The poignant story behind the ‘ghost village’ of Tyneham, abandoned during World War II, will stay with you long after you have walked around its crumbling homes and forgotten farmland.

Evacuated in 1943 so that the British Army could use the area for training purposes, the village soon fell into ruin. However the church and school room are still mostly intact and you can walk around them, discovering their history, the last pages of schoolwork and children’s names on pegs carefully preserved in this village that simply stopped in time.

Ruined house in Tyneham Village

Information is displayed throughout the village about the families that once lived in Tyneham, and what life was like for them in this seemingly idyllic, yet remote spot. Nestled deep within the Purbeck Hills the story of these villagers who never returned and their now deserted homes is an interesting insight into this area’s past.

Ruined cottages in abandoned village of Tyneham

A short walk from the village will lead you to the Tyneham farm area, which has displays of WWII memorabilia set into the walls.

Vintage missile at Tyneham Farm

From there you can walk down to Warbarrow Bay – a sweeping, unspoilt beach, which is typically quieter than others on the Isle of Purbeck, even in the summer months.

Worbarrow Bay and cliffs

It’s a gentle one mile stroll, which also encompasses a short woodland trail.

Woodland walk at Tyneham

For a longer day of exploring, you can pick up the Lulworth Range walks and South West Coast Path trails here, both of which encompass unparalleled views across the Purbeck Hills.

Top tips

Due to Tyneham being part of the Lulworth Ranges – a training area for the British Army – access is restricted to times when no firing is taking place (typically weekends and bank and school holidays).

Dogs are welcome in Tyneham village on a lead and are welcome on the beach year-round.

Toilets are situated by Tyneham Farm.

Parking

There is a large car park by Tyneham Village, operating a donation box system.