Limekiln House

07900 596166    07885 220035

Close to Lulworth Cove, the Jurassic Coast , Monkey World, Bovington and the Purbecks

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Lulworth Cove
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Lulworth Cove from the green, the stream, the old duck pond and Hambury Tout

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Lulworth Cove is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Dorset. The Cove is about 425m by 200m. The water is normally very clear and safe for swimming and inflatables because there is no tidal current. It is fed by a stream and fresh water run-off from the base of Bindon Hill through the shingle beach. The car park holds hundreds of cars and it is very busy on a summer day. The beach can be crowded, especially at Spring high tides when the sea can reach to the base of the cliffs in places.

The village of Lulworth is in two parts: West Lulworth and Lulworth Cove, separated by a hundred metres or so of meadows. There are all the amenities that visitors expect: a thatched pub 3/4 mile from the Cove, hotels, hotel bars, guest houses, B&B's, restaurants and cafes of varying standards and styles. There's also a fish and chip shop, Dorset cream teas, trips round the bay, Chris painting beach pebbles by the Cove, seasonal clothing outlet, water sports and public facilities. Lulworth Cove is no longer the isolated fishing and smuggling village of bygone days, but the surrounding countryside, walks and coastal views are outstanding and make it a unique destination.

The Cove area including Stairhole is famous for the variety of rock formations. Durdle Door is reached through the top end of the Lulworth Cove car park, climbing the conspicuous stepped path up Bindon Hill and down the other side. It takes about 20 minutes and is quite a climb in hot weather. To avoid the steep hill, take the no-through private road (Britwell Drive) past the Heritage Centre, up the road to the end and then follow the descending footpath to the beach at St Oswald's Bay, on to Man O'War Bay and then Durdle Door. There was a huge landslip near Man O' War Bay in the spring of 2013, so check before choosing this route to Durdle Door at high tide. At the end of Durdle Door beach is Bat's Head, which has a small hole in it. If the tide is not too high you can walk through this to Scratchy Bottom beach. Pebbly, but usually secluded. Don't become trapped by high tide or you'll have to swim back through the hole.

Walking to the cliff by the car park, passing the Coastguard Station, leads to Stairhole. To the right of this, up the side along by the wall to the cliff top, is a fine view over Stairhole and Lulworth Cove. Just past the first house on the left up the private road (Britwell Drive), is a public footpath leading to the cliff top which most visitors miss. This leads to Dungy Head, overlooking St Oswald's Bay. A great place to sit and relax in the grass. We're told there are adders and feral gerbils here, but we've never seen any.

Walking eastwards around the Cove or on the footpath above it, leads to the Army Ranges. Opening times are shown in the folder but there are daily boards at Lulworth. The path continues along the coast to Fossil Forest. Not much to see except a few fossilised Jurassic tree stumps having been plundered in Victorian times for museums and by collectors. It is located halfway down the cliffs, reached by wooden steps. The location is about 200 yards past the far end of the Cove.  Half a mile or so further on is Mupes Bay, down a long flight of steps. This is  a partially sandy beach depending on the tide and weather and is usually quiet with a few yachts moored in the sheltered bay. A  small delightful rock pool area, Bacon Hole, can be reached by following the rocky beach round to the right  Perfect for snorkelling. At the far (west) end is the 'Smugglers Cave' with a false back, true origins unknown. Climbing up the sloping rocks to the cliff face is the daredevil 'jump-off' point where local children used to dare each other to launch themselves into the sea below.

Much of Lulworth, including the Cove, car park, surrounding farmland and hills, belongs to the Weld Estate. Lulworth Castle, located three miles towards Wareham at East Lulworth, is worth a visit for the extensive lawns and woodland. The castle was badly damaged by fire in 1929 and rebuilt in the eighties There are no significant original furnishings or fittings and it is used for wedding and corporate functions. The Estate organises many activities and entertainments throughout the year such as jousting, horse shows, outdoor jazz, blues, folk and classical concerts, against the back-drop of the Castle - take a picnic and a drink to these first-class events with children welcome.

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