Wareham to Lulworth Cove walk

Heathland to Corfe Castle, a great ridge walk, the ghost town of Tyneham, the rollercoaster South West Coast Path, and Lulworth Cove

Worbarrow Bay
Worbarrow Bay

Aug-14 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Mupes Bay
Mupes Bay

Jul-17 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Descending to Worbarrow Bay
Descending to Worbarrow Bay

Aug-14 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Near Worbarrow Bay Wareham to Lulworth Cove walk
Near Worbarrow Bay

Wareham to Lulworth Cove walk

Jul-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Mupes Bay Wareham to Lulworth Cove walk
Mupes Bay

Wareham to Lulworth Cove walk

Jul-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Starting at Corfe Castle Corfe Castle to Lulworth Cove (Dorset)
Starting at Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle to Lulworth Cove (Dorset)

Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Enid Blyton window, Corfe Castle Corfe Castle to Lulworth Cove (Dorset)
Enid Blyton window, Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle to Lulworth Cove (Dorset)

Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Range Walks

This walk goes through the Lulworth Army Range. You can only do this walk when the range walks are open (most weekends and the summer) - see below.

Length 12.4 miles ( 19.9 km) with 1,400 ft (450 meters) of ascent
Toughness 7 / 10 - a very steep 525 ft (160 meters) climb at the end
OS Map OS Explorers : 15 - Purbeck. Download the Purbeck Way leaflet, see below.

This walks starts in historic Wareham, and follows the Purbeck Way south across heathland to Corfe Castle to join a ridge with spectacular views. The ridge is the central spine of Purbeck, with fine views (inland, over Poole harbour, and out to sea). The walk follows the ridge for several miles until it enters the Purbeck Army ranges, which are open most weekends and school holidays - check first.

The easier option is to continue along the ridge (along Povington Hill). A highly recommended option is to drop off the ridge into the Tyneham valley with its ghost town - it was confiscated in WW2, and never given back. It has a pretty beach for swimming, but there is a very steep climb back up to rejoin the ridge.

Both routes converge at Flower's Barrow - a great 360° viewpoint. Here you drop steeply down to sea level, and climb very steeply back up to the ridge again. This is by far the steepest climb on any of our walks, and responsible for the walk's 7/10 rating. (So if you visited Tyneham, its 2 killer climbs in a row! And, you cannot avoid the first hill by walking around the coast from Tyneham - its vertical cliffs with no beach below)

The scenery here is dramatic - rollercoaster landscape and steep chalk cliffs - and long views out to sea. The now gentle route follows the South West Coast Path for a mile or so, before taking short cut over Bindon Hill (leaving the Lulworth Ranges) to Lulworth Cove

Walk Options

Walk 75A - Wareham to Corfe Castle to Lulworth Cove

A longer walk (16 miles) is to continue along the Purbeck Way all the way to Corfe Castle for a pub lunch, and see the castle, then join the ridge at its start (this option does 2 sides of a triangle to Corfe, the main walk does the shorter side)

Walk 75B - Corfe Castle to Lulworth Cove

An alternate start of this walk is Corfe Castle, an even prettier town with a picture postcard ruined castle (NT). Corfe is a short (hourly) bus ride from Wareham. This saves about 3 miles (5 km) off the main walk

Lengh: 9 miles (15 km) Toughness: 6 / 10 (1 long steep climb)

Lunch in Church Knowle

On the main walk, drop down onto the other side of the ridge as soon as you've climbed it, have a pub lunch in Church Knowle's pub. Or, for the visiting Corfe Castle options, after leaving Corfe Castle, you could continue along the bottom of the ridge on its south side

Walk 75C - Wareham to Tyneham to Lulworth Cove

The ghost village of Tyneham and its beach are very pretty, and well worth a visit. Not much extra distance, but it adds a very steep climb, as you have to drop down from the ridge to visit it, and then re-climb the ridge (525 ft / 160 meters ) a mile or so further on it via a steep hill.

Length: 13.4 miles (21.5 km), Toughness: 10 / 10 (2 long steep climbs in a row)

Purbeck Way The Purbeck Way is an official waymarked path. b>Download the most recent leaflet from the Purbeck Council website. If this link doesn't work, we have a copy here
Nature and History

See the Lulworth Circular Walk for details of Lulworth Cove and Tyneham

See the Purbeck Way Walk for details of Wareham and Corfe Castle


By Train

This walk is best for a weekend trip given the distance, but there are occasional promotions, e.g. £10 return in 2009. Consider 'Advance' tickets.

Trains from London Waterloo to Wareham are 2 an hour (hourly on Sunday), and take 2 hours 15 mins. Buy a return to Wool (2009: about £45.00, 1/3 off with a Network Card)

Trains back from Wool are hourly. See below for buses.

By Car

About 2.5 hours from London. Free parking at both Wareham and Wool, or 1 km inland from Lulworth Cove

Bus to Corfe Castle

[2009] The #40 runs hourly from Wareham to Corfe Castle, takes 15 mins, and costs £3.30. Check the current timetable on traveline, or the Dorset bus website. Buses stop by the roundabout on the north side of the station, but a taxi would be as cheap for 4+ people

Lunch and Tea

This is a picnic walk - there are lots of places in Wareham and Corfe, but only 1 along the route, and thats below it, at the bottom of the ridge.

