The drive up to Worth Matravers, from either direction (Swanage or Kingston), has some of the most far-reaching and impressive views of the Purbeck Hills and across to Corfe Castle to be found in Purbeck.
Despite being a small village there is plenty to see and do, including a family-friendly walk down to the disused quarry caves of Winspit (famously a Doctor Who filming location).
There is also a miniature museum within the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) award-winning Square and Compass pub, with its Narnia-style stone tables and seating in the garden.
The Square is loved by locals and visitors alike for its relaxed, yet lively atmosphere; its pasties served through a hatch in the wall; an extensive on-site pressed cider collection; and regular live folk bands and open mic nights. People tend to spill out into the garden, which overlooks the sea on a dry day, and in winter the roaring fires inside make for a fantastically cosy experience.
The pub also hosts seasonal events such as the Pumpkin Festival in October and Beer & Beard in December (beards are not
compulsory, but may be rewarded if they’re exceptionally good).
Worth Matravers also has a tea room serving excellent home light lunches and cakes to set you up for a couple of hours’ walking. It’s set just above the village pond and has a quintessentially English feel, with its eclectic decor and locally-sourced food served on vintage china.
Wander around the pretty streets of the village and up to the small playground, or head down the waymarked path to Winspit with its spectacular views of the sea and ancient farmland.
Step back in time into the history of the Jurassic Coast
For something even further back in time, head to the nearby Keate’s Quarry, where you can walk in the footprints of the dinosaurs that roamed here 145 million years ago. Believed to have been a brachiosaur watering-hole, the site by the village of Acton allows you to stand in the steps of the Jurassic giants.
And the Jurassic exploration doesn’t end there in Worth Matravers – round off your day at the Square and Compass pub to check out one of the smallest, but most-well-stocked, fossil and curio museums to be found, along with a restorative pie and a pint.
Exploring Worth Matravers
The village has small surprises hidden at every turn, with something to delight each member of the family.
Walks in and around Worth Matravers
- Worth Matravers village itself is a lovely walk, with charming Purbeck stone cottages and stunning views of rolling hills down to the sea at every turn
- Chapman’s Pool – this rugged, secluded and quiet cove is recommended for experienced walkers as it can involve a slight scramble to get to and the path down can be slippery. There is a circular walk to get to it that is best accessed from Renscombe car park in Worth Matravers (SatNav) BH19 3LL
- St Aldhelm’s Head and Chapel – this walk is steeped in history – from a remote Norman chapel to a WWII memorial, with views across Bronze Age burial mounds to the sea. Renscombe is the nearest car park
- Seacombe and Dancing Ledge – seasoned walkers will enjoy the route from Worth, across Seacombe Bottom, to Dancing Ledge, which boasts stunning views and a tidal pool set into the rocks. However there is a car park in the next village along (Langton Matravers), which makes accessing this beauty spot more family-friendly.
How to get to Worth Matravers
For your SatNav: BH19 3LE. This will take you to the main village car park, which operates a donation payment system.
Renscombe car park is the place to park for walks including Chapman’s Pool and St Aldhelm’s Head and chapel. For your SatNav: BH19 3LL.
You can also reach Worth Matravers by bus (Purbeck Breezer Route 40), but it is a good ten minute walk from the Langton – Kingston road.
- Winspit – the disused quarry is famous for being a filming location for Doctor Who and the sci-fi TV series Blake’s 7. It’s a great place to explore and is popular with climbers, but be wary of sheer cliff edges with dogs and children. You’ll pass a couple of caves on the way down, which you can look quietly into – they are home to protected bats
- Burngate Stone Carving Centre – try your hand at traditional stone carving. Burngate is located on the Swanage – Kingston road just before you turn off for Worth Matravers. It also offers a range of arts and crafts courses
- Walk with dinosaurs – at Keate’s Quarry. Remnants of 100 brachiosaur footprints have been unearthed and preserved at what is believed to have been a dinosaur watering hole. Park at the small car park down the turning for Acton and follow the signs