Route details, maps, pubs, features, local history and folklore for a wide variety of walks focusing primarily on Norfolk and Suffolk

Thursday, 16 May 2019

South West Coast Path - Osmington to Lulworth

View across to Durdle Door and beyond

A 7 mile walk along the South West Coast Path From Osmington to Lulworth Cove

A spectacular but demanding walk along the Dorset section of the South West Coast Path. The huge undulating cliffs present challenges to overcome but the scenery is magnificent beyond doubt that will leave one gasping in awe. Probably one of the most iconic sections of the whole south West Coast Path culminating in familiar landmark of Durdle Door.


This is a walk summary intended to provide the user with just the essential information in order to navigate the walk route. Fully detailed information notes, refreshment stops and walk features are not included in this. A full write up will be included in the near future.

South West Coast Path - Osmington to Lulworth Cove - Essential Information

Walk Statistics:

Start point
Osmington View in OS Map | View in Google Map
End Point
Lulworth Cove View in OS Map | View in Google Map
Total Walk distance
7.5 miles
Walk difficulty
The coast route follows the steep undulating cliffs. The are plenty of steep ascents and descents.


The following maps and services can assist in navigating this route. The links include published hard copy as well as online plots and downloadable GPX route data for importing into navigational software and apps.

Ordnance Survey Explorer Map
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Online Ordnance Survey Route
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Online OpenStreetMap Route
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Online Google Route
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ViewRanger App Route
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GPX data for route (download)


Bagwell Farm Camp SiteView in OS Map | View in Google Map
Touring site close to the main road with easy access to the coast Path


Details of public transport that is required for the walk

Traveline - Bus Service
Service Details
At the time of walking there was no bus service. This has since been rectified by the X54 First Group service that links lulworth Cove and Weymouth. The X53 service then links Weymouth and the campsite at Langton Herring. For the latest details of services and operators see the Traveline website

Walk Data

Date of Walk
Walk Time
08:30 to 12:00
Griffmonster, Kat
Weather Conditions
Bright sunshine and hot

Walk Notes

At only seven miles this walk may appear to be nothing more than an afternoon stroll. Do not be fooled. The cliffs wildly undulate with some challenging ascents and descents. From Osmington Mills the path steadily rises to nearly 170m at White Noethe after which there is a roller-coaster walk of steep descents and climbs over 100m cliffs. It is spectacular to say the very least and the scenery is some of the most photographed of the whole SWCP culminating in the iconic Durdle Door, an arched door eroded out of the cliffs. The descent from Swyre Head is very steep although there are footholds cut into the grassy hillside to enable walkers to grip their way up and down. Even so, as a vertigo sufferer it did not present too much of an issue, the grass covered slope providing a reassurance that this is not quite vertical!

On this occasion rambling along the top of the cliff around the summit of Swyre Head, an adder passed between our steps heading to the cliff edge. It disappeared into the grass camouflage and one could only wonder whether the snake had any knowledge about the sheer drop beyond.

The area around Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove is a very popular tourist destination that attracts large parties of schoolchildren on field trips. Consequently the area can be very busy with queues of folk along the path down into Lulworth Cove as was the case on this occasion. The benefit of this attraction is that the Cove has all the tourist facilities including the Hall and Woodhouse pub that has the rather obvious name of The Lulworth Cove Inn and this hostelry offers a decent range of ales as well as accommodation. The Grasshopper ale was a great reward for completing this strenuous hike.

Despite the huge number of tourists, public transport to the Cove is pretty scant. In fact when this walk was undertaken, the bus service was non-existent and an inland return route had been formulated in case we could not find a method of transport back. The public transport situation does appear to have been rectified in more recent times and there are now a few services that link back to Osmington and Weymouth. The only other option is a taxi to the town of Wool which is on the main bus route. As luck would have it, after a visit to the pub, a taxi pulled up in the car park to drop off a fare. A quick request to the driver and he had a new fare back up to Wool.

It should be noted that beyond Lulworth is a military range and the cost path through this is only open at specific times. If one wants to continue walking then consult the dates and times of public access.

Summary of Document Changes

Last Updated: 2019-05-16

2010-06-24 : Initial publication
2019-05-16 : Recast and rewritten to common website format


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