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10 things to do at Lulworth Cove holiday cottages

10 things to do at Lulworth Cove

Kate A 29 March 2019

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

This quiet corner of Dorset may surprise you with the number of fun things to do there is for families on their holidays or for adults on a relaxing retreat. Where will you start? 

Lulworth Cove in Dorset is a quaint village with many picturesque and traditional cottages. A large car park serves the bustling lane which leads down to the oyster-shaped cove and is lined with shops and restaurants, while the cove itself is largely shingle with a few patches of golden sand. Take a peek at our pretty holiday cottages and begin planning your next trip... 

The swimming in the crystal-clear water is very protected, so a great spot for young children. Over the ridge is Stair Hole, a small rocky cove with arches out to the sea, showing how Lulworth Cove would have looked when it started to form many thousands of years ago.

As well as the beautiful beach, there is a great range of activities and attractions in and around Lulworth to keep you busy during a stay in one of our Lulworth holiday cottages. If you're wondering what to do during your time in Lulworth, we have chosen 11 of our favourite things to do and see in and around Lulworth Cove for some inspiration.

1. Admire the iconic Durdle Door

Durdle Door in Dorset

A must-visit on any holiday to Dorset!

Durdle Door is probably the world’s most famous rock arch and Dorset’s most photographed landmark. Walk up the steep path from Durdle Door car park and then the steps to the shingle beach, and spend the day soaking up the views.

When the tide is out you are able to stroll along the beach past Scratchy Bottom and onto Bat’s Head with its small rock arch at the far end of the beach. You can also walk down a steep path at Scratchy Bottom to the sea. Remember to always check the tide times to avoid being cut off!

While you're there...

For some more out-of-the-way beaches, have a flick through our guide to Dorset's secret beaches where you can find your happy place, well away from the crowds.

Dorset's secret beaches

2. Meet the apes at Monkey World

Monkey World in Dorset

Monkey World is an ape rescue centre set in 65 acres of Dorset countryside. It is home to 250 rescued or endangered primates. There are 20 different species to see! Not to mention, picnic areas and cafes dotted around for when you are ready for a break and a bite to eat.

Many have been abused in their past life and brought here to live out their days. They are all stars of the hugely successful TV series Monkey Life, which chronicles life at the centre, so why not check it out before you go? 

While you're there...

  • Book a personal tour of the centre
  • Listen to talks from keepers who work with the primates daily 
  • Let children loose in the Great Ape Play Area among climbing frames, cargo nets, swings & slides

Discover more fantastic activities and places to visit, from family-friendly attractions to unforgettable destinations across this beautiful county, in our guide full of things to do in Dorset. 

Things to do in Dorset

3. Drive a tank at Bovington Tank Museum - 'Not all museums are QUIET.'

The Tank Museum Bovington

The Tank Museum has two of the best advertising tag lines that scream 'a great day out for the family': “The biggest day out in history” and “Not all museums are QUIET." The museum charts the rise of the tank and its role in warfare since its first use in World War I.

There are nine indoor exhibitions displaying over 300 vehicles. But, the most fun is the outdoor arena, with explosions and tanks rolling into action (always check the events calendar). There are regular events all year, the highlights of which being Tank Fest and Tiger Day; plus, various personal experiences can be booked.

While you're there...

4. Explore Lulworth Castle and grounds

Lulworth Castle in Dorset

Originally built as a hunting lodge in the 18th century then destroyed by a fire in 1929, this impressive castle is not by Lulworth Cove (like many assume) but over in the neighbouring village fo East Lulworth. In more recent years, it has been partially restored by the Weld Estate and English Heritage.

The 18th-century Catholic Chapel that sits in the grounds has an amazing ceiling mural to view. There is also a children’s playground and tea rooms that you can visit. In the village itself, the Weld Arms offers a great thatched country pub experience and boasts a massive pub garden. Next door is Past and Presents, a treasure trove of a gift shop and café.

While you're there...

  • Check out exhibitions of times past at the castle
  • Follow footpaths through the scenic parkland
  • Climb the tower for a panoramic view

5. Visit Lawrence of Arabia's home at Clouds Hill

Cloud Hill

Everyone loves a good story, and this ever-impressive T.E Lawrence’s life story is a fantastic one, unfortunately with a tragic end. He was discharged in February 1935 from the RAF and then tragically died riding his motorbike on local roads in May the same year. Discover more at Clouds Hill which was once his rural retreat.

Made world-famous in the David Lean film, Lawrence of Arabia, which depicts his exploits in the Sinai Desert during the First World War, he used this tiny cottage as an escape from army camp life. Here he could relax and entertain a select group of friends, whilst still living at the nearby camp. Step back in time and view how he lived his spartan life. 

