The Jurassic Coast around 154km (96 miles) of coastline stretching from Exmouth to Studland Bay and I’ve walked next to nothing of it. I’m not the most experienced of hikers so to do all of it at once is just a dream. However the more I think about it, it would be something I’d like to do in the future. Hmm.. maybe…
Anyway, for now, I am enjoying day hikes and jumped at the chance of a dry day over the bank holiday weekend to get out and see some more of the coast. This is my short hike from Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove.
Distance: 7.4km (including the distance from the where the car was parked to the start point).
Weather: Grey cloudy day, slight breeze on the cliff tops.
Terrain: Footpaths, including muddy tracks and cobbled pavement, some tarmac road in the route.
Interesting Sights: Durdle Door, Man O’ War Cove, Stair Hole and Lulworth Cove.
First Things First
As it is Easter holiday, this popular stretch of coast was extremely busy. As in 2 car parks full busy. Both Lulworth cove car park and Durdle Door car park were full and many visitors were parking along the road around the Durdle Door holiday park. It’s not the best solution to park halfway up a grass verge however sometimes it is necessary. Parked up right at the end of the line of cars, Joe and I pulled on our hiking boots, grabbed our bags and set off.
Now, I am ashamed to say we do not own an OS map for this stretch of coastline yet. I am currently trying out the OS maps app, and as the route we were taking was the main route and easy to follow, I thought it was a chance to test the app out and try plotting our route. I forgot to set the app plotting at the car so as soon as we got to the entrance of the holiday park the plotting began. Heading down the hill and into the footpath through the small woods, setting off through the mud.
A few minutes later we join the crowds in the car park making their way onto the main route. Now we much prefer hiking places when its a lot quieter, but at the same time have got to make the most of the extra days off work. So we decided to not head down the path to Durdle Door beach as that was very popular (for obvious reasons) and headed straight towards Lulworth Cove. The footpath started very muddily, it looked like some of the paths had been washed away with all of the recent rainfall. After the mud, the path became rockier and dried out a bit. Then when you hit the downhill path into West Lulworth it is a cobbled path with steps on it. Nice walk down into the village.
Now it wasn’t until I saw a photo online that I realised Stair Hole was super close to Lulworth Cove, so a short detour up the side of the cove was needed to have a look. Stair Hole is a small cove which has natural holes and arches in the central ridge cliff. Then on the eastern cliff is whats known as the Lulworth Crumple (Thank you @_adventuresofkate_ for that information!). Layers and layers of rocks forming this amazing pattern throughout the cliff. Next time I visit Stair Hole I am going to make sure it is high tide, and capture the crashing waves against the cliffs.
Continuing down to Lulworth Cove, then having a short snack break on the beach. Listening to the waves, one of my favourite things. The journey back to Durdle Door began, and there’s a big hill. You head back through the village and to the car park where you can spot the main footpath. Go through the car park and start climbing the path up the hill to the top of the cliff. You do feel a bit triumphant when you reach the top and see the cliff top view appear in front of you.
Following the path back to where we meet the main path down to Durdle Door. It’s interesting walking the same route but backwards as you see what was behind you and gives you a chance to spot the details you might have missed last time. I love looking at Man O’ War cove, just the way it arches round and the colour of the sea there is always a brilliant blue. The arch of Durdle Door stands proudly the other side of the Man O’ War cove and still proves to be the star attraction in the area.
The Final Push
Once we got back to the Durdle Door holiday park it was just a matter of missioning it up the hill to the road. Then to find the car again. It was late afternoon and by now a lot of visitors to this Jurassic Coastal site have left, this means that the many cars we passed en route to our start point have all gone. I am so sure that the car was not parked as far as it was, maybe it moved by itself? Who knows! However right on the very end with a huge gap between itself and the car before was my little green and black motor.
That’s that, our afternoon hike was over. Here are a few things I learnt from this adventure; get there early! If you get there earlier you might get a car parking space and would not have to park over 1km away on a large grass kerb. The holidays are very busy, this piece of information is quite obvious, but holiday times are not quiet particularly as the area is very popular. If you are looking to photograph the area go early in the morning or much later in the evening as there might be fewer people walking in front of your camera!
What stretch of the Jurassic Coast do you like to hike? Also, which stretch shall we do next, any suggestions?
We have visited Lulworth Cover before, stopping at a near by campsite and enjoyed a spot of paddleboarding. If you fancy having a read of this post the link is here! 48 Hours Exploring The Jurassic Coast.
See you next time and happy adventuring!
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