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Holidays in Durdle Door

A natural wonder in spectacular surroundings

UK | South West | Dorset | Durdle Door
West Bay

Durdle Door is a famous natural limestone archway in Dorset. The landmark is found along the South West Coast Path a short distance over Hambury Tout, west of Lulworth Cove. Durdle Door is an iconic spot and popular with visitors because it’s a rare example of natural stone arch and also a great spot to watch the sea and changing skies from. It’s also worthy of many a photo opportunity so don’t miss out, take a camera. This is big sky country! The arch and beach are a part of the Lulworth Estate. They are also included as part of the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site established in 2001, which stretches all the way from Old Harry’s Rocks near Swanage in the east to Orcombe Point near Exmouth in the west.

You can access the beach via a path and steps over Hambury Tout from West Lulworth. There are plenty of places to find fossils on the shingle beaches for miles in each direction, so it’s quite likely that there are scientists and geologist mingled in with all the pleasure seekers. Each year more than 200,000 walkers use the route between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, making it the busiest part of the South West Coast Path. Visitors travel from all over the world because such rock formations are uncommon. Rarer still are examples that are easily accessible to the public.

Lulworth

The archway would have been an entrance to one of a series of caves along the coast. Over time the limestone, thought to be around 140 million years old, has been eroded away to form the arch. One day in the very, very, very distant future Durdle Door will erode away to a stack, then later stumps. Examples of stumps are found close by in the string of tiny rocky islets in the neighbouring Man O’ War Bay with its sheltered beach. The row of islets in the bay consist of Portland and Purbeck limestone called (from east to west) the Bull, the Blind Cow, the Cow, and the Calf.

For local information and history about the local area pay a visit to the Lulworth Visitor Centre in West Lulworth. From April to October, visitors can also see Durdle Door from the sea. A boat service, the Karelisa, is a brilliant way to enjoy and view this spectacular coastline. Facilities are limited at Durdle Door itself because it is a natural beauty spot. For food and drink, beyond a light refreshment available from a kiosk, the main spot to visit is West Lulworth. The closest toilets are at Durdle Door Holiday Park, which lies within walking distance from the South West Coast Path, or at West Lulworth car park. On a hot day take drinking water and wear a hat because shade is limited. Also take good footwear if you plan on descending to the beaches below.

Durdle Door is recognisable from a number of films like Wilde, Nanny McPhee and the 1960s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd. Or in pop promos like Cliff Richard’s Saviour’s Day, Billy Ocean’s Loverboy and most famously Tears for Fears Shout.

“For families and fossil hunters alike, Durdle Door is one of most beautiful natural sites along the south coast.”

Close by are the villages of West and East Lulworth. West Lulworth is well equipped to deal with visitors. It has several eateries, ample parking and direct access to the beautiful Lulworth Cove, and to Durdle Door and Man O’War Beach.

For families and fossil hunters alike, Durdle Door is one of most beautiful natural sites along the south coast. With its proximity to Lulworth Cove and the limestone fossil filled cliffs of 96 mile long Jurassic Coast, it makes for a hugely satisfying day out, both educationally and for recreation.

While you’re there

Durdle Door

The pretty shingle beach and breath-taking views of magical Durdle Door makes it well worth the walk.

Lulworth Cove

The fairy-tale horse-shoe shape of Lulworth Cove attracts visitors from all over the world.

Man O' War Bay

Swim in this sheltered bay close to Durdle Door. A lovely place to bathe and play.

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