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. its 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.
10 out of 10
Landranger 194 (Dorchester & Weymouth) and 195 (Bournemouth & Purbeck); Explorer OL15 (Purbeck & South Dorset)
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.
The longer Tyneham loop starts with a hill, with fine views of the coast before following the coast over dramatic cliffs. It then climbs a ridge above Tyneham with a 360° view of Purbeck. It then descends into the ghost village, which is worth exploring (church, museum), and climbs the other side of the valley to the cliff edge. It then follows the rollercoaster South West Coast Path (SWCP) back to Lulworth Cove, past a beach and more dramatic viewpoints. The abandoned and ruined coastal village of Tyneham was evacuated at very short notice in December 1943 at the behest of the War Office to prepare troops for D-Day. The inhabitants were never allowed to return. The village is now a picturesque ruin.
The shorter, gentler Durdle Door loop follows the SWCP west along cliffs to Durdle Door (an arch) and down to a nice beach. The return is slightly inland, on a higher path (with less ups and downs) over open grassland, with fine views of the coast.
The link between the 2 loops has dramatic coast views, but also 2 strenuous ascents and descents in each direction!
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 buses 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):
Wool Station link
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.
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).
You then - after a long train journey - have to connect with a bus or walk (8 km each way ) to the coast on an already long walk.
Bus services are much improved in 2019. 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). For more details see below.
Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take a train no later than 8.05 hours.
|Lunch and Tea||
See the pdf for details.
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 2019. Check online, 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.
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
The Lulworth Range walks and Tyneham Villages are:
Open to the public every weekend with the exception of the following:
2021 18 / 19 September 2021 02 / 03 October 2021 06 / 07 November 2021 2022 19 / 20 February 2022 12 / 13 March 2022 25 / 26 June 2022 24 / 25 September 2022 08 / 09 October 2022 05 / 06 November 2022
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 (similar to school holidays); all dates are inclusive:
2021 Summer stand-down 28th July – 31st August 2021 Christmas 18th December 2021 – 03rd January 2022 2022 Easter: 9 to 24 April 2022 Spring stand-down: 28 May to 5 June 2022 Summer stand-down: 29 July to 31 Aug 2022 Christmas: 17 Dec 2022 to 2 Jan 2023
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (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