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 and a miniature museum within the Square and Compass pub, with its Narnia-style stone tables and seating in the garden.
The pub hosts folk bands and open mic nights throughout the year, as well as seasonal events such as the Pumpkin Festival in October and Beer and Beard in December (beards are not compulsory, but may be rewarded if they’re exceptionally good).
Make your visit memorable
For a small place, there is a surprising amount to do in and around Worth to entertain the whole family for the day – with something to please everyone.
To set you up for a couple of hours’ walking, head to Worth tea rooms, set just above the village pond with its resident ducks – which looks tiny from the outside but is a rabbit warren of small nooks and crannies inside and through to the back garden. It has a true English feel, with its eclectic decor and food served on vintage china.
Wander around the village and up to the playground, or head down the waymarked path to Winspit with its spectacular views of the sea and ancient farmland. Or 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.
And the Jurassic exploration doesn’t end there in Worth Matravers – head to the Square and Compass pub for one of the smallest, but most-well-stocked dinosaur and fossil museums to be found.
The Square is loved by locals and visitors alike for its constant lively atmosphere with pasties served through a hatch in the wall, an extensive locally-produced cider collection and regular live folk bands. 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.
Walks in and around Worth
- The village itself is a lovely walk with beautiful Purbeck stone cottages and stunning views of rolling hills down to the sea at every turn
- Winspit – the disused quarry is famous for being a filming location for Doctor Who. It’s a great place to explore and is popular with climbers, but just be wary of cliff edges with dogs. You’ll pass a couple of caves on the way down, which you can look quietly into – they are home to the Greater Horseshoe bat
- 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 is sometimes slippery. There is a circular walk to get to it that is best accessed from Renscombe car park in Worth Matravers
- Dancing Ledge – seasoned walkers will enjoy the circular route from Worth to Dancing Ledge, however there is a car park in the next village along (Langton Matravers), which makes accessing this beauty spot more family-friendly. With stunning views and a tidal pool set into the rocks