Lulworth Cove via Tyneham and Durdle Door Circular walk

Dramatic coastal scenery, Lulworth cove, hidden beaches, Durdle Door cliff arch, and a ghost town.


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Sat, 08-Jul-17 Saturday Walk - South West Trains Spring Offer – Lulworth Cove Circular [Early Start] [Long Journey] [Strenuous Walk] [Swimming Walk] 16 overcast turning sunny and hot
Sat, 08-Jul-17
Saturday Walk - South West Trains Spring Offer – Lulworth Cove Circular [Early Start] [Long Journey] [Strenuous Walk] [Swimming Walk]
Length: 24.0 km (14.9 mi) [for easy options to shorten the walk: see below text or the webpage or pdf]
Ascent/Descent: approx. 1100m; Net Walking Time: about 7 hrs for the full walk
Toughness: 10/10
Take the 08.05 Weymouth train from Waterloo (CJ 08.12), arrives Wool at 10.34.
From Wool take Bus 104 run by Damory Coaches, dep. 10.48, arrives Lulworth Cove 11.08; although with some luck you can still catch a delayed Bus X55 (First Buses), dep. 10.31, arr. 10.44.
Return buses: 16.25 to Wool, arr. 16.38 (line X55) and 17.11 to Wool, arr. 17.30 (line Breezer 30, run by More Bus); 17.35 to Weymouth, arr. 18.16 (line Breezer 30). After that it’s taxis, I’m afraid! See phone numbers on the webpage. Return trains from Wool are: 16.45, 17.22, 17.45, 18.45, 19.45, then 20.34 and 21.34 (the latter is a very slow service though).
Buy £13 Singles to Wool but from Weymouth, to be covered for all the return buses.

This is supposed to be a very beautiful and dramatic coastal walk, which takes in the iconic Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door (an arch), Purbeck's dramatic coastal scenery, and the abandoned coastal village of Tyneham. The walk is a 'dog bone' shape, centred on Lulworth Cove by the Castle Inn (lunch pub).
While written directions are few and far between (so that this is essentially a map-led walk), steep ascents are aplenty (just look at the height profile near the bottom of this page here).
As you can see from the route map here, some of it consists of out-and-backs to outlying tops though, i.e.: those can be spared.
The easterly loop is supposedly tougher, so let’s start with that, and see whether we have time and stamina left to do the westerly loop as well.

Lunch: Lulworth Cove Inn (food all day).
Tea: Ship Inn in Wool (open all day, food all day).
For walk directions, map, height profile, some photos, and gpx/kml files click here.T=swc.54
  • 04-Jul-17

    While I have not done this particular route, I have done (a few times) its sister walk which shares the same amazing stretch of coast. It really is very stunning -- cliffs soaring high and swooping low -- definitely one of my favorite coastal stretches with great swimming as an optional extra -- well worth the effort both in terms of walk, early start and long journey. With this routing, I would suggest bringing picnics to enjoy your time near Tyneham/Worbarrow Bay (great swimming).... Also, do not worry too much about the lack of written words....we will find our way back...

  • 05-Jul-17

    I might finish the walk in Weymouth, ticket price the same and better train connection at the end, if anyone interested.

  • Anonymous

    This IS a beautiful stretch of coastline and Durdle Door is a real highlight! If I wasn't working on Saturday I would be doing this walk. Hilary

  • 08-Jul-17

    16 walkers on this outing in overcast turning sunny and hot weather.

    Stunning scenery, with some serious ascents, beautiful beaches and chalky cliffs. The group agreed to divert from the existing route on the swc site to follow the coastal path out of Lulworth, intermingling with 1000+ charity walk participants (MacMillan). This was to get the hard work, the steep ascents, as well as the most stunning views along the coast done with while energy levels were still high. [one had opted for a butterfly-spotting route]

    The group split quickly, the fastest pulling well ahead. Picnicks were had along the route. The abandoned Tyneham village was quite interesting, residents having had to leave during WWII.

    Some returned to Lulworth in time for the buses back to Wool or Weymouth stations, others added Durdle Door to their achievements. One even walked a loop back to Lulworth from Durdle Door via Scratchy Bottom! Dinner at the Inn or Fish & Chips in hand were had, then 2 taxis took care of us to connect to the 20.34 train back.

    A fabulous day.

  • 09-Jul-17

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • 09-Jul-17

    Minority report: 1 walked to Durdle Door and back, then a loop to Mupes Bay. Not just to look for butterflies: also to swim at Durdle Door. Vast hordes of charity walkers dominated the coastal path (see rant on our Facebook page) but climbing a steep unofficial path just inland avoided them all. This path was a glory - great views and plenty of butterflies. The latter included marbled whites and gorgeous dark-green fritillaries (which are orange) but also plenty of tiny Lulworth skipper, which are found only here.

    The alternative path climbs steeply but in fact eventually comes to the same height as the main coast path. At this point there is the shock of the huge caravan and car park above Durdle Door. The path down to the beach was like Oxford Street and the beach like Brighton. But trusting my most treasured possessions to the honesty of the crowd I had the most wonderful swim out through the natural rock arch and back around.. This felt like real wild swimming and the view of the arch up close, under and beyond it is very impressive.

    After another swim I did a bit of the coast path but soon took a lonely path back inland across the deserted downs - more butterflies - to.....the big horrid car park. But in its defence it had not one but two tea kiosks, where I stopped for refreshments. Then down to Lulworth Cove. I went to the far end to escape the crowds and had a big tranquil swim around the yachts.

    Finally up onto the cliffs, along to Mupes Bay, up one of the muscle-shredding climbs to the summit of the ridge: then back along and down to the beach on a path surely inspired by the attack trajectory of a Stuka dive bomber. One last swim to cool, a nice meal with friends who had done the main walk, a chatty train ride home - not too crowded, thankfully.

  • 09-Jul-17

    Also to add, on the main walk 5 went for a glorious swim in the spectacular Worbarrow Bay with two having a further short dip back in Lulworth Cove to cool off after the hot return journey....

  • 09-Jul-17

    SWC.75 follows the spectacular ridge from Corfe Castle to Lulworth Cove. A nice gentle ridge walk I thought.

    But, I hadn't noticed Arish Mell on the map (the gap in the ridge between Tyneham and Lulworth), which was an interesting surprise towards the end of the walk :)

    I'll add something to the walk about sunny summer weekend crowds.