10 out of 10 - the west loop (Durdle Door) is not too bad, the east loop (Tyneham) is harder, but its the coast path between them which is the killer!
This is 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)
The Tynham Loop
The Tyneham loop starts at Povington Hill, a ridge with a 360° view of Purbeck (and a car park). It then descends into the abandoned 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) along the cliffs to a beach, and more dramatic viewpoints. It then steeply re-ascends the Povington Hill ridge to Flowers Barrow, a stunning viewpoint (and the link point to the coast path 'in between' to Lulworth Cove)> Finally, there's a gentle ridge walk back to the to the start.
The Coast Path in between.
This part of the walk is done twice to link the 2 loops. This is a lovely walk over Bindon Hill with stunning coastal views (and Lulworth Cove) in one direction, and a cliff side path for the return. The killer though, is the steep descent to sea level and equally steep re-ascent back up to the ridge at Arish Mell beach.
The Durdle Door Loop
The Durdle Door loop is much gentler. It follows the SWCP west along cliffs to Durdle Door (an arch) and a nice beach below. The return is slightly inland, on a higher path (with less ups and downs) over open grassland, with fine views of the coast.
This is a 'car walk', as its not very suitable for public transport. There is a rare bus service from Wool Station, about 4 miles away. See below for details. For groups, there are reasonably priced taxis.
Lulworth Army Range
The eastern half of this walk (around Tyneham), and the coast path in between, is through a Danger Area (Army Tank Training Area). It is sometimes closed - check the opening times before travelling. If closed, you can always do the Western part of the walk from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door.
The walk is a 'dog bone' shape. You can do either one loop or both at either end, or the entire walk.
By train: There are occasion offers on SWT (~ £15 day return in 2016), but is better suited for a weekend trip.
By car: Start the walk in Tyneham which has free parking. Povington Hill Car Park (on the ridge above the village), not far from East Lulworth, is about 3 hours drive from London. You can also park below Povington Hill in Tyneham village itself. There is also a large, expensive car park at Lulworth Cove, or you can park 1km inland in West Lulworth village for free.
Wool Station is 4 miles north of Lulworth Cove. Trains from London Waterloo are hourly, and take about 2 hrs 20 mins.
Wool Station to Lulworth Cove Updated : Spring 2017
Check online, these bus services change every year! - and 2017 was no exception : Traveline South West.
Wool has a pub to await your train, and a local store that keeps long hours.
Do the walk in reverse: Lulworth Cove to Weymouth. A train from London about 8am should connect at Wool Station with a bus to Lulworth Cove. You can then walk to Weymouth, which has regular trains. This is the only public transport option outside of the summer school holidays when the X43 bus operates.
Lulworth has a YHA youth hostel, a HF hotel, a campsite (mostly caravans, but they take tents), and some expensive B&Bs and Hotels
Lulworth Cove Inn BH20 5RQ, 01929 400333, in Lulworth Cove, real ale, outdoor terrace, food was good for such a touristy place
Other options : The Lulworth Beach Hotel (restaurant) and a cafe. For drivers : up the road (0.5m) in West Lulworth is The Castle Inn, or in East Lulworth (2m), The Weld Arms
This is an army firing range around Tynham, just to the east of Lulworth Cove. It is only open at certain times.
Lulworth Range Walks
The range walks are open A) most weekends (they are closed about 6 weekends a year) and B) every day during school holidays (Christmas, Easter, Summer)
The Lulworth Range walks and Tyneham Villages are open to the public every weekend with the exception of the following: 1. 14th/15th January 2017 2. 11th/12th March 2017 3. 1st/2nd July 2017 4. 7th/8th October 2017 5. 18th/19th November 2017 6. 9th/10th December 2017 In addition to the weekends they are open every day during the following times; all dates are inclusive: Christmas 17th December 2016 – 4th January 2017 Easter 8th April 2017 – 23rd April 2017 Bank Holiday 29th April 2017 – 1st May 2017 Spring Break 27th May 2017 – 4th June 2017 Summer 22nd July – 3rd September 2017 Christmas 16th December 2017 – 3rd January 2018
Please check for latest information at the following websites:
Help us! After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
|Map Walk||This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.|
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This walk is a "figure of 8" - 2 loops centred on Lulworth Cove. You can start anywhereThese instructions are based on parking at Povington Hill car park, above Tyneham, but its possible to start anywhere along the route, e.g. Lulworth Cove car park
The East Loop - Tyneham
- Head inland along Lulworth Cove road, then take a path up then east over Bindon Hill.
- Rejoin the SWCP. There is a killer descent then ascent.
- At Flowers Barrow, a dramatic viewpoint, leave the SWCP, and follow the ridge east to Povington Hill, until you reach a downhill track to your left
- A little further along the ridge is Povington Hill car park (free, marked on the OS map). From the car park, head west along the ridge to reach this point
- Take the track south, downhill into the valley, to Tyneham Village, which you can see down to your right
- After exploring the village continue south, and climb up to Gad Cliff on the opposite side of the valley
- Detour east towards Tyneham Cap to enjoy the view, before returning to this point
- Follow the SWCP west, past Worbarrow Tout and Worbarrow Bay (Tyneham's pretty beach) then a murderous climb up to the dramatic Flowers Barrow (viewpoint)
- Continue on the SWCP, down to Mupe bay, and another murderous climb, continue along the coast until you reach Lulworth Cove
- Lunch/Tea is at the Lulworth Cove Inn
The West Loop - Durdle Door and Swyre Head
- Head west along the coast path, following the SWCP towards Durdle Door. You pass Stair Hole (a cove in the making), and above St Oswalds Bay (access is from Durdle Door)
- Vist Durdle Door.
- Continue along the coast, turn back a km or so past Swyre Head
- Return slightly inland, and higher up, with less ups and downs, along the path parallel to the coast, marked on the OS map.
- Pass north of the caravan park, then go south east (south of the minor road) to meet a track going to the Lulworth Cove Road
- Head south along the road to the pub and car-park
- Lunch/Tea is at the Lulworth Cove Inn