7-Night Dorset Coast Outdoor Escapes Holiday

Durdle Door on Jurassic Coast in Dorset, UK.
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Outdoor Escapes
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £929pp £879pp

In the heart of the Jurassic Coast, snuggled above the shimmering waters of Lulworth Cove, our newly refurbished Country House is the perfect base for exploring this glorious fossil-rich coastline. Experience the very best of Dorset's Coast. Each day we'll offer three options, ranging from relaxing shorter strolls, to more challenging longer walks. Our flexible programme allows you to choose the option that suits your mood. There will be a free day in the middle of the holiday - the perfect chance to head off and explore independently, or just kick back and relax.

Holiday Highlights

When you discover a forgotten village that will forever be 1943, a casualty of war unlike any other British community. Tyneham, requsitioned more than 75 years ago as part of D-Day preparations, is now the redoubt of ghosts. As you walk around the deserted, eerie streets and through the ruined, tumble-down houses and buildings, you'll uncover a story of loss, deception and betrayal, a  living history lesson that's all the more poignant because you can feel the presence of the villagers ripped away from their homes and never allowed to return. As you explore, the ghosts take on names, occupations and characters, their realness inescapable, to paint a vivid picture of life in pre-war England.

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Join us at our West Lulworth House Country House for an action-packed short break. If the weather is fine we can take a short pre-dinner stroll down to the cove itself to help get your bearings. After a delicious 3-course evening meal, there's time to relax with the rest of the group and look forward to the adventures to come.


Enjoy the choice of 3 guided walks on the beautiful Purbeck Peninsula. Take it easy on a stroll to Swanage, or stride out on our longest walk.

Option 1 - Old Harry Rocks

Distance: 5 miles (1.5km) 

Ascent: 550 feet (180m) 

In Summary: From Studland we walk the South West Coast Path to Swanage, passing the famous Old Harry Rocks. Then hop on board the train before exploring the pretty village and romantic ruins of Corfe Castle.

Highlight: A ride on the steam railway to Corfe Castle; a great way to see the beautiful Dorset countryside.

Option 2 - Chalk Downs & Heath

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (380m)

In summary: Follow the chalk ridge from Corfe Castle towards the coast. We cross the beautiful Godlingstone Heath, pass the curious Agglestone Rock, to end with a stretch along the beach to Studland.

Highlight: The chance to spot spot rare lizards and butterflies at Godlingstone Heath. Remember your swimming togs too - the beach at Studland is perfect for a post walk dip.

Option 3 - Purbeck Ridgeway

Distance: 14½ miles (23.5km)

Total ascent: 2,000 feet (600m)

In summary: Follow the ridgeline and the Purbeck Way to Corfe Castle then continue along this fabulous chalk ridge to the coast at Old Harry Rocks, and along to Studland.

Highlight: Soak up the sea views from the famous chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks, and gaze out towards the corresponding Needles Rocks on the Isle of Wight.


There's spectacular scenery right on our doorstep - enjoy great coastal walks along the undulating cliffs of the Lulworth Ranges.

Option 1 - Tyneham village

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Total ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

The walk in a nutshell: From Kimmeridge we head to the coast path and follow it to Worbarrow Bay where we head inland to explore the deserted village of Tyneham.

Don’t miss: Plenty of time to explore the "lost" village, as well as an early return to Lulworth to give you time to put your feet up & relax.

Option 2 - Tyneham to Lulworth

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Total ascent: 1,350 feet (420m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Descend from the chalk downs to the ruined village of Tyneham. Our walk to Lulworth Cove has two steep ascents as we cross the high cliffs of the military ranges.

Don’t miss: The ghostly deserted village of Tyneham was abandoned in 1943 to make way for the military training range.

Option 3 - Corfe to Lulworth

Distance: 13 miles (21km)

Total ascent: 2,250 feet (680m)

The walk in a nutshell: A really good leg stretcher allowing you to enjoy the dramatic cliffs of the coast path, with time too, to explore the "lost" village of Tyneham. 

Don’t miss: The coastline east of Lulworth Cove is impressive. We've some steep ascents and descents following the coastal path over the chalk cliffs.



Enjoy the choice of 3 guided walks along the stunning Dorset coast path, finishing in Swanage.

