Lulworth Cove via Tyneham and Durdle Door Circular walk
Dramatic coastal scenery, Lulworth cove, hidden beaches, Durdle Door cliff arch, and a ghost town.
The Tyneham Loop of this walk leads through the Lulworth Army Firing Range, part of the Armoured Fighting Vehicles Gunnery School. It is open a) most weekends and b) school holidays (i.e. it's closed most weekdays and a few weekends). Check before travelling!
If closed, you can always do the Durdle Door Loop, and a short part of the Tyneham Loop above Lulworth Cove, to and from the Range boundary.
8 out of 10, with 6 ½ hours walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 13 ½ hours.
This is a beautiful and challenging coastal walk along Purbeck's Jurassic Coast. It takes int he iconic Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door (an arch), dramatic white cliff coastal scenery, and the WW2 abandoned and ruined village of Tyneham. The walk is a 'dog bone' shape, centred on Lulworth Cove. The 2 independent loops can be done on their own, and with a car, you can skip the strenuous link between them.
Public transport from Wool Station to Lulworth Cove is infrequent, seasonal, and changes every year! There is a link Route from Wool Station to Arish Mell (near the middle of the link between the 2 loops). This makes the walk independent of the seasonal bus service and/or taxis, while enabling variations of the walk, cutting out some of the steep ascents.
Warning: the Tyneham Loop, and the link from Lulworth Cove goes through the Lulworth Live Firing Ranges. Access is only permitted along the marked Range Walks and only at certain times (most weekends and assorted holiday periods). See below for exact dates.
Tyneham and Durdle Door Loops
The walk route is a dog-bone/figure-of-eight with the start at Lulworth Cove, the junction of the two loops. You can therefore walk just one of those loops, or walk them in a different order than the directions suggest, or even over two days (there are plenty of accommodation options in West Lulworth):
A link route between Wool station and the walk route at Arish Mell beach (in the middle of the Tyneham loop) has been described in both directions, so you can reduce your reliance on a bus or a taxi at start and finish and can also combine this route with parts of the full walk.
OS Explorer: OL15 (Purbeck & South Dorset)
Lulworth Cove bus stop, map reference SY 822 800, is 178 km south west of Charing Cross, 16m above sea level and in Dorset. Wool Station is on the Waterloo to Weymouth Main Line, with one train per hour (journey time 149 mins Mondays-Saturdays, 154 mins on Sundays). The following buses connect Wool Station to Lulworth Cove (ca. £2.00 each way): Purbeck Breezer 30 (late May-late Sep: daily, but weekdays only most of June); X54 (Oct-Mar: Mon-Fri, Apr-Sep: daily); 55 (summer weekends only, but daily during Dorset summer holidays).
Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take a train no later than 8.05 hours.
|Lunch and Tea||
Lulworth Cove Inn, Main Road, West Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5RQ (01929 400 333).
See the pdf for details.
Tyneham Village was evacuated at short notice by the army during WWII to prepare troops for D-Day, but the villagers were never allowed back. The village church, rows of cottages, the school (now a museum, free) and some ruined house remain. The sign on the church reads: Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.
Lulworth Cove, nearby Durdle Door (a cliff arch) and the dramatic white cliffs' coastal scenery are stunningly beautiful, and very popular and busy on sunny summer weekends.
Wool Station is 7 kilometres north of Lulworth Cove on the Waterloo to Weymouth Main Line. Trains are hourly. Journey time 149 mins Mondays-Saturdays, 154 mins on Sundays.
Wool Station to Lulworth Cove: bus or taxi
Updated : July 2023 (but bus fare as of 07/22). Check online before you go, as recently these bus services have changed every year! Check Traveline South West.
Wool has two pubs close to the station to await your train, and a local store that keeps long hours every day.
About 3 hours drive from London.
West Lulworth has a YHA youth hostel, a HF hotel, a campsite (mostly caravans, but they take tents), and B&Bs and Hotels.
|Lulworth Ranges Danger Area||
This is an army live firing range around Tyneham, just to the east of Lulworth Cove. It is only open at certain times. Access is allowed along marked Range Walks. They are shown on OS maps.
Lulworth Range Walks
The Range Walks are open
Latest updates : MOD : Lulworth Access Times
Lulworth Range walks and Tyneham Village Opening Times
Open every weekend with the exception of the following:
2023 11/12 March 2023 17/18 June 2023 23/24 September 2023 07/08 October 2023 18/19 November 2023
On completion of firing the gates to the walks are opened as near as possible to 16.30 on the Friday afternoon. Please note that this is dependent on completion of range clearance and weather. The gates will then remain open until 8.00 on the Monday morning.
In addition to the weekends they are open every day during the following times (all dates are inclusive):
2023 Easter: 01 to 16 April 2023 Bank Holiday: 29 April to 01 May 2023 Spring stand-down: 27 May to 04 June 2023 Summer stand-down: 27 July to 03 September 203 Christmas: 16 Dec 2023 to 01 January 2024
After the walk, please leave a comment, it really helps. Thanks!
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Traveline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk