The Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door walk captures the best of the Jurassic Coast; towering limestone cliffs, natural arches and magnificent views. It’s an easy and stunning short walk in England.
The undulating path from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door is just over 1 mile, yet it collects some of the finest coastal scenery in the country.
Below your feet, white limestone cliffs drop to golden shingle beaches. Out to sea, the natural stone arches of Durdle Door frame the ocean. Inland, sheep and cows graze in the patchwork of green fields and rural farmhouses.
While the Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door walk takes only 30 minutes (one way) but it’s worth exploring some of the other great features of the area.
Here’s how to see all the best of the walk, tips on where to stay, and all you need to know about Lulworth Cove parking.
For more breathtaking natural scenery in the area, read our guide to visiting the Seven Sisters cliffs.
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LULWORTH COVE DURDLE DOOR WALK
An easy walk along spectacular coastal scenery
2 kilometres (1.25 miles) one way
100 metres (+/-)
Late-May to mid-July
EXPLORING LULWORTH CRUMPLE
Lulworth Cove is a beautiful part of England and a highlight on the Jurassic Coast. As an almost perfect circular bay, calm waters are surrounded by a sweep of grey shingle.
The view from the shore is pretty enough with old wooden fishing boats bobbing in the bay, but it’s even better from above.
Before starting the Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door walk, head up to the small headland that sits above the nearby ‘Stair Hole’ to explore Lulworth Crumple.
Layers of black, grey and white rock have folded under gravity creating a remarkable sight as they slowly melt into the crashing seas.
LULWORTH CRUMPLE LOOP
The return loop from the Lulworth Cove Car Park over the headland, past the Lulworth Crumple takes 15 minutes (see map at end of the article).
LULWORTH COVE TO DURDLE DOOR WALK
The 1.25-mile (2-kilometre) walk from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door begins at the back of the Lulworth Cove parking.
A wide well-marked path slowly rises almost 400 feet to the top of the cliffs.
Over the course of the walk, the trail passes secret beaches tucked into coves, cows grazing in a patchwork of fields and sheer drops down to the ocean.
Everywhere you look the views are amazing as white limestone cliffs undulate into the distance.
After only 30 minutes, the walk ends at the top of the cliffs above Durdle Door – the iconic image of the Jurassic Coast.
It’s one of our favourite coastal walks in Dorset.
WHICH DIRECTION SHOULD YOU DO THE WALK?
It’s possible to park at Durdle Door Car Park and do this walk in reverse, but we recommend you start at Lulworth Cove where the facilities are better.
If you want to grab something for lunch, have an ice cream or a pint before you start the walk, Lulworth Cove has a few options.
But, the main reason you should do the walk from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door is due to the car park opening times.
Lulworth Cove car park is open 24 hours, whereas Durdle Door car park only opens at 8 am and closes at 4 pm, 7 pm or 10 pm (depending on the time of year). This means you’re a bit restricted if you start at Durdle Door.
Additionally, the uphill part of the walk comes at the beginning if you start at Lulworth Cove, so it’s all downhill on the way home.
HOW TO GET TO LULWORTH COVE
A trip to Lulworth Cove is one of the best days out in Dorset. The best way to get to Lulworth Cove to start the walk to Durdle Door is to drive, which also allows you to see some of the other stunning attractions on the Jurassic Coast.
Lulworth Cove is 126 miles from London, which will take around 2 hours, and 30 minutes. Longer in peak times.
LULWORTH COVE PARKING
Lulworth Cove car park is conveniently positioned right on the path and opens 24 hours a day every day of the year.
It’s a large paved car park that overflows into the neighbouring fields. Despite the overflow, it still gets very busy in the summer holidays (July/Aug) and on warm weekends. So, if you plan to visit at these times then try to get there early or late in the day.
How to pay for parking – You can either buy a parking ticket for a set number of hours or you can tap in and tap out with a contactless card. The Lulworth Cove parking is £10 for the day or £5 for up to 4 hours.
If you buy a ticket for a set number of hours and don’t use it all, it’s also valid for the Durdle Door car park.
