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When it comes to short walks that take in a great section of coastline, the Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door walk is one of the best you can find.
If there’s one thing we’ve got plenty of here in the UK it’s stunning coastline. Believe it or not, this tiny island we call home has more than 7,000 miles worth of coastline. More and more of that is becoming accessible to walkers with the opening and improvement of coastal paths. Choosing the most scenic stretch of that coastline would be an impossible task, but the Jurassic Coast area of Dorset would be a strong contender.
The highlight of this area is the section between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. It’s a short coastal walk but definitely one that should be done at least once.
The Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door Walk
6 km return
From the picturesque beach of Lulworth Cove, the path heads sharply upwards until it reaches the clifftops overlooking the cove. The walk to Durdle Door and back is only a couple of miles but allow plenty of time because you’ll be stopping to admire the views and take photos every couple of minutes.
The coastal path is easy to follow and you’ll head along the cliffs towards Durdle Door passing Stair Hole, the Lulworth Crumple and Man O’War Bay. You can’t help but notice the many layers of rock that make up the cliff faces and it’s exactly this that makes the area one of such geological interest.
Durdle Door itself is a natural lime archway that leads out into the sea. It is, without doubt, one of the most iconic natural landmarks in the UK, and surely one of the most photographed too.
Once you’ve taken all of the photos you want to you can head down to the shingle beach closest to the archway, or drop down the steps towards the beautiful Man O’War beach.
For the return to Lulworth Cove, you have a couple of options. Many of the recommended walks will lead you on a circular route and will take you through some fields behind the nearby caravan park and back to Lulworth. Personally, I much prefer to just head back the same way I came and enjoy the coastal views as I walk back into Lulworth.
When is the Best Time to Walk from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door?
Durdle Door is one of the most popular landmarks in the UK, so it goes without saying that it can be very busy on weekends and school holidays. If you’ve got an opportunity to visit outside of those peak times then you’ll find a much more peaceful spot to sit and admire the views.
Sunset is also a great time to do this walk. I did this walk in the late evening and it was an absolutely beautiful place to be.
The route is around two miles long, depending on whether you retrace your steps or head inland to make it a circular route. There are some steep sections as the path follows the clifftops but it is a well-surfaced trail and is easy to follow.
Walking the Jurassic Coast
A guidebook to 30 walks on the Jurassic Coast of Devon and Dorset. Covering the coast between Exmouth and Bournemouth, the coastline is a World Heritage Site home to some of the most extraordinary geology in the world.
The majority of the routes hug the shoreline between Torbay and Swanage, while others venture inland on the Dorset Downs.
They are suitable for most walkers, with shorter routes alongside plenty of more challenging, full-day hikes.
There are parking and toilet facilities in Lulworth as well as a selection of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. However, there are no facilities at the Durdle Door end of the walk so make sure you take everything you need with you.
Things to Do Near Durdle Door
The Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door walk is part of the 630-mile South West Coast Path, so you have the option to extend this walk as much as you like. It’s a stunning part of the coast so you may well feel like walking further and exploring more.
You can also explore the Jurassic Coast by kayak and there are guided tours operated out of Lulworth. I joined a kayak tour and it was an incredible experience. We even got to paddle through the famous archway at Durdle Door. For the same reasons, this is a popular spot for paddle boarding and it’s great fun to paddle through the archway and around to the nearby Man ‘O War Bay.
Make it a Weekend Adventure
There are loads of things to do in this part of the country, from exploring the coast path on foot to paddling to hidden caves by kayak. This is definitely the sort of place where you could spend a weekend. Fortunately, there are hundreds of hotels, lodges, caravans and cottages that you can book for a weekend. And if you book out of the main tourist season there are some bargains to be found too.