  • Church Knole - pub off the ridge near Corfe Castle
  • Lulworth Cove Inn - recommended
  • Wool - nice pub about 100m from the station. Opposite the pub is a local store that keeps long hours
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

  • most weekends (they are closed about 6 weekends a year)
  • every day during Dorset school holidays.

Latest updates : MOD : Lulworth Access Times

Lulworth Range walks and Tyneham Village Opening Times

Open every weekend with the exception of the following:

17/18 February 2024
16/17 March 2024
08/09 June 2024
14/15 September 2024
12/13 October 2024
16/17 November 2024

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):

Easter: 29 March to 14 April 2024
Bank Holiday: 04 to 06 May 2024
Spring stand-down: 25 May to 02 June 2024
Summer stand-down: 26 July to 01 September 2024
Christmas: 21 Dec 2024 to 05 January 2025
Lulworth Cove

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.

  • Jurassic Breezer 30: Swanage - Corfe Castle - Wareham station - Wool station - Lulworth Cove - Osmington - Weymouth King's Statue and Jurassic Breezer 31: Wool station - Winfrith - Durdle Door - Lulworth Cove. Daily 27 May - 17 September. About hourly. First bus from Wool station to Lulworth Cove: 09.50 (31) and 10.23 (30). Last bus from Lulworth Cove to Wool station 19.12. Some of the late afternoon and evening buses do not run any Sundays and weekdays between 05 June - 21 July and 04 - 15 September (2023 dates).
  • First Wessex X50: Weymouth King's Statue - Osmington - Durdle Door - Lulworth Cove - Wool Station. Daily April to September, weekdays only in winter. From Wool station to Lulworth Cove hourly from 09.42. From Lulworth Cove to Wool station hourly from 09.20 to 17.20. The last bus from Lulworth Cove is the 17.56 to Weymouth.
  • Fares were £3.50 for an Adult Single from/to Wool station in July 22. Note that returns bought on the Jurassic Breezers 30 and 31 are not valid on the First Wessex X50, and vice versa!
  • Taxis: Lulworth – 01929 400864, 07949 522 533, 01929 444 546, 01929 400 409; Wool – 01929 463 395, 01929 558 119, 01929 500 604, 07751 769 833. [Aug-19] Expect fares of about £15 (and £22 for an 8-seater).

Wool has two pubs close to the station to await your train, and a local store that keeps long hours every day.

By Car

About 3 hours drive from London.

  • On the ridge above Tyneham is Povington Hill Car Park (free, no postcode), not far from East Lulworth (BH20 5QQ). You can park in Tyneham itself (£2 suggested).
  • There are large, expensive car parks at Lulworth Cove (BH20 5RQ), and by Durdle Door campsite, or you can park for free about 1 km inland in West Lulworth village (BH20 5SG).


West Lulworth has a YHA youth hostel, a HF hotel, a campsite (mostly caravans, but they take tents), and B&Bs and Hotels.

Help Us!

After the walk, please leave a comment, it really helps. Thanks!

You can also upload photos to the SWC Group on Flickr (upload your photos) and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

By Train

Out (not a train station)

By Car

Start BH20 4AS Map Directions

Finish Main Road, West Lulworth, Dorset, BH20 5RQ Map Directions

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 • Traveline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234


Apr-24 Andrew

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

  1. Starting from Wareham
    1. Head south from Wareham Station, and continue south through the historic town centre
    2. Pick up the Purbeck Way (see PDF)
    3. South of Blue Pool (a pay to enter tourist attraction), where the Purbeck Way turns east, you have a choice
      • Leave it, by going straight on, climbing the ridge on a minor road. Then head west along the ridge.
      • Continue along the Purbeck Way to Corfe Castle for lunch, but that would make for a long day
  2. Starting from Corfe Castle
    1. Catch the bus from Wareham to Corfe Castle, get off in the town centre
    2. Walk back (north), and into the small square, pass the entrance to the Castle (NT)
    3. Exit on the north west corner (signposted 'castle view'), and follow the path between trees
    4. Cross the minor road, and turn left (west)
    5. Scramble up the ridge, for a good view of the ruined castle, or follow the path west, which veers up on to the ridge after a km or so
    6. Continue west along the ridge, passing a minor road
  3. Both routes continue
  4. On the ridge, head west along it
  5. Enter the Army range (joining a minor road), continue west on paths parallel to the road, passing a minor road down to Tyneham and another car park
  6. At a dip in the ridge, by a path junction, optionally head down into Tyneham, otherwise simply continue along the ridge to Flowers Barrow.
  7. Optional Visit to Tyneham
    1. Head down into Tyneham on an obvious track (i.e. not the road that you passed earlier)
    2. Explore the ghost village, then follow the path down to Worbarrow Bay
    3. After a swim, follow the SWCP along the coast, with a very steep climb back up to the ridge at Flowers Barrow.
  8. Flowers Barrow is a viewpoint with 360° views. Follow the SWCP west with a very steep descent to a small bay, then a very steep ascent up the other side to regain the ridge.
  9. Continue along the ridge
  10. Where the SWCP veers off left (downhill, following the coast), continue straight on along the ridge, over Bindon Hill
  11. When you leave the army ranges, head south (downhill) for 50m, and join a lower westerly path around the edge of Lulworth Cove
  12. Go through a style, and head down through trees, and come out on the cove itself
  13. Walk up along the minor road to the pub. The bus stop is opposite by the turning circle.
© Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml