Lulworth is an area near Swanage that consists of East and West Lulworth, along with the popular tourist destination Lulworth Cove. In East Lulworth, visitors will find a picturesque setting with thatched cottages, a small parish church named St. Andrew, which was originally at the center of the village until the 18th century, and the sweeping Lulworth Estate that includes Lulworth Castle and Park and 5 miles of the World Heritage Jurassic Coast in the heart of Dorset.
The Castle is a popular spot for wedding celebrations or ceremonies, or it can be visited more leisurely. Visitors can learn about the kings and queens who lived there, explore basement rooms filled with memorabilia, and take in sweeping views of the countryside during open season, which is from Easter to Christmas. On Saturdays, the Castle is closed for ceremonies. The Castle Tearoom serves homemade cake, cream teas, and ice cream, and features a gift shop for those looking for souvenirs. In the summer, visitors can picnic, play lawn games like Giant Jenga, Pitch and Putt, tennis, and more, and children can play on the playground. Some seasonal events are held here, including special Easter and Halloween events. Luxury holiday cottages that sleep 2-18 people can be rented by those looking for easy access to the grounds, Castle, cove, and Durdle Door.
West Lulworth consists of a beautiful English village made up of many thatched cottages and sits on the edge of the Isle of Purbeck. Those looking to eat, drink, or rest can visit the Castle Inn Pub, which dates back to the 16th century. The pub features 12 bedrooms, a large paved courtyard, and a terraced garden. Kids and dogs are welcomed. A visitor’s center and Natural History Museum are located close by, accessible with car parking just 200 meters from the beach. Information about the area is available at the Heritage Center, along with restrooms and changing facilities. This is also the best place to sign up or learn about local activities like coasteering, kayaking, mountain biking, archery, and more.
One of Lulworth’s main highlights is certainly Lulworth Cove. Formed by thousands of years of erosion from the sea, this coastal location should be a must-visit stop on any tourist’s list. Low tide pools are brimming with sea creatures, making the spot popular with children, and dogs are welcomed as well. Visitors can also access the natural limestone arch Durdle Door via a footpath that is accessible from the beach. Fossil Forest and Mupe Bay can be reached by this path, but one section does head towards a restricted area that is only open on weekends in August. Every year, half a million people come to visit the cove and Durdle Door. Various cafes, restaurants, and pubs are available on-site.
Lulworth is accessible by road or cycling, with the nearest railroad station being at Wareham. Note that there is no regular bus service available in East or West Lulworth, but Lulworth Cove does feature a bus stop. September or May are the best times to visit if you want to avoid the crowds, as many tourists flock to the area later in the Summer. If you’re parking, you’ll want to consider arriving earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Admission to the beach is free, but parking fees do apply. If you’re visiting Lulworth Estate, there is a $3 parking fee and it costs $6 for an adult ticket or $4 for child tickets to enter the Castle. Children under 4 years old get in free.