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The best coastal walks in Dorset

The best coastal walks in Dorset

13/07/2021

When you come for a holiday with us, there is so much to see and do. With plenty of nearby attractions and places to visit, it’s easy to fill your days with fun.

As you plan your break, remember that all of our Dorset holiday parks are right on the South West Coast Path, making them the perfect starting point for a range of fantastic walks. Take in the views, enjoy the fresh sea air and spend time in the great outdoors.

With walks for all abilities we’re sure you’ll want to take on at least one local jaunt during your park holidays Dorset. With that in mind, we’ve picked out the best coastal walks in Dorset to give you some inspiration. Climbs, castles and coves… these walks have got it all.

Lulworth Cove & The Fossil Forest

Distance: 2.2 miles (3.6 km)

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Parking, toilets, pubs, visitor centre. Park at Lulworth Cove Car Park, BH20 5RQ

If you want to explore Lulworth Cove (and you really should: it’s incredible!) then this relatively short circular walk is a great way to take in the highlights. It’s a good walk for children and pushchairs should be fine on the section to Stair Hole.

Take in the iconic view of Lulworth’s horseshoe cove before visiting the Fossil Forest and some amazing remains of a Jurassic swamp. Once you’ve finished, why not head back towards Lulworth and treat yourself to an ice-cream, drink at a pub or simply spend some time on the pebbly beach?

Walk notes:

Take your dog along on this walk as they are welcome on the beach all year round. Part of the walk passes through active MOD ranges and you must not enter these areas when they’re in use. Red flags indicate when live firing is in progress but you can also check dates here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lulworth-firing-notice

More details: https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/59/

Moonfleet Walk

Distance: 6.2 miles (10.0 km)

Difficulty: Moderate. There is a gentle ascent and descent but it’s generally an easy walk. Note that paths may be slippery in wet conditions.

Facilities: No carpark, but there is a bus stop at the start/end of the walk: Victoria Inn Bus Stop

The area around Chesil Beach is rich in exciting tales of smugglers and this walk is the perfect choice if you want to bring some of that history alive. Why not take a small detour and visit the church where brandy casks were hidden amongst the coffins? This is a great little excursion for young and old.

Meade Falkner's ‘Moonfleet’, a tale of diamonds, ghosts, shipwrecks and smugglers, is set in this exact location and the surroundings are certainly evocative. The booming sea crashing on the pebbly beach is joined by the sound of countless birds on beautiful Fleet Lagoon, creating an incredible symphony as you stroll.

More details: https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/322/

Weymouth to Portland

Distance: 8.3 miles (13.3 km)

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Train station, cafes

This superb walk is ideal for holidays in Weymouth, taking in the town itself before heading across a pebble beach and the east coast of Portland. It offers a range of interesting views and things to discover: starting off in an urban setting before following the path of a disused railway and then down to Portland’s only beach.

Midway through the walk, as you cross to Portland itself, make sure you stop to take in the unique position of having Portland Harbour on one side and Chesil Beach on the other. It’s a really great walk, right on the doorstep of all our Dorset holiday parks. 

Walk notes:

As this is a ‘one way’ walk, remember that you’ll need to either walk back or arrange for return transport.

More details: https://www.countryfile.com/go-outdoors/walks/weymouth-to-Portland-dorset/

Bindon Hill

Distance: 4.2 miles (6.7 km)

Difficulty: Moderate. Some steep sections and some long flights of steps.

Facilities: Parking, toilets, pubs, visitor centre. Park at West Lulworth car park, BH20 5RQ

This glorious walk is a fantastic introduction to the area during your park holidays Dorset. Taking in all of the highlights of the shorter ‘Lulworth Cove & The Fossil Forest’ walk, it goes a bit further along the coast, exploring round to Mupe Cove and rewards you with yet more amazing views.

It not only passes through a fossil forest and other historically interesting sites but also takes in views of the rightly famous Lulworth Cove. Glance inland at the right moment and you’ll spot Lulworth Castle as you stroll along.

At a high elevation the views are phenomenal in all directions. In Mupe Cove and round the coast to Lulworth, the dramatic chalk cliffs have been eroded by the sea to create incredible caves and arches.

Although this is considered slightly more challenging than other walks, the climbs and descents are worth it for the visual rewards.

Dogs are welcome at Lulworth Cove and the pub which you’ll pass en route.

Walk notes

You will pass through an MOD range, which is sometimes used for firing practice. When red flags are flown, the area is unsafe and you should not enter (you can also check the range firing times here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lulworth-firing-notice). At all times, you must stick to the marked paths and not pick up any objects you see on the ground. 

More details: https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/531/

Chideock to Charmouth

Distance: 5.4 miles (8.6 km)

Difficulty: Moderate. Steep ascents and descents (however, there is an optional detour avoiding Golden Cap). Paths are often very muddy after rain.

Facilities: Parking, toilets, pubs

This stunning walk journeys up and down through trees, heathland and clifftops, with the option to detour to a beach. Like much of the famous Jurassic Coast, this area is famed for its fossils and you may spot evidence of times long-past as you walk 

A real highlight of this route is that is takes you over the top of Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast of England (although you can elect to avoid this if you prefer).  

As this isn’t a circular route, a great solution is to catch a bus from Charmouth to Chideock before you get started. 

More details: https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/693/

Abbotsbury Castle

Distance: 5.9 miles (9.5 km)

Difficulty: Challenging, following the back of Chesil Bank and the South Dorset Ridgeway. There is a long climb after which it is generally flat.

Facilities: Parking, tearoom at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens

This walk is a great choice for history fans as it takes in the South Dorset Ridgeway: a Stone Age route where you’ll stumble across hints at this bygone era. The highlight has got to be the Iron Age hillfort, Abbotsbury Castle which is home to many historic remains including Bronze Age burial mounds.

As you walk, you’ll look down upon St Peter’s Abbey, the Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, a swannery and a chapel to add to the fantastic views you’ll enjoy in this stunning area.

More details: https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/9/

Durdle Door & White Nothe

Distance: 7.0 miles (11.3 km)

Difficulty: Challenging with several hills.

Facilities: Parking, toilets, pubs, visitor centre. Park at Lulworth Cove Car Park, BH20 5RQ  

If you’re up for a challenge during your holidays in Weymouth, this could be the walk for you! You will be rewarded with incredible coastal and inland views and a route that takes in interesting historic areas including numerous burial mounds. You’ll also be treated to fascinating geology in the form of sea arches and chalk stacks.

Once you’ve taken on the steep ascents and descents, why not sit back and enjoy a drink or something to eat at a pub in Lulworth?

Walk notes

This is a good choice for energetic dogs, who are allowed on the beach at Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove year-round.

More details: https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/60/

Get in touch

There is so much to do during holidays in Weymouth, you are spoilt for choice! Hopefully our pick of local walking routes has given you some inspiration when it comes to getting out and about near our Dorset holiday parks. There really is something for everyone and we know you’re going to love the local scenery… just don’t forget your walking shoes! 

For more ideas of activities to enjoy on and off the park, explore our website or get in touch. Our friendly team will be happy to help you with your booking.

 

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