Military Training Areas
The Coast Path passes through or around a small number of military training areas where use by the public is sometimes restricted. Care must be exercised within these areas at all times – you must keep to the footpath, stay away from all installations and avoid approaching or touching any objects lying on the ground.
Penhale Sands, south of Newquay, North Cornwall.
The South West Coast Path is seaward of the training area and is always available.
To supplement the Coast Path, the MOD has opened a permissive path which continues the route following the red and white range poles south above the beach to the MOD boundary. This provides the opportunity for a circular walk from Perranporth that takes in the beach, the dune ridge and the adjoining dune grassland around the Perran Sands Holiday Centre.
This walk can be extended to pass by the site of St Piran’s Oratory and the recently excavated St Piran’s Church which lies just south of the MOD boundary. Please pay attention to the signs around the training area and do not venture away from the waymarked routes as the training activities carried out on the site are hazardous. For further information please telephone 01637 832001. This information can also be found here.
Tregantle Fort east of Downderry, South-East Cornwall.
Firing and non-firing days are known up to 2 weeks in advance. For up to date information on training activities, or for more details go to this web page or – telephone Range Control on 01752 822516 during office hours to check. If live firing is in progress red flags will be raised and the access gates locked – do not proceed into the range. If open, keep closely to the marked path and, at the far end of the range path, emerge through another security gate onto the National Trust’s Cliff-top path. Live firing timings are: 01 April – 30 September 7am – 11.30pm and 01 October – 31 March 7am– 11.30pm. There is no live firing after 3pm on Sundays. The red flags by day and the red lamp by night indicate that the Range is active and Live Firing is taking place. Please note that these dates and times may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances or operational requirements, therefore the only absolute guarantee that there is no firing is the absence of the Red Flags on the range on the day. Changes are posted on the noticeboards next to the sentry posts on the coast footpath.
Chickerell, near Weymouth, Dorset.
Two alternative routes are available, both of which are official routes of the South West Coast Path. Access is available using Fleet Lane alongside Chickerell Camp following the Camp fence line to Chickerell Rifle Range, on Tidmoor Point on FP33, or Coastal Path FP36. Access is available at all times, except when red flags are flying when walkers will be diverted inland around the back of the Range firing point, by signs and access restricting gates, before returning to the Coast Path. Further Information is available by contacting 01305 831935. This information can also be found here.
Lulworth Ranges and Tyneham Village, Dorset.
This is the only range where there is not a simple diversion for use when firing is taking place. It is also along a really spectacular section of coast, and so you should plan to reach this section when the path through is open. Within the range boundary and close to the Coast Path are the Lulworth fossilised forest and the Tyneham (a small village abandoned when the land was acquired by the military during World War 2) and these are both worth a visit.
The Lulworth Range walks and Tyneham Villages are open to the public every weekend in 2019. With the exception of the following, when they will be CLOSED:
- 23rd/24th February 2019
- 16th/17th March 2019
- 15th/16th June 2019
- 21st/22nd September 2019
- 5th/6th October 2019
- 16th/17th November 2019
In addition to the weekends they are OPEN every day during the following times; all dates are inclusive:
- Easter: 6th - 22nd April 2019
- May Day - 6th May 2019
- Spring Break: 25th May - 2nd June 2019
- Summer: 24th July - 1st September 2019
- Christmas 21st December – 5th January 2020
In 2020, the Lulworth Range walks and Tyneham Village are open to the public every weekend except the following dates when they will be CLOSED:
- 22 to 23 February 2020
- 14 to 15 March 2020
- 13 to 14 June 2020
- 19 to 20 September 2020
- 3 to 4 October 2020
- 14 to 15 November 2020
The Lulworth Range walks will also be OPEN every day during the following times:
Easter: 4 to 19 April 2020
May Day: 4 May 2020
May stand-down: 25 to 31 May 2020
Summer stand-down: 21 July to 31 August 2020
Christmas: 19 December 2020 to 3 January 2021
The exhibitions in Tyneham School and Tyneham Church are open from 10am until 4pm. When no firing is taking place the gates to the walks are opened as near to 9am on the Saturday morning as possible and remain open until 8am on Monday morning. The Elmes Grove gate that allows vehicle access to Tyneham is opened at 9am daily when no firing is taking place and is closed at dusk each evening.
There are car parking facilities at Whiteway and Tyneham. Picnic facilities are also available at Whiteway car park.
Worbarrow Beach is open to the public when the Ranges are open.
Red flags are flown/lamps are lit to indicate live firing during which time access is prohibited to the live firing Range Danger Area. These firing times are subject to last-minute change, please phone 01929 404714 to listen to an answering machine that will give up-to-date access information to callers.
When the Lulworth Range is closed for firing, the alternatives are either a 13 mile detour around the ranges (partly on roads) or a more attractive option is to catch a bus from West Lulworth to Corfe Castle and then walk along the ridge (which has great views) to the road near Great Wood and then descend down to rejoin the Coast Path at Kimmeridge. Details of the Corfe Castle to Kimmeridge walk can be found here.