A coastal classic - Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove

Submitted by Timwoods on 18 August 2008
OS Explorer Map: OL15 - Purbeck and South Dorset
(11 votes)
A linear, full-day coast walk in England starting at Wool village, Dorset, about 25.5km (roughly 15.9 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.
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This walk passes two of England's most famous coastal features - Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. A favourite site for geography field trips, these spectacular coastal features make for a great day out. Start in the village of Wool and finish in the seaside town of Weymouth, enjoying some of England's finest coastal scenery along the way.
Start: Wool village, OS Grid: SY845868
End: Weymouth, OS Grid: SY679795
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 496m (1630ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 1005m (3300ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 509m (1670ft)
Max. Elevation: 170m (557ft)

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OS Grid: SY844869
Start from the village of Wool, easily reached by train or bus. Walk through the village and pick up the footpath heading towards Coombe Wood.
About 2.7 km (roughly 1.7 miles) from 1 OS Grid: SY831845
The path heads south through the woods and out across the Dorset Hills. Keep following the path south towards West Lulworth.
About 3.8 km (roughly 2.4 miles) from 2 OS Grid: SY826807
From the village, follow signs to the Heritage Centre and Lulworth Cove.
About 0.8 km (roughly 0.5 miles) from 3 OS Grid: SY826799
Lulworth Cove is one of top attractions on this stretch of coastline, known as the Jurassic Coast. As any geographer can tell you, coves are formed by bands of rock of alternating resistance running parallel to the shore. Information boards nearby explain in detail how the cove formed.
About 0.5 km (roughly 0.3 miles) from 4 OS Grid: SY821798
Just nearby is Stair Hole, an example of a much younger cove and a glimpse of how Lulworth Cove would once have looked. Geologists will also be interested in the folding limestone, a feature of the area which can be clearly seen here.
About 1.6 km (roughly 1 miles) from 5 OS Grid: SY805802
Next stop Durdle Door - a classic example of a coastal arch. This was also formed by the varying types of rock eroding at different rates, leaving an arch formed of resistant Portland Limestone.
About 3.2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 6 OS Grid: SY774810
It's easy navigation from here - head west along the South West Coast path and enjoy the stunning views!
About 3.9 km (roughly 2.4 miles) from 7 OS Grid: SY736818
The Smugglers Inn at Osmington Mills makes a pleasant stop en route. The coast around here is also famous for fossil collecting - Black Head just west of the village is a good spot to look.
About 4.8 km (roughly 3 miles) from 8 OS Grid: SY688812
As the coastal path enters Weymouth, you pass Lodmoor Nature Reserve, an area of reedbed, open water, saltmarsh and wet grassland which attract many different birds. Run by the RSPB, it's free to visit although donations are welcome: www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/l/lodmoor/index.asp
About 1.9 km (roughly 1.2 miles) from 9 OS Grid: SY681795
The walk ends in Weymouth, with trains and buses going from the town centre just near the beach. But why not have fish'n'chips/an ice cream/a cup of tea first (depending on the weather!)
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