Giant and within 12 miles (20 km) of Badger Watch Dorset and Roman Town House. The Keep Military Museum and Tutankhamun: The Exhibition are also within 12 miles (20 km).

            Peaceful Garden Annex in Pretty Dorset Downland Village
            Peaceful Garden Annex in Pretty Dorset Downland Village

            Peaceful Garden Annex in Pretty Dorset Downland Village

               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Dorchester, this resort is 3 mi (4.8 km) from Cerne Abbas Giant and within 9 miles (15 km) of The Keep Military Museum and Tutankhamun: The Exhibition. Borough Gardens and Roman Town House are also within 9 miles (15 km).

              The Brace of Pheasants - Inn £99
              The Brace of Pheasants - Inn

              The Brace of Pheasants - Inn

                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Dorchester, this inn is within 9 miles (15 km) of Badger Watch Dorset, Cerne Abbas Giant and Dorset Teddy Bear Museum. Terracotta Warriors Museum and Dinosaur Museum are also within 9 miles (15 km).

                The Granary and Teals Den at Carters Barn Farm
                The Granary and Teals Den at Carters Barn Farm

                The Granary and Teals Den at Carters Barn Farm

                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Set in Dorchester, this family-friendly cottage is within 6 mi (10 km) of Badger Watch Dorset, Dorset Teddy Bear Museum and Terracotta Warriors Museum. Dinosaur Museum and Tutankhamun: The Exhibition are also within 6 miles (10 km).