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Hike the Southwest Coast Path from Lulworth Cove to Weymouth

Dorset, United Kingdom

Details

Distance

11.1 miles

Route Type

Point-to-Point

Description

Added by Jenna Mulligan

Stunning views of the English Channel!

Departing from the car park at Lulworth Cove, there is only a short section of uphill trail before you reach the Durdle Door trailer park and parking lot. Your mile-long warm up will wear off at this point because you'll have to spend some time gazing at Durdle Door, an erosion-created arch in the sea, and reading various plaques about the areas history and creation.

The SW Coastal Path continues westward from this site and begins a series of steep climbs and descents over some of the largest cliffs of the Jurassic Coast region. From the first hill, known as the Bat's Head, you'll be able to see westward all the way to Weymouth and the Isle of Portland. Just ten miles to go until you reach that vista!

Less than two miles further, the trail makes it's last incline and passes by the remains of a lookout point, reached by a break-off in the trail. This diversion is called the "Smugglers Path", presumably used by smugglers to remain less visible than along the main route. You'll want to avoid that option and turn back to the main path to continue down towards Weymouth.

This portion of the trail is much more level and moderate, so I'd recommend this section for those with families or any concerns about high grade hiking.

For the next half-mile into the seaside village of Ringstead, the train becomes more protected with shrubs and trees and breaks away in several places to reach the beach. You can divert here and walk along the stony beach - the trail continues directly from the shore on the western end of The Creek caravan/trailer site. 

One mile beyond, stop for a pint and a rest at the historic Smuggler's Inn, where outdoor picnic tables make for a perfect midday break. Just beyond this, the trail becomes a bit disjunct - head north on Mills Road past the "Jurassic Coastal Cottages", and you'll find the trail markers once again on the west side of the road. 

It is five miles from this point to the center of Weymouth. The trail is fairly residential in parts, especially closer to Weymouth, where it crosses through the Fantasy Island theme park. Finally, the trail connects to the Weymouth boardwalk and leads south along this bay towards the city. 

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Features

Hiking
Adult Beverages
Beach
Easy Parking
Picnic Area
Scenic

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