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Explore the Jurassic Coast on These 6 Beautiful Walks

Durdle Door

Disclaimer: This post is kindly sponsored by Classic Cottages. However, as always, all opinions are my own.

The Jurassic Coast has some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in the south of England, characterised by stratified limestone cliffs, pebbled beaches and unique rock formations.

This beauty is coupled with a rich prehistoric history, as this stretch of coastline is one of the top places in the UK for fossils and dinosaur tracks. 185 million years of history are revealed here — Dorset was once home to some impressive creatures including Sauropods, Iguanodon, Plesiosaur and Ichthyosaur.

With so much natural history and scenery to discover, it’s no wonder that this epic shoreline is famed for its coastal walks. Collecting picturesque bays and chalky cliff tops, here are 6 of the best Jurassic Coast walks.

Jurassic Coast walks in this guide

1) Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door
2) Old Harry Rocks
3) West Bay to Golden Cap
4) Weymouth to Lulworth Cove
5) St Aldhelm’s Head
6) Kimmeridge Circular

Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door

Distance: 3.7 miles | Time: 2 hours | Map: Click here

Durdle Door is one of the best Jurassic Coast walks
Durdle Door

When thinking of the Jurassic Coast, Durdle Door is one of the first images that comes to mind. This natural arch was created by crashing waves eroding at the limestone rock over time — in fact, the rocks that make up the arch are thought to be approximately 140 million years old! It’s a truly iconic landmark, and this article wouldn’t be complete without including it.

This 2-hour figure-of-eight walk around Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door really showcases the best of this coastline. Beginning at the Lulworth visitor centre, you’ll join the South West Coast Path and follow the trail for fantastic views over Oswald Bay, before reaching Durdle Door and Man O’ War Cove. I recommend you head down to the beach at Durdle Door to relax and admire the scenery before taking the trail back to Lulworth.

Old Harry Rocks

Distance: 6.4 miles | Time: 2 hr 45 | Map: Click here

Old Harry Rocks
Old Harry Rocks

Standing tall on the edge of Studland Bay, Old Harry Rocks are three chalk formations marking the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast. “Old Harry” itself refers to the single stack of chalk standing furthest out to sea. He used to be accompanied by another chalk stack, known as Old Harry’s Wife, but she sadly crumbled into the sea in the late 19th century.

This circular walk around Studland Village and Old Harry Rocks is a great way to take in the beauty of this wonderful stretch of coastline. It’s an interesting and varied route, showcasing rolling hills, sea views, heathland, and of course the highlight of Old Harry Rocks.

West Bay to Golden Cap

Distance: 8.5 miles | Time: 4 hours | Map: Click here

Golden Cap
Golden Cap

At 191 metres, Golden Cap is the highest point on England’s south coast. As you would expect from such height, this walk is quite challenging with several steep inclines along the way. Over the course of 8.5 miles, you’ll hike from the harbour at West Bay to Golden Cap’s top, passing plenty of scenic beaches on route.

I recommend stopping for refreshments at The Anchor Inn in Seatown to recharge yourself, before tackling the last 40 minutes up to the top of Golden Cap. From its peak, you’ll be treated to stunning 360-degree views across West Dorset and the Jurassic Coast. You can even see as far as Lyme Regis on a clear day.

Weymouth to Lulworth Cove

Distance: 11.5 miles | Time: 5 hr 30 | Map: Click here

Lulworth Cove
Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove is easily one of the most beautiful coves in England; a sheltered pebble beach in a remarkable horseshoe shape, formed thousands of years ago by erosion from the sea. It’s an epic finale to a long day of walking — make sure to take a dip if the weather allows it.

This Jurassic Coast walk begins in the bustling seaside town of Weymouth and follows the South West Coast Path all the way to Lulworth Cove. It’s a long walk at 11.5 miles, particularly as there are some steep sections, but the views are fantastic and well worth the effort. I highly recommend you stop at the Smuggler’s Inn at Osmington for lunch — it’s a simply gorgeous pub.

St Aldhelm’s Head

Distance: 4.6 miles | Time: 2 – 2.5 hours | Map: Click here

St Aldhelms Chapel
St Aldhelm’s Chapel

This circular walk around St Aldhelm’s Head has a lot to offer, and will likely take you longer than expected due to the many sights along the way. You’ll pass the pretty 13th-century St Aldhelm’s Chapel and the disused quarry at Winspit, where there are deep cave tunnels to explore. The walk is moderately challenging with a few steep sections — particularly the steps out of Chapman’s Pool — but is worth it for the rugged cliff views and historical sights.

Beginning in the village of Worth Matravers, you’ll head east along quiet country roads before joining the South West Coast Path and walking south towards St Aldhelm’s Head. This stretch of coastline is particularly craggy and therefore excellent habitat for birds of prey — keep your eyes peeled!

Kimmeridge Circular

Distance: 9 miles | Time: 4 – 4.5 hours | Map: Click here

Kimmeridge Bay

This circular walk around Kimmeridge is nice and varied, showcasing a mix of fields and coastline. You’ll begin in Kimmeridge village, before heading down to join the South West Coast Path at Kimmeridge Bay. Kimmeridge Bay is located within a marine Special Area of Conservation — the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve — and therefore has some of the best rockpools and snorkelling spots in Dorset. If that’s your thing, make sure to bring a swimsuit and snorkel mask with you.

From the bay, you’ll walk east directly along the cliffs until you reach Houns Tout. You’ll have wonderful views of Chapman’s Pool from the headland here, and will then track inland towards the village of Kingston. The trail will meander through scenic fields on its way back to Kimmeridge.

Where to stay on the Jurassic Coast

Looking to visit the Jurassic Coast for an outdoor getaway? These gorgeous holiday cottages in Dorset are ideal for a cosy countryside escape.

Old Walls Cottage in Dorset

Old Walls, Weymouth

This sea view cottage in Dorset is simply beautiful, with three bedrooms, a spacious living area and two outside seating areas. It’s a short walk from the spectacular Chesil Beach, and just a couple of miles from the pretty seaside town of Weymouth.

Sunnyholme, Studland

This gorgeous 1930s home is perfectly positioned to explore the east side of the Jurassic Coast, such as Studland’s sandy beaches and the iconic Old Harry Rocks. When you’re not out exploring, relax in the peaceful garden or enjoy some table tennis in the games room.

Sunnyholme Cottage in Dorset
Cobb Cottage in Dorset

Cobb Cottage, Lyme Regis

Located just minutes from the harbour at Lyme Regis, Cobb Cottage offers fantastic views over Lyme Bay and Monmouth Beach. The cosy interior is perfect for unwinding after a day out walking on the Jurassic Coast.

Thank you for reading! If you found this post useful, I’d be grateful if you would consider using the affiliate links below when planning your travels. I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This will help me to keep this blog running. Thanks for your support – Lauren.

Hotels – Booking.com
Hostels – Hostelworld
Cheap flights – Skyscanner
Travel insurance – World Nomads
Outdoor gear – Decathlon / GO Outdoors
Cycling gear – Chain Reaction Cycles

Alternatively, you could buy me a coffee to say thanks!

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