DURDLE DOOR PARKING
From the Durdle Door car park, it’s a 900-metre walk down a wooden staircase to the beach. All-day parking is £10 or £5 for up to 4 hours. The car park is open from 9 am to 5 pm.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO LULWORTH COVE
Unfortunately, public transport is rather infrequent in winter but extra services are available during the busier summer months.
Lulworth Cove By Train – The nearest train station is in the town of Wool on the London Waterloo to Weymouth line.
Lulworth Cove By Bus – Three bus services (numbers 30, X54, and 55) run the short distance from Wool to West Lulworth (Lulworth Cove). Please keep in mind that the number 30 bus only operates from late May until late September.
You can plan your journey on public transport using this website.
FACILITIES ON THE WALK
The Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre is open from 10am to 5pm (4pm in winter) each day except Christmas Day. Educational displays tell the story of the 150 million-year-old geology of the area and they can help with any information you need.
Ice creams and refreshments are available from the Durdle Door Corner – a food van positioned overlooking the headland. If the Durdle Door weather is in your favour, an ice cream is a great way to finish the walk.
LULWORTH COVE TO DURDLE DOOR MAP
We marked all the best photography spots, parking, restaurants, and sights on our Lulworth Cove Durdle Door Map.
SIGHTS AROUND DURDLE DOOR
Once you have completed the walk from Lulworth Cove to the cliffs above Durdle Door you could just head back the way you came (another 30 minutes to return).
However, there is plenty more to explore.
Man O’War Beach // Take the steep steps down to Man O’War beach and explore this excellent arc of golden shingle. The water here is protected by a large rock sitting just out to sea so it’s not only an excellent beach to stroll but a great place for a swim.
Durdle Door Beach // This golden shingle beach is reached by a short but steep staircase (which requires a bit of care) and offers fine photo opportunities of Durdle Door. Once at the bottom, head further west along the beach to be dwarfed by the 300-foot limestone cliffs.
Bats Head Coastal Path // Continue further west along the coastal path on the top of the cliffs. There’s a short steep section over Swyre Head before it drops back down to Bat’s Head for more excellent coastal views (add another 30 minutes for the one-way walk to Bat’s Head)
LULWORTH COVE TO DURDLE DOOR TIPS
01 – The path between Lulworth Cove and the cliffs above Durdle Door is clear and easy to follow. It requires about 100m of ascent and takes about 30 minutes (1-hour return). But allow longer to soak up the views.
02 – If you take the steps from the cliffs above Durdle Door down to the beaches, then take care as they are quite steep.
03 – On dry days the walk would be fine in trainers or comfortable shoes, but the Lulworth Cove weather can be unpredictable and after rain some sections can get muddy.
04 – Don’t forget your camera and swimmers.
05 – Lulworth Cove has a visitor centre (open every day 10 am to 4 pm except Christmas day), toilets, a couple of restaurants and a small shop.
06 – Durdle Door has a kiosk for snacks (10 am to 4 pm) and toilets in the car park.
OTHER THINGS TO DO NEAR LULWORTH COVE
The Jurassic Coast – where Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door is located – is a 95-mile stretch of beautiful scenic coastline. Here are some more options in the area.
Old Harry Rocks // These towering limestone stacks, stranded out at sea, are one of the most photographic locations in the UK. Read our guide to visiting Old Harry Rocks.
Dorset Coast Walks // Dorset has some of the most stunning walking trails in the UK. We’ve put together 6 of our favourite walks in Dorset that capture the best of the area.
Jurassic Coast // For more ideas on the coast, read our guide to the best things to do on the Jurassic Coast.
Seven Sisters // A little further afield, the Seven Sisters is a beautiful stretch of coastline where glistening white cliffs drop into the azure ocean. All the details are in our guide to the Seven Sisters.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a number of great accommodation options at the beginning and end of the Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door walk but in our opinion, it’s better to head a bit further afield.
All our recommendations for hotels, huts & B&Bs are on our guide to accommodation on the Jurassic Coast, but here are some of our picks.
Nestled in 4 acres of English cottage gardens by the River Frome, this 16th-century hotel is a luxurious choice in a lovely town.
If you want an old English pub in a tiny village away from everywhere then this is the place. It’s just meters from the Dorset Coast.
A slice of Victoriana in the centre of Dorchester, staying at Beggars Knap is like stepping back 100 years (with all the modern luxuries).
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