Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door: Circular Walk
Part of the Jurassic Coast, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are two of its most popular destinations. The walk detailed below offers the keen walker the chance to view both areas relatively easily within a two to three hour circular walk.
WALK 1: Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door and return along the coast
Start at Lulworth Cove Heritage Centre car park. Take a few minutes here to head towards the coast to view the dramatic Stair Hole, watching the sea thunder through the rock arches.
Now return to the car park heading west up the wide chalky path on your left as it climbs to the clifftops via a gate. As you crest the rise, Man O'War Bay unfolds below you and the white cliffs of Swyre Head and Bat's Head with its small rock arch come into view, as well as the Isle of Portland on the horizon. As the route west levels out, pass a low stone waymarker on your right. Follow the clearly defined path as it drops down steps towards Man O'War Bay, notice the rocky 'bar' across the entrance to the cove and the inviting glimpse of beach. The bath levels out once more as you near the cove and is shortly joined from the right by the wide rocky path that leads down from Durdle Door car park. You know have a choice to walk down to the beach at this popular location, to get a different viewpoint on this natural rock arch or, simply watch the waves crashing on the fine shingle beach. If this doesn't appeal, just retrace your steps back to Lulworth Cove car park, pausing to take in the stunning chalk and limestone scenery of St. Oswald's Bay.
WALK 2: Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door with inland return
A further option is to walk to Durdle Door but to return inland of the 134 metre high Hambury Tout. Head east from Durdle Door to a low stone waymarker. Head uphill to your left, taking the path that leads to the caravan site. As you encounter a fence on your right, ignore the two stiles in it to pass through a gate. Follow the path signed West Lulworth Youth Hostel, walking parallel with the contours on your way east. Head left, keeping the hedge to your left to pass through a gate en route. Do NOT go through the gate on your left, at Hambury Farm, but carry on to the Lulworth Cove car park and your vehicle.
More to See
Whilst in the area, if time permits, why not continue east from Lulworth Cove to the Fossil Forest at Mupe Bay and Bindon Hill. There are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort on Flower's Barrow whilst further east lies the Lulworth Ranges, sometimes closed to the public, Arish Mell, Worbarrow Tout and, just inland, the deserted village of Tyneham. The coast all around here has lots to interest the keen walker or amateur geologist especially the fossils found on the ancient sea floor at Kimmeridge Bay, Dancing Ledge and St. Aldhelm's Head.