7-Night Dorset Coast Discovery Tour

Old Harry Rocks
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours
from £959pp £889pp

Discover the dramatic Jurassic Coast and the beautiful chalk downlands further afield. Get ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ in Dorchester, once home to renowned author Thomas Hardy, and enjoy the calm of Cerne Abbas – famous for its chalk giant. Take a ride on the Swanage Heritage Railway, explore the elegant mansion of Kingston Lacy, view the unique expanse of Chesil Beach and stroll the streets of Weymouth at the coast and Wimborne Minster inland.

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the Jurassic Coast and town of Weymouth
  • Walk in the steps of Thomas Hardy in Dorchester
  • Wander in Wimborne Minster
  • Look out to sea at the dramatic Isle of Purbeck

What’s included

  • High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
  • The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • Full-day excursions with all transport on touring days in good-quality coach transport

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


We enjoy a visit to the Saxon town of Wareham and continue with a nostalgic trip on the Swanage Railway. After lunch in Swanage and a stroll along the promenade, our afternoon will be spent at Durlston Country Park to enjoy the stunning sea views and cliffs. Perhaps there will be time for a cup of tea at the Victorian folly – Durlston Castle? Our journey back will follow the Purbeck ridge with views over Poole Harbour. 


Today we explore the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, taking in the views to Chesil Beach and eventually arriving in Portland with its iconic lighthouse. We finish the day in Weymouth, the base for the Olympic sailing events in 2012.


A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.


We start our morning with a visit to the historic village of Cerne Abbas, known for the infamous giant resting on the hillside. We then explore Sherborne Castle, the stunning home built by Sir Walter Raleigh, with a Capability Brown garden. The afternoon is spent in Sherborne, a charming country town, with a magnificent abbey, which traces its origins to Anglo-Saxon times. 


We take a journey back 2,000 years today with a walk around the Iron Age fort of Maiden Castle as it fell to the Romans. Later, there will be time to enjoy the county town of Dorchester with its wide choice of museums. After lunch, we touch on the life of Thomas Hardy with visits to his last home at Max Gate and his local church, St Michael’s, where he was baptised and buried.


This morning, we'll explore Wimborne’s maze of alleyways around the imposing minster. Don’t forget to seek out the chained library! An afternoon at nearby Kingston Lacy provides the contrast of an Italian palace in the Dorset countryside. A walk through to the woods reveals the Japanese Garden and visit the recently refurbished walled vegetable garden.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


West Lulworth House

Set just 200 yards from the sea, West Lulworth House has a highly coveted location just above the lake-still expanse of Lulworth Cove on Dorset’s iconic Jurassic Coast. Built in 1881 by the then Mayor of Weymouth, it has been perennially popular with walkers, twitchers and fossil hunters. As well as 22 delightful bedrooms, there’s a south facing garden and elevated terrace with cracking views, an outdoor heated pool and a pair of lovely lounges, perfect for a relaxing walking holiday exploring the Jurassic Coast. Step out the front door and on to the coast path. To the west lies Middle Beach and the picture perfect Durdle Door, with its massive rock arch and gently sloping beach. East lie the beaches of Mupe Bay and Arish Mell. But you’re here for the walking and what adventure you’ll have on the coast path or exploring the interior. Then there’s Lulworth Castle and the famous ruins of Corfe Castle standing guard over the Purbeck Hills to explore.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s bright, beautifully presented rooms or in the adjoining cottage. With 22 bedrooms, West Lulworth House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from: each room has an airy feel and the same cosy style. Opt though for Room 4 on the first floor of the main house for its weathered, pastel-painted wood panels and the lovely view looking over the cove, or squirrel yourself away in Room 23 in the cottage to the side of the main house for a large room with more sumptuous views to soak up.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, attractive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, lounge, library and board games to borrow

After a day walking on the Dorset Coast or hunting for fossils, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the sunny south facing gardens or take a table on the terrace with matchless views of the cove below. Slip in to the heated outdoor pool then surface in time to retire to the cosy lounge and its squishy sofas and seafaring decorations to read up on the area or the attractive bar with its pretty tiled insets for a sundowner.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at West Lulworth House is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to flavours such as Dorset blue Vinney, pork fillet with Purbeck Cider and apple sauce and New Forest wild mushroom tagliatelle. Settle in under the large roof lantern or beside the panoramic double doors to dine in style – if the sun’s out they’ll even throw the doors open to let the outside in.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

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Getting to West Lulworth House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.

All of our Discovery tours involve active sightseeing and you should, therefore, be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing. You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, a camera, sun protection, and drinks (at least 2 litres) during the day.

Admission costs are not included within the price of this holiday. Please bring cash to cover admissions - approximately £10 per day. Your Leader will advise you of the daily admission costs throughout the holiday.

Jill Durnford

Brought up in south-east England, Jill has lived in the West Country, Scotland and, since 1998, Cumbria. She has a real passion for Britain, its history, geology and wildlife and loves sharing that with other people. She loves visiting stately homes and gardens but is also interested in how ordinary people lived in the past. Jill works as a Blue Badge Guide which is the perfect job for combining her wide range of interests with a love of communicating with people.

I cannot praise Jill enough.  She was a mine of information which she put over in an interesting way.  She organised everyone efficiently and pleasantly and ensured everyone felt included and had a good time

Graham Horn

After 30 years as a Transport Planner, Graham successfully retrained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He is a geographer by qualification and an explorer by instinct, and frequently has a map in his hand. Graham's travels have taken him to many parts of the country, where he enjoys discovering out-of-the-way places as well as an area's better known towns and buildings. He has a particular interest in the countryside, waterways, industrial heritage and places where history happened. Graham is also an HF Holidays' walking leader and has led at more than half of the UK's Country Houses.

Excellent leader. Did his best to make the holiday as good as possible for each one of the guests on the Discovery Tour.

Leader to Be Announced

We’ll announce the leader for this holiday shortly. Be assured that all of our expert leaders share one goal; to create an exceptional experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming you on this holiday.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
09 Jul - 16 Jul
7 Discovery Tour £959 £889 Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
13 Aug - 20 Aug
7 Discovery Tour £959 £889 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
10 Sep - 17 Sep
7 Discovery Tour £959 £889 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
Duration:
7 nights
Interests:
Discovery Tours

7 nights from £959pp £889pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

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