Things to Do in Lulworth Cove and South Dorset

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 96-mile Jurassic Coast is the equal of the Taj Mahal, Serengeti National Park, Machu Pichu and the Great Barrier Reef. It spans 185 million years of the Earth’s history and encompasses geological wonders, stunning scenery, lost villages, beautiful bathing waters and rich marine and wildlife.

Many of the Jurassic Coast’s defining features can be found in its central Dorset section east and west of Lulworth Cove, itself considered one of the best examples of the landform in the world. Lulworth Castle is well worth a visit at any time of the year but in the summer it is home to two of Britain’s most famous music and culture festivals – Bestival in August and its boutique sister fest Camp Bestival in July.

A short walk over the hill from Lulworth Cove is Stair Hole, an infant cove that shows what its more familiar neighbour might have looked like several hundred thousand years ago. The so-called ‘Lulworth Crumple’ of folded limestone strata can also be seen half a mile or so further along the coast just beyond Man O’ War Bay at Durdle Door, the awe-inspiring rock arch that has become something of a poster image for the Jurassic Coast. With its sheltered bay it is also popular for picnicking, swimming and sunbathing.

The South West Coast Path passes to the north and offers terrific views as well as a route to Worbarrow Bay, which was requisitioned for military training in December 1943 and evacuated along with the villages of Povington, Egliston and, most famously, Tyneham where exhibitions in St Mary’s Church and the village school tell the history of the valley and the stories of the families who lived there can be read in many of their former homes. 

Beyond the shale ledges of Broad Bench, beloved by surfers, and the great slope of Brandy Bay lies Kimmeridge Bay overlooked by Clavell Tower, a Grade II Listed folly. Over the years the low clay cliffs and rocky shore have yielded countless fossils many of previously unknown species, which can be seen at The Etches Collection museum.

For a more general view of the history and geology of the area the handsome market town of Wareham is home to an excellent little museum. Although most of the town was destroyed by fire in 1762, it was rebuilt to the original street pattern and with its pretty quayside and town centre shops, pubs and restaurants it continues to thrive to this day.

Take a little time to browse through our selection of holiday cottages in South Dorset. We’re certain you’ll find something just right for a truly special Dorset holiday.