A Taste of the Jurassic Coast

Distance: 16 miles over 2 days.  Difficulty: Easy

This walk is a great introduction to the Jurassic Coast, England’s first UNESCO designated natural World Heritage Site, which covers 95 miles of truly stunning coastline from East Devon to Dorset, with rocks recording 185 million years of the Earth's history. Charmouth is one of the best places to find fossils, with some of the best ones people have found are on display in the Heritage Centre. At Abbotsbury there’s a Swannery and the Thatch, making this an ideal adventure to take your children along.


Charmouth Beach is one of the best places to look for fossils in the UK. Rapid erosion has resulted in thousands of Jurassic fossils being deposited on the beach, some of which are displayed at the Heritage Coast Centre, which is free to visitors.

From Charmouth you climb up Stonebarrow hill, through National Trust farmland and then up again to the summit of the spectacular Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast. From here, there are superb views in all directions, extending across Lyme Bay to Dartmoor and ahead to the Isle of Portland.

It continues onto Seatown, where you can cut short the first day’s walk, or carry on another three miles to immense sandstone cliffs of West Bay. Here you can see the start of Chesil Beach, an extraordinary natural ridge of pebbles that extends 17 miles to Portland.

The hundreds of mute swans of Abbotsbury Swannery make for a beautiful sight upon arriving at the end of this walk. There is plenty to see here, including the great Tithe barn and ruins of the Abbey.

Suggested Itinerary

  • Day 1: Charmouth to West Bay (7.1 miles)
  • Day 2: West Bay to Abbotsbury (9.3 miles)

Relevant section guides

We have split the path into 52 sections, and for each one have produced a section guide. These pages do not aim to replace the guidebooks, but aim to give a flavour of what each section is like, and show you about the highlights and places of interest along the route, along with links to accommodation information and much more. The relevant section guides for this walk are:


There are mainline trains running from Exeter to Lyme Regis as well as the Jurassic Coast X53 bus, which runs between key gateway sites along the Jurassic Coast, including Lyme Regis, Seaton, Charmouth, West Bay, Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury.

For further details visit Traveline or phone 0870 6082608.