Fancy a walk this weekend? There's nothing quite as satisfying as a climbing a challenging hill to be rewarded with an incredible view. Fortunately, Dorset has a lot of incredible views. Here are some of our favourites.

All pictures embedded via Flickr sharing, click each one for more details

The one with the ancient civilisations: Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle (Dorset)

People have been living on Maiden Castle, near Dorchester, for almost 6,000 years, although it's the Iron Age settlement - the biggest hill fort in the UK - that is most obvious now. The hill is maintained by English Heritage, who don't charge for access. The lowest hill on the list at 134m. Picture by Michael Day, via Flickr. Click it for more details

The one with the views over Lulworth Cove: Bindon Hill

Bindon Hill is accessible from West Lulworth or along the South West Coastal Path from Lulworth Cove, but only when Lulworth Ranges are open. (see here for times) The hill itself is 168m high and offers incredible views along the coast, as this picture by Terry Yarrow via Flickr shows.

The highest point on the south coast: Golden Cap

View from Golden Cap

At 191m glorious Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast. It's a 40 minute walk to the top from nearby Seatown along National Trust paths and you're rewarded with some amazing views over Charmouth. Picture by Dave Walker on Flickr.

The one with the 360degree view: Creech Barrow Hill

Creech Barrow, Dorset: 360° Panorama

Creech Barrow Hill, near Corfe Castle, is one of Dorset's most distinctive landmarks, and if you climb its 193m you'll be standing at the highest point of the Dorset Heaths. Walk there from the car park at the top of Creech Hill (it's about a mile and a half each way) and you'll get this amazing panoramic view. Click the image to see it full size via John Lamper's Flickr page.

The one that's a Marilyn: Nine Barrow Down

Nine Barrow Down summit view

This 199m hill is one of Dorset's four Marilyns. You can't climb to the very top - the trig point has been moved to the side of the hill, but the view from the National Trust owned Purbeck Ridge is still spectactular. Walk from Corfe Castle (follow this route as far as the top of the hill, which is at point three). Picture via John Butler via Flickr.

The one with the amazing perspective of Corfe Castle: Swyre Head

Swyre Head view

Easily reached from Kingston or Kimmeridge, the summit of Swyre Head - the highest point of the Purbeck Hills at 208m high - gives you views over Clavell Tower, Corfe Castle, and on a really clear day, as far as Poole Harbour. Picture by Broads Marshman via Flickr.

The one with incredible view of Chesil Beach: Abbotsbury Hill

Abbotsbury, St Catherine's View 3

From the top of Abbotsbury Hill (215m) you get amazing views over St Catherine's Chapel and towards Chesil Beach. English Heritage maintain the chapel and the remains of Abbotsbury Castle: they also have a car park at the top of the hill but if you think that half the joy of the view is in the walk to the top, you can get there from the coastal path or by following the footpath up Wears Hill from Abbotsbury village. (Try here or here for suggested routes.) 

The one with the smugglers: Eggardon Hill

Dorset:  View from Eggardon Hill.

Owned by the National Trust, this hill is 252m high. A 2,500 year old hill fort, it's also the site of some great smuggling stories - in the 1800s Isaac Gulliver planted a stand of trees at the summit to act as a landmark for his smugglers' ships. The northern half of the hill is privately owned but the southern half belongs to the National Trust. Picture by Mike DT6 on Flickr.

The one that shows you don't need the sea for an amazing view: Bell Hill

Bell Hill

Bell Hill,near Blandford Forum, is one of Dorset's paragliding locations with amazing views over the Blackmore Vale. At 258m it's one of the highest points on the Wessex Ridgeway. Picture by Marilyn Peddle on Flickr.

The one with the view Hardy loved: Melbury Hill

The heights of Thomas Hardy country

Melbury Hill and beacon, just north of Shaftesbury, offers views over Fontmell and Melbury Downs, bought by the National Trust as a way of protecting the landscape immortalised by Thomas Hardy in his novels. 263m high, it's a bit of a climb but the panorama is impressive. There is a National Trust car park on the right at the top of Spread Eagle Hill. Picture by Sarfraz Hayat via Flickr.

The highest hill in Dorset: Lewesdon Hill

View to the sea

From this proud eminence on all sides round/The unbroken prospect opens to my view wrote William Crowe in 1788 of Dorset's county top. Lewesdon Hill, west of Beaminster, is the highest point in Dorset at 279m. It's surounded by woodland so the views are not uninterrupted, but we couldn't have a list of hills to climb without including it. It's National Trust owned and another of Dorset's hill forts so there's plenty to look at anyway - but on a good day you can see all the way to the sea. Picture by Caacrinolaas on Flickr.