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Lulworth Cove

Lulworth, with its perfect azure horseshoe bay, is another overnight highlight for the walker. Lulworth was formed by a stream breaching the limestone cliffs allowing the sea to enter and hollow out a magnificent cliff lined cove. Jumbles of nets, pots and fishing boats line the shore beside the little beach cafe and the Lulworth Heritage Centre here, without doubt one of the best along the whole route, with exhibitions covering the geology, smuggling and fishing history in this remote coastal area. You can also book excellent butterfly walks here and hopefully spot some of the unique species such as the Chalk Hill Blue and The Lulworth Skipper.


Cistercian monks set up a monastery here, no doubt inspired by the location, though little remains of this today. The poet John Keats also spent time here when close to his death, as he travelled overseas in a failed attempt to get well, and Thomas Hardy wrote of Troy swimming here in 'Far From The Madding Crowd’. The Cove became infamous as a landing spot for the smugglers free trade goods, its isolation and natural protection leaving it awash with consignments of rum and brandy in its hey day. The row of 8 coastguard cottages were built in 1824 to try and deter this and they provided accommodation for the Customs and Excise men in Lulworth Cove who tried in vain to prevent the smuggling.


Facilities are good for the walker, head inland to find the thatched cottages and pubs of West Lulworth Village. There are several B&B’s, inns and small hotels for the walker, along with a restaurant, beach cafe and a few small shops, as well as the inevitable fossil emporium! For anyone wanting a rest day this is a superb choice. In season you can take kayaking trips or boat trips from Lulworth along the coast to see the Durdle Door Arch from the sea or walking inland you can explore the hunting lodge at Lulworth Castle.


For those arriving or leaving from here, public transport to and from Lulworth is possible but not frequent, buses connect to the train station at Wool, which is only 5 miles away. Where buses don’t fit in with the trains, transfers can be arranged.

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