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

Coastal, Days out, Activity

Made up of two picturesque villages, East and West Lulworth, Lulworth is a popular destination for visitors to the Dorset Coast.

Lulworth is made up of two picturesque villages – East and West Lulworth – on 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, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.

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 main car park in West Lulworth. It’s a bracing walk along high cliffs with panoramic views of the English Channel. Swimmers and sunbathers enjoy the calmer waters of Man O’ War Bay and Durdle Door. A natural tidal break prevents the sea becoming too rough compared to most spots, but still exercise caution because there are no lifeguards posted along this stretch.

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, and the staircase to 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 on 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.

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 . It 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 and 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 becomes the home of Camp Bestival, a massive music and arts festival curated by Josie & Rob Da Bank. Nowadays, East Lulworth centres around the barracks of the Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School who use some of the area as a shooting range.

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove is a natural work of art. 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 lends itself 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 the immediate sharing and the history Lulworth and the surroundings.

The staircase found at the eastern side of the beach lead to the Fossil Forest and Mupe Bay with a wonderful walk along the cliff top. Please note that the footpath is within an MoD restricted area and is only open on weekends and the month of August. However, this year there was a landslide preventing access to the Fossil Forest.

Places to eat and drink in Lulworth

Limestone at Lulworth, West Lulworth

Limestone at Lulworth 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 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 great place to dine. Offering 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 there

Getting to Lulworth

By road

Lulworth Cove and West Lulworth is sign posted from the A352 Dorchester – Wareham road.

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

By rail

The nearest railway station is Wool, five 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 / 01929 462467.

Silver Cars – 01929 400409 / 07811 328281

Hot tips

Bring picnic supplies

  • 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
  • There no lifeguards at Durdle Door or Man O’ War Bay, so even though the water is calmer because of the reef breaks, still exercise caution

Other places to visit

The Blue Pool

The Blue Pool at Furzebrook is an easy drive from Lulworth. It is a beautiful clay bottom lake set with in 20 acres of tranquil woodland. With gentle walks and a tea room, 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 best examples of an English Civil War fortress. The village is also famed for its steam railway.

Where to stay near Lulworth and Durdle Door

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. These include:

For even more choice you can also take a look at our full range of Dorset cottages.

Posted by Ed on 30th April 2019