Birds of the Dorset Coast

Birdwatching

Code: MHWBW

Print page

Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Meadows & hills
  • Wildlife

Holiday overview

  • Enjoy birdwatching in a small sociable group setting
  • Leisurely walks with regular stops to watch birds
  • Our expert leader will guide you around the best sites
  • Flexible itineraries will take into account prevailing weather conditions and any reported sightings

Holiday highlights:

Explore woodland, heathland, quarry, wetland and coast on the lookout for a variety of departing migrants, passage waders, wildfowl and both Dartford and Cetti’s warblers. We'll walk up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day. Suitable for any level of experience, with no prior knowledge required.

Great reasons to join us:

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, guidance from our expert leader, transport and any entrance fees to birding sites 
  • Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
  • Expert leaders: all our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
  • Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly environment

Accommodation

Just a stone's throw from the beach at Lulworth Cove, Lulworth Lodge is a walkers lodge with      4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodationmagnificent sea views from the private terrace.

As one of our smaller properties, it makes a comfortable and exclusive base for smaller groups.

Bedrooms

We have 12 bedrooms at Lulworth Lodge, some with spectacular views to the sea.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

 

Back to top
Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

Lulworth Lodge has a relaxed lounge area with open fireplace. There is also a bar and dining area. Free WiFi is available in the public rooms.

Outside the raised private terrace has seating with delightful views down to the cove.

Complimentary parking is available for guests in the public car park about 100 metres from Lulworth Lodge.

 

Back to top
Food

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).   

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

Back to top

Itinerary

Arrival day Friday:
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.

Saturday: Fleet Lagoon and Portland Bill
The Fleet Lagoon is the only estuarine habitat on this coast and is thus a magnet for passage waders. Portland Bill is in complete contrast and gives us an opportunity to search the fields for departing migrants as well as watch for passing seabirds. 

Sunday: Stoborough Heath and Hartland Moor
These two linked reserves have extensive areas of heathland and present us with the challenge of finding Dartford warblers as well as a variety of birds of open country, from buzzard to stonechat. A late hobby or an early hen harrier is always possible.

Monday: Free day to relax and enjoy the facilities at Lulworth Lodge or explore the lovely local area independently.

Tuesday: Radipole Lake and Lodmoor
These two reserves in Weymouth introduce reedbeds to our itinerary and we shall be watching for bearded tit and water rail in particular. The large area of marshy grassland at Lodmoor has an excellent record of attracting unexpected wetland birds so this is a day with great potential for a surprise. 

Wednesday: Wareham Meadows and Arne
Lying between two rivers flowing into Poole Harbour, the historic Wareham Meadows provide a home for a range of farmland birds, and together with the saltmarsh of the nearby Arne reserve are a magnet for passage waders and other wetland birds.

Thursday: Durlston and the Coast Path
With a patchwork of meadows and scrub, Durlston rivals Portland as a site to visit at migration time, and combined with the clifftop Coast Path it offers the chance to see almost anything from flycatchers to seabirds

Departure day: depart after a leisurely breakfast

 

What to bring

  • Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs
  • Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
  • A telescope (if you have one) and binoculars
  • Thermos flask (optional)
  • Recommended guide – Collins Bird Guide is the preferred guide, but it is heavy and covers many European species, so beginners in particular may prefer a more portable and less complex guide such as the RSPB Handbook of British Birds or the Mitchell Beazley Birdwatcher’s Pocket Guide 

Local area

Lulworth Cove is a justifiably popular destination, with day-trippers and holiday-makers drawn by the stunning local scenery. The Cove itself is a near-perfect circle which has been carved by the waves into the soft rocks. A 20 minute walk along the cliff path will take you to Durdle Door, the area's other geological wonder. This impressive natural sea arch has been carved from the harder chalk rocks. The free Heritage Centre next to the public car park is well worth a visit during your stay.

Facilities in Lulworth Cove are limited to a selection of pubs, cafés and souvenir shops. The nearest towns are Wareham, Dorchester and Weymouth, which all have a good selection of banks, chemists and supermarkets.

