Walk - Lulworth Cove to Worth Matravers
14.2 miles (22.8 km)
Lulworth Cove Car Park - BH20 5RQ Worth Matravers (nr. Chapmans Pool)
Challenging - Severe to moderate.
This isolated stretch of the South West Coast Path offers some spectacular views, but be prepared for some difficult walking right from the beginning. The Path roller-coasters along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, rewarding walkers with staggering views of sweeping bays, folded cliffs and richly coloured limestone-loving wildflowers and butterflies.
The path across the Lulworth Ranges is one of the highlights of the Jurassic Coast, but can only be used when the range is not in use. To avoid missing out on this it is recommended you plan your walk to get here when the ranges are open – most weekends and holidays (see here for details). As live ammunition is used, you must not stray off the paths which are clearly marked by yellow posts, and do not pick up any metal objects lying on the ground.
If firing is taking place, red flags are flown and the gates are locked. The alternatives are either a 13 mile detour around the ranges (partly on roads) or a more attractive option is to catch a bus (see Traveline) 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.
After resting and keeping a look out for fossils on the beach of Kimmeridge Bay, continue carefully along the Kimmeridge Ledges and prepare for more strenuous walking ahead. The Path continues its roller coaster journey and then climbs steeply to the top of Houns-tout Cliff, which stands at 490 feet (150 m) above sea level, before leading you out to St Aldhelm’s Head to enjoy the views, look for seabirds and the occasional dolphin, and breathe in the sea air. Finally, take the short walk inland to the pretty village of Worth Matravers, where you can find refreshments at the end of a long but exhilarating day.
Note the village of Worth Matravers is about ¾ mile inland of the Coast Path and you can either reach it by diverting off at Chapman's Pool (about 12½ miles in total), or continue past St Aldhelm's Head and head inland at Winspit (about 14½ miles in total).