Hike the Southwest Coast Path: Kimmeridge to Lulworth Cove

Dorset, United Kingdom



7.8 miles

Elevation Gain

1654 ft

Route Type



Added by Jenna Mulligan

A steep and challenging section of the SW Coastal Path is isolated from busier sections of trail and leads to the geologically remarkable cove at West Lulworth.

There is plenty of parking options at Kimmeridge Bay, which is located just a mile from the village of Kimmeridge. Follow signs for the SW Coastal Path on the west side of the parking lot, and head away from the Clavell Tower on the opposite side of the bay.

You'll soon pass an old (but still functioning) oil pump and reach the base of a sharp incline up your first hill. The path will become less clear as the grade of the slope increases, but essentially head up and you'll reconnect with a clearer path at the top of the ridge.

This section enters into an active firing range. As a result, the path is only open at certain times, when the range is closed. You can consult dorsetforyou.com for the timetables.

A mile beyond the crest of that first incline, you'll be overlooking Brandy Bay - famed for pirates and looting which characterized this area in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The next two miles are often characterized by mud and steep downhill descents - take care with your footing and avoid this immediately following bad weather. However, it leads to a bay with several beaches - Tyneham and Woodsbarrow being the most frequently visited.

You'll divert slightly inland at this point, as a result of a steep and angular cliff with a taller vertical of cliffs at this point. The Lulworth Castle in East Lulworth is visible from the path in this stretch, though it's several miles inland.

As you complete the last three miles of the hike, eastbound views reveal some of the taller vertical cliffs in the region, and a series of unique geological formations. Lulworth Cove is itself a self-protected cove made from years of erosion, and the entrance down into the cove is narrow - be careful with footing in this section as well.

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