If you are visiting Lulworth Cove, allow extra time to meander the picture-postcard streets of West Lulworth village, which has thatched cottages and window boxes galore.
West Lulworth has a distinct holiday buzz about it in the summer months as visitors use it as a base from which to explore the cove as well as nearby Jurassic Coast gems Durdle Door, Stair Hole, the Lulworth Fossil Forest and Man O’ War Bay. It’s also the perfect spot for a bracing walk and warming meal or drink in winter.
Go for a paddle or do some rock-pooling in Lulworth Cove, visit one of the village’s pubs, or grab some fish and chips or an ice cream and meander the village’s pretty streets before stopping in one of the gift shops, where you can find Jurassic Coast-related treasures such as fossils and locally-made souvenirs to take a bit of Dorset home with you.
If you’re feeling adventurous, Lulworth Outdoors offers various watersports and land activities – hire a kayak or mountain bike for the afternoon, or book onto a coasteering or snorkelling session.
There are plenty of places to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner in West Lulworth, as well as the obligatory seaside fish and chips and ice cream shops.
- The Boat Shed Cafe – What better place to soak up the stunning view and grab a bite to eat than right on the shore of Lulworth Cove itself ℹ️ www.facebook.com/boatshedcafe/ 📞 01929 400810
- The Castle Inn – You’ll pass this pretty pub on the main road on your way into the village ℹ️ butcombe.com/the-castle-inn-dorset/ 📞 01929 400311
- Limestone Hotel – For a grown-up meal made with seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, or an afternoon tea done the Dorset way, head to the Limestone Hotel and Restaurant ℹ️ www.limestonehotel.co.uk 📞 01929 400252
Walks in and around West Lulworth
- Durdle Door & Man O’ War Bay – The iconic natural limestone arch of Durdle Door, its sweeping shingle beach, and the small Man O’ War Bay are approximately 30 minutes’ walk from West Lulworth. The walk includes a fairly steep hill and several steps, but the views you will be rewarded with are some of the finest on the South West coast. (Note that there is parking closer to Durdle Door at the Durdle Door Holiday Park, SatNav: BH20 5PU)
- Stair Hole & the Lulworth Crumple – A short stroll up the hill from the village are the blowhole and arches of the formation known as Stair Hole, as well as the intriguing Lulworth Crumple – layers and ‘folds’ of sedimentary rock that have formed over time into a fascinating pattern. There are also stunning views down onto the cove from here.
- Lulworth Fossil Forest – Examine fossilised tree roots and stumps from the ancient forest that once grew here after the world saw its sea levels drop dramatically 150 million years ago
- The village itself – You can wile away an afternoon just pottering about the chocolate-box houses lining the gently winding streets of the village, picking about the white pebbles of the cove or sitting in the sun in one of the pubs. As you stroll around you’ll discover various gems such as the book swap in the old bus shelter and off-the-beaten-track waymarked walks. But one thing is certain – you won’t want to miss a quick trip to the Doll’s House – a traditional sweet and fudge shop.
How to get to West Lulworth
For your SatNav: BH20 5RQ.
This will take you to the main car park for West Lulworth village and Lulworth Cove.
Turn right onto Holme Lane and continue until you reach the B3070 at West Holme. Turn left and follow the road through East Lulworth, past Lulworth Camp and into West Lulworth village.
Leave Wareham via Worgret Road or the A351 onto the A352 and turn left onto the B3070. Follow the road until you reach West Lulworth.
Parking is either £5 for four hours, or £10 for the day.
The car park at Lulworth is open 24 hours a day, all year round.
Note that the natural beauty of this area draws many thousands of visitors a year, especially in the summer months, so arriving to park early or visiting at an off-peak time might help you avoid the crowds.