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Sunday, 11 April 2021

South West Coast Path - Langton Matravers to Swanage

Worth Matravers

A challenging walk along the South West Coast Path between Langton Matravers to Swanage

Not quite a circular walk, with bus to connect the missing distance between Langton Matravers to Swanage. Some amzing coastline with a memorable climb to the top of St Adhelms Head.


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 - Langton Matravers to Swanage - Essential Information

Walk Statistics:

  • Start location: Langton Matravers 
  • End location: Swanage 
  • Distance:   miles (  km)
  • Total Gain:   ft (  metre)
  • Total Descent:   ft (  metre)
  • Min Height:   ft (  metre)
  • Max Height:   ft (  metre)
  • Walk Time:  
  • Walk type: Linear
  • Walk Grade: Challenging
  • Terrain: Footpath


The following maps and services can assist in navigating this route. There are links to printed maps and links to downloadable GPX route data for importing into navigational software and apps.


Route Verification Details

  • Date of Walk: 25/06/2010
  • Walk Time: 11:30 to 17:30
  • Walkers: griff, kat
  • Weather Conditions: warm, blue skies

Walk Notes

This was the eighth stage of 10 days walking along the Jurassic Coast section of the South West Coast Footpath between Exmouth and Poole. The day started with moving base camp to Langton Matravers in order to undertake the final stages of the whole walk. Unfortunately due to both access time constraints at the Lulworth Military Range and public transport availability it was found that it was not feasible on this occasion to undertake the path between Lulworth and Kimmerage. Access to this section is severely limited and it is wise to check when the range path is open by referring to It should also be noted that the bus service linking Lulworth may, as on this occasion, also limited to peak season and one should check Traveline for the latest services and timetables. This was a big disappointment to say the least and does mean that a return to the part of the world will be required to experience the amazing coastline that was missed.

As stated, this was a day that we moved our base-camp in order to undertake the final sections of the Jurrasic Coast. The site we had found from searching various camping resources was Toms Field at Langton Matravers. This is a lovely little campsite that only caters for touring tents, and a site that I would highly recommend due to its location. However, it should be stressed that no bookings are taken as the site operates a first come, first served basis. In order to secure a pitch we made sure that we arrived early, as soon after the reception opened at 10am. It is a hugely popular site with limited pitches therefore the early arrival paid off with a constant stream of tourers pouring onto the site. The poor girl who was attending to the arrivals became rather flustered on this occasion. This culminated with an outburst when a new arrival asked whether Mr and Mrs So-and-so had arrived at which point she grabbed them by hand and marched around the camp asking each and every camper 'Are you Mr and Mrs So-and-so and she methodically went around each pitch. It was a sight to see but one can probably appreciate the frustration at such an inane question. The site was full by the time we departed for the days expeditions.

The route to the coast from the camp-site uses paths westwards across the open countryside. This is easy walking and has the bonus of passing through the old hamlet of Worth Matravers. The Matravers name that is common with the place-names in the area is said to originate from 1281AD when a John Mautravers owned the land. Worth Matravers boasts a small pub by the name of The Square and Compass. This unique inn dates from the 17th century and has many connections to the smuggling that dominated the area during those bygone times. The pub has changed little over the centuries and the beer is still served in a tap room straight from the cask and there is a delightful garden in front of the pub where you can sup the local brews and soak up the views. Such an atmosphere really takes you back in time, one can almost imagine that one is sitting there with ones flagon of ale and with the sneaky grin on ones face having evaded the customs men and the smuggled booty safely concealed from prying eyes. This really is a place that can not be passed without taking time out to indulge in a beer and take in the atmosphere.

Steps to St Adhelms Head
Steps to St Adhelms Head

From Worth Matravers it is a simple walk to get to the coast where the amazing scenery unfolds, revealing the path as it crosses the huge undulating coastal cliffs all the way back to Lulworth. The path is inviting but it will have to wait for another time. Instead, we turn to follow the coast southwards to St Adhelms Head. The path soon dips down into a valley followed by a steep climb up some 218 steps to get to the head. At this point the coast turns to the east to reveal the first glimpses of the Isle of Wight.

In all, the path is not too challenging from this point onwards although it has to be said that to the east of the Anvil Point Lighthouse is a nervous clamber for those such as myself who suffer from vertigo. A leap and scramble over a very short distance where if looking down all one can see is the cliffs dropping to the sea.

Swanage Bay
Swanage Bay

The walk was ended at the Swanage where a bus was caught back to Langtom Matravers. Before returning to camp The Kings Head pub proved to be a good place to end the days adventures with three cask ales to celebrate with.

Summary of Document Changes

Last Updated: 2021-12-07

2010-06-25 : Initial Publication
2021-03-17 : Update website improvements and removal of ViewRanger reliance
2021-04-11 : Rewrite and update to be consistent with the rest of the site formatting
2021-12-01 : Removal of ViewRanger links due to its imminent demise


  1. I did this as well as a teenager. Did you walk past the nudies? I did and it was coild and peeing with rain as well.

  2. yes and I passed a nude angler - many jokes about the anglers tackle went through my head but i kept my mouth firly shut and the thoughts to myself. I have passed the nudies up in Holkham in Norfolk - they hide in the dunes and pop up like meercats - a very unusual sight I have to admit


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