Option 1 - Durlston Head

Distance: 5½ miles (8.5km) 

Ascent: 700 feet (200m)

In summary: Explore the legacy of the local quarrying on the Isle of Purbeck before we head to the Victorian seaside town of Swanage. Time to chill out on the beach, visit the heritage centre, or check out the town trail.

Highlight: The visitor centre at Durlston Country Park. Take a peek at the wildlife cameras and the fossil exhibits.

Option 2 - St Aldhelm's Head

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m) 

In summary: Walk from the picturesque village of Worth Matravers to the coast at St Aldhelm’s Head. We follow the South West Coast Path, passing old quarries and the climbers haunt of Dancing Ledge, to reach Swanage.

Highlight: Look out for climbers on the airy and scary Dancing Ledge.

Option 3 - Chapman's Pool

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 1,800 feet (540m)

The walk in a nutshell: From Kingston we head south to the coast at Houns-tout cliff. Our walk along the coastal path passes Chapman’s Pool before rounding St Aldhelm’s Head and continuing to Swanage.

Don’t miss: The horseshoe cove at Chapman's Pool; a tranquil haven beneath the towering cliffs.


Head inland to discover peaceful corners of Dorset, with the opportunity to discover the famous chalk giant at Cerne Abbas, and discover more about Thomas Hardy.

Option 1 - The Cerne Giant & Max Gate

Distance: 4 miles (6km)

Ascent: 450 feet (140m) 

In summary: From Minterne Magna we head onto the ridge for fantastic views of the Cerne valley, contouring below the famous Cerne Giant. We've then the choice of relaxing in the pub, or hopping on the coach to Dorchester or Thomas Hardy's Max Gate.

Highlight: The famous Giant - a 55 metre naked man carved into the hillside above the village! 

Option 2 - Footsteps of Thomas Hardy

Distance: 8 miles (12.5km)

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In summary: Our walk explores the world of Thomas Hardy with our local guide, and discovers the landscapes of Hardy's Woodlanders. A chance to spot the famous Cerne Giant too.

Highlight: Ask our local expert all your Thomas Hardy questions - they'll accompany you on your walk, or can tell you Hardy tales over a post walk pint.

Option 3 - Along the Wessex Ridgeway

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km)

Ascent: 1,500 feet (460m)

In summary: A circular leg stretcher from Cerne Abbas. Follow the Wesex Ridgeway over the chalk downs, visit Buckland Newton and Minterne Magna and enjoy stunning views of the Cerne and Sydling Valleys. 

Highlight: The walk finishes with some of the best views of the Giant before heading to the pub to sample some of the local cider.


Enjoy fabulous coastal walks right on our doorstep, including the famous sea arch of Durdle Door.

Option 1 - Durdle Door

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 900 feet (280m)

In summary: A circular walk taking in the much photographed Durdle Door, before returning to the Cove, leaving you the afternoon to relax in the garden or outdoor pool, maybe take a take a boat* out into the bay, or visit Lulworth Castle* (*payable locally). 

Highlight: Classic views of Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.

Option 2 - Osmington to Lulworth

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km) 

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

The walk in a nutshell: A fabulous walk along the coast from Osmington to Lulworth Cove. It's a rollercoaster of chalk cliffs - expect some steep ups and downs as you follow this dramatic section of coast towards Durdle Door.

Don’t miss: the tiny church of St Catherine-by-the-Sea. It has the perfect position on top of the cliffs.

Option 3 - Weymouth to Lulworth

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 1,800 feet (540m) 

In summary: A superb stretch of the coast path from Weymouth to Lulworth Cove. The cliffs increase in grandeur as we pass Osmington Mills, then on over the rollercoaster cliffs to Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.

Highlight: With fantastic sea views throughout, this is coastal walking at its very best.


Time to head home. If you've still got the energy to explore further why not borrow one of our self-guided route cards from our Discovery Point, and enjoy a further walk independently. 


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.

 

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 3 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 22 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, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 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

Essential Equipment

  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner,
  • Thermos flask for hot drink,
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent,
  • Sun hat,
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
19 Jun - 26 Jun 2019 Itinerary £929 £879 Save £50 Per Person Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Outdoor Escapes
Walking Grade:
1

7 nights from £929pp £879pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

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