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.
Fishermen from nearby West Lulworth plied their trade from the Cove for centuries, as did smugglers and the coastguards and customs men sent to catch them. The poet Keats spent his last hours on British soil at Lulworth and Rupert Brooke wrote poems there to his lost love, while Bertrand Russell and various lovers outraged the locals by skinny-dipping!
A short walk over the hill to the west is Stair Hole an infant cove that shows what Lulworth may 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.
To the east of Lulworth Cove is a fossilised forest about 145 million years old and Mupe Bay with its shingle beach and Black Rock at the tip of Arish Mel whose beach and cliffs are part of the Army’s Lulworth Ranges and not open to the public, although the South West Coast Path passes to the north and offers terrific views.
Worbarrow Bay, with the towering Flower’s Barrow at one end and Worbarrow Tout headland at the other, was requisitioned for military training in December 1943 and evacuated along with the villages of Povington, Egliston and, most famously, Tyneham. Little remains of Worbarrow’s eight cottages and coastguard station – and there’s even less to be seen of Povington and Egliston – but the Army now works to improve access to the atmospheric ruins at Tyneham. 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 and last year  the purpose-built Museum of Jurassic Marine Life opened in Kimmeridge village to house the astonishing collection of local man Steve Etches whose discoveries include previously unknown species.
• Well, I Never… In 1913 a replica of Castle Elsinore was built on Dungy Head high above Lulworth Cove for a version of Hamlet that was then the most expensive film produced in Britain.
Due to high demand from our guests, we have recently started looking for properties in this area. If you have a property and are considering letting, please get in touch with Claire, our property manager on 01929 448694 or email firstname.lastname@example.org