Things to see and do in and around Lulworth and Durdle Door

Coastal, Days out, Activity

Posted by Ed Roberts on 19th January 2022

Things to see and do in and around Lulworth and Durdle Door

Made up of two picturesque villages, East and West Lulworth, Lulworth is a popular destination for visitors to the Dorset coast. The area in and around the two is a huge draw for day-trippers for many reasons. Outside West Lulworth, you’ll find many natural wonders like Durdle Door, the Fossil Forest, Man O’ War Beach and Lulworth Cove, to name the main ones. Fossil and shell collectors come from all over the world to this wonderful part of the 95-mile-long Jurassic Coast, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.

Things to see and do in and around Lulworth and Durdle Door

Most of the highlights can be seen from the busiest section of the South West Coast Path, like the prehistoric Durdle Door and the elliptical natural harbour of Lulworth Cove. The coast path to Durdle Door ascends Hambury Tout from the western end of the main car park in West Lulworth. It’s a bracing walk along high cliffs with panoramic views of the English Channel. Swimmers and sunbathers can enjoy the calmer waters of Man O’ War Bay and Durdle Door. A natural tidal break prevents the sea from becoming too rough compared to most other local spots, but still exercise caution because there are no lifeguards posted along this stretch. 

If you can hear Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door calling to you, then maybe you need to spend some time getting to know these Jurassic Coast wonders. You can do this by booking a stay at one of our self-catering holiday properties. Just click the button below to browse our Lulworth holiday accommodation.

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West Lulworth

West Lulworth

West Lulworth is the busier of the two villages because of its location next to the sea, close to Lulworth Cove, the South West Coast Path, Durdle Door and beyond. The main car park at the bottom end of West Lulworth is vast in order to cater for all the visitors during the warmer months. 

The majority of the eateries are in West Lulworth along the lane down to Lulworth Cove. As you would expect there are a few shops to buy buckets and spades, beach balls, and local confectionery for the folks back home. There’s also a fishmonger, so if you’re staying locally be sure to grab some seafood goodies for tea.

Lulworth Castle

East Lulworth and Lulworth Castle

East Lulworth is inland from West Lulworth. The small village consists of old thatched cottages and a village pub, The Weld Arms. Many visitors come to explore  Lulworth Castle and Park, which was first built as a hunting lodge in the early 17th century. It later became a country house at the heart of a large estate. A fire consumed the castle in 1929 and it remained semi-derelict until the 1990s when it was restored. Once this was complete, this wonderous Dorset castle was opened to the public. 

Today, there are woodland walks and a children’s playground with interesting grounds to walk your dog and enjoy a picnic. Once a year, during summer, Lulworth Castle grounds become the home of Camp Bestival, a massive music and arts festival curated by Josie and Rob Da Bank. Nowadays, East Lulworth centres around the barracks of the Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School that uses parts of the local area as a shooting range.

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove is a natural work of art and is one of the most beautiful beaches in Dorset. A deep circular harbour with high cliff edges, it’s an unusual site and a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon. The beach and harbour lend themselves to enjoying the waters, fossil and shell collecting and just watching the world go by. Lulworth Cove is of great interest to geologists. Visit the Heritage Centre the local museum for learning all about the history of Lulworth and its surroundings.

The staircase found at the eastern side of the beach leads to the Fossil Forest and Mupe Bay with a wonderful walk along the clifftop. Please note that the footpath is within an MoD restricted area and is only open at the weekend and throughout the month of August. 

Places to eat and drink in Lulworth

Places to eat and drink in Lulworth

Limestone at Lulworth, West Lulworth

The Limestone at Lulworth pub provides an elegant yet informal restaurant setting for a memorable dining occasion. The best of local produce and the catch of the day is available across a handful of menus.

Tel: 01929 400252 / Main Road, West Lulworth, Dorset, BH20 5RL

The Weld Arms, East Lulworth

The Weld Arms specialises in simple but tasty English cuisine, making the most of produce sourced from the Lulworth Estate along with fresh fish and crustaceans from Lulworth Cove and beyond.

Tel: 01929 400 211 / East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QQ

Lulworth Cove Inn, West Lulworth

With Lulworth Cove right on its doorstep, this is a great place to dine in Dorset. The Lulworth Cove Inn offers diners a broad menu of fresh, seasonal dishes cooked with quality local ingredients.

Tel: 01929 400333 / Main Road, Lulworth Cove, Wareham, BH20 5RQ

How to get to Lulworth Cove

How to get to Lulworth Cove

By road

Lulworth Cove and West Lulworth are signposted from the A352 Dorchester – Wareham Road.

Set your SatNav postcode to BH20 5RN for the heart of West Lulworth village.

By rail

The nearest railway station is Wool, 5 miles away, on the Bournemouth to Weymouth Line.

The Trains National Enquiry Service number is: 0845 748 4950. There are usually taxis available at the train station for trips to West Lulworth.

Local taxi numbers:

Garrison Cars: 01929 463395 / 07774 453 234 | Silver Cars: 07811 328281


Top tips for visitors to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door

  • Bring provisions for a picnic and lots of drinking water
  • Wear walking shoes
  • Facilities are limited. The only public WCs are located at West Lulworth car park or Durdle Door Holiday Park
  • There is a refreshments kiosk on the South West Coast Path at Durdle Door. All the main restaurants and eateries are in East and West Lulworth. During the summer there is sometimes an ice cream van above Durdle Door
  • There are no lifeguards at Durdle Door or Man O’ War Bay, so even though the water is calmer because of the reef breaks, please exercise caution

Corfe Castle

Other places to visit near Lulworth Cove

The Blue Pool

The Blue Pool at Furzebrook is an easy drive from Lulworth. It is a beautiful clay bottom lake set within 20 acres of tranquil woodland. With gentle walks and a tearoom, it’s a wonderful outdoor attraction with its own museum too.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle also extends its name to the ornate village that sprawls beyond its considerable walls. The castle is one of the best examples of an English Civil War fortress and is one of our favourite National Trust places to visit in Dorset. The village is also famed for its steam railway that runs to the coast at Swanage.

Stay at a self-catering holiday cottage in Lulworth

Stay at a self-catering holiday cottage in Lulworth

If this charming village and incredible coastline has captured your heart and made you want to visit, we've got a charming collection of Lulworth cottages to choose from.

Exciting Lulworth holiday cottages: 

If you just fancy a day trip to Lulworth Cove, then consider holidaying in wider Dorset. This beautiful county is home to some excellent seaside resorts like Bournemouth, and Poole, and also inland wonders like Shaftesbury and the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is so much to discover all across the county. For even more choices, visit our full range of self-catering Dorset cottages by clicking the button below.

Dorset cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.