During your visit to Dorset you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

The Tank Museum
The Tank Museum at Bovington, 20 minutes' drive north of Lulworth Cove, houses a particularly impressive collection of tanks from around the world. Trace the history from the tank's origins in the First World War to the present day. www.tankmuseum.org

Lulworth Castle
Situated just a couple of miles inland from the cove, Lulworth Castle is a 17th century mock medieval castle that was once the heart of an extensive estate. Having been gutted by fire in 1929 it was derelict for many years, but has since been completely renovated. www.lulworth.com/castle

Corfe Castle
The iconic ruins of Corfe Castle stand guard over a natural gap in the Purbeck Hills, about 30 minutes' drive from Lulworth. Dating from the 11th century it is now maintained by the National Trust. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle

Swanage Railway
Ride on this lovingly restored branch line through the glorious Purbeck countryside. Steam hauled trains run throughout the year. You may want to leave your car in the Park & Ride at Norden, about 30 minutes' drive from Lulworth, and use the railway to visit the attractive seaside resort of Swanage. www.swanagerailway.co.uk

Monkey World
Located near Wool, 20 minutes' drive north of Lulworth Cove, Monkey World is a great family attraction. Orginally set up to rescue mistreated monkeys from overseas, it is now home to a huge collection of primates of all shapes and sizes. www.monkeyworld.org

Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island is located in the middle of Poole Harbour – boats depart from Poole Quay and Sandbanks, about 40 minutes' drive from Lulworth Cove. The island is now a nature reserve, managed by the National Trust and one of last remaining places to spot red squirrels in the UK. Brownsea is also famous as the location of the world's first scout camp in 1907. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brownsea-island

Kingston Lacy
This fine country house and estate is located near Wimborne Minster, about 45 minutes' drive from Lulworth Cove. Dating from 1665, and now managed by the National Trust, it houses a fine collection of antiques, with many notable examples from the Middle East and Egypt. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy

Weymouth
Weymouth is a fine Regency seaside resort with an ever-popular beach and bustling harbour.

Athelhampton House & Gardens
Located near Dorchester, about 30 minutes' drive away, Athelhampton House is a fine Tudor building dating from 1485. The surrounding formal gardens are also impressive and were built between 1891 - 1899. www.athelhampton.co.uk

Thomas Hardy’s Cottage
The writer Thomas Hardy was one of Dorset’s most celebrated residents who used the local towns and villages around Dorchester as the setting for many of his novels. His birthplace near Dorchester is around 30 minutes' drive away and now owned by the National Trust. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardy-country

Travel

Lulworth Lodge, Lulworth Cove, Dorset BH20 5RQ

By train: The nearest railway station is at Wool. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

By taxi: The 5 mile journey from Wool railway station takes approximately 10 minutes. Taxis cost approx £12 per taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Lulworth Lodge Manager.

By car: The recommended route is via Bere Regis and Wool – although slightly longer this avoids the traffic through Bournemouth and Poole. From Bere Regis follow signs to Wool. At Wool cross the level crossing and turn left following signs to Lulworth Cove and West Lulworth. Continue for a further 4 miles to Lulworth Cove. As you enter Lulworth Cove Village, turn in to the public car park at the turning circle. Park your car here. This car park is free for HF Holidays’ guests. Pick up a parking permit from Lulworth Lodge. Exit the car park on foot by the Heritage Centre and follow the road towards the sea. Lulworth Lodge is 50 yards down this road on the left hand side. 

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info

Leaders

Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips is a countryman born and bred. After a rural upbringing, his adult life has (apart from a few years in commerce) been devoted to enthusing and informing people about the fascinating wildlife of the British countryside, both as a tour guide and an adult education tutor. Mike’s expertise extends to most branches of natural history and he is a passionate believer in an holistic approach to the interdependency of the natural world, from the underlying geology through the vegetation to the creatures which depend on it. He now brings his long experience to leading for HF Holidays.

 

 

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
6 May 2015, 8:18 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

+

Service review:

We have been on many HF Holidays in recent years and have always enjoyed the day time activities and evening social events. this year we were disappointed to learn that evening activities have been somewhat curtailed.

Product review:

We enjoyed the bird watching but would have preferred to get out earlier in the morning to give more time to explore one or two other sites.
18 Apr 2015, 8:43 p.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

++

Service review:

No review provided

Product review:

Great holiday great accommodation and food
18 Apr 2015, 3:59 p.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

++

Service review:

So far, very impressed by the HF holidays I've taken

Product review:

Lulworth Lodge very pleasant place to stay.
18 Apr 2015, 8:44 a.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

++

Service review:

On the whole very good. Bit difficult to find someone to answer simple problems except by disturbing the chef.

Product review:

Just a query about the price of a single room. I paid the same as single occupancy of a double room although there was only one single bed in my room and no room for more than one person.
18 Apr 2015, 7:30 a.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

++

Service review:

Always reliably good holidays. I love them.

Product review:

A delightful setting and great attention to our wishes. Lovely food

Dates & Prices

We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.

Prices are per person

Information

  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person