While you're there...

  • Children (and grown-ups!) can take part in the Brass Rubbing Trail 
  • See the book room, music room and motorcycle shed
  • Any motorcyclists may wish to follow his 'wheels' with a drive around these quaint country roads

6. Swim and picnic at Mupe Bay in the Lulworth Ranges

Mupe Bay in Dorset

Mupe Bay is probably Lulworth Cove’s best-kept secret.

When you've tired of all the family attractions, head over to Mupe Bay - a secluded bay in the Lulworth Ranges, which are open most weekends and during the school holidays. Whilst the world and his wife are walking from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door, you just need to head along the coast in the opposite direction to reach it. 

Most days, even in the peak of summer, you will find very few people on the beach and only a few moored boats in the cove with their owners having lunch. On a good day, you would think you were on a deserted Greek Island rather than a short walk from the busy Lulworth Cove.

While you're there...

  • Paddle from Lulworth Cove to Mupe Bay in a sea kayak 
  • Climb rock stacks, investigate rock pools and go snorkelling
  • Challenge yourself with one of the steep walks that lead to and from this unique spot

Dorset has so many wonderful walks along its Jurassic coastline - for inspiration, have a look through some of our favourite Dorset coastal walks.

Dorset coastal walks

7. Discover the abandoned Tyneham Village and Worbarrow Bay

Tyneham Village in Dorset

Also located in the Lulworth Ranges is Worbarrow Bay which faces Mupe Bay. Via Tyneham village the drive is very scenic with panoramic views across rolling countryside and out to sea. You then drop down off the ridge into a bowl with abandoned Tyneham village at the bottom.

Worbarrow Bay is an easy, flat, mile-long walk from Tyneham village and the beach is shelving shingle with crystal-clear water on a good day. This is another beach to escape the crowds of Lulworth Cove or Studland’s beaches – just don’t tell everyone!

While you're there...

  • Explore the mysterious Tyneham village and see the schoolhouse and church which are still standing
  • Climb Worbarrow Tout for fantastic views along the coast to Portland
  • It's dog-friendly so take the pup along for a walk along the shingle beach

This crumbling village is a mysterious little place - find out why it was abandoned in our blog about Dorset's 'ghost village'. 

Dorset's 'ghost village'

8. Sea Kayaking Tours and Coasteering at Lulworth Cove

Sea kayaking tours in Dorset

Both the sea kayaking tours and coasteering are operated out of the main Lulworth Cove car park by Jurassic Coast Activities. They are a fun way to get a unique view of the iconic landmarks of Lulworth Cove and/or Durdle Door. You can book a full or half-day option and then just be prepared to get wet and have some fun.

While you're there...

  • Take in unforgettable views of the coast and the peace and quiet of the sea
  • Get a photo of yourself paddling past the iconic Durdle Door!

Fancy paddling your way through Dorset's scenic rivers? Take a look through our post describing what it's like to kayak down the wonderful River Brit - a fantastic day out in Dorset! 

Kayaking the River Brit

9. Walk across the Fossil Forest

Fossil Forest

This unusual site is home to the remains of an ancient forest which grew 150 million years ago when there was a drop in sea levels. Sea levels rose during the Earth's last warm period, around 125 million years ago, and the forest was flooded, killing the trees and plants that had colonised this stretch of coast. While the trees died, their trunks and roots where preserved in the rock and today, you can see bowl shapes where the trees once stood. 

While you're there...

  • Take in the excellent coastal views
  • Stretch your legs with a walk along the South West Coast Path
  • Take a picnic and eat surrounded by this ancient landscape

10. Drink in the view at The Sailors Return

The Sailors Return pub in Dorset

A quintessential thatched English pub, The Sailors Return is surrounded by rolling hills in a quiet rural village, tucked away in the tiny village of East Chaldon. The pub is long and narrow with a bustling bar at one end, which is always filled with a mix of locals and visitors – dogs are welcome in the bar too. 

There is an extensive range of beers and wines available and the staff are always able to make knowledgeable recommendations if you don’t recognise any of the local ales or gins. The menu is sourced as locally as possible with an ever-changing daily specials board - just remember to book in advance as this pub has a 'cosy' layout.

While you're there...

  • Follow a quiet village walk or challenge yourself with a hill climb up to the South West Coast Path - the perfect way to work up an appetite!
  • Enjoy a sundowner in the beer garden as you watch the world pass by 

Retreat to a Lulworth holiday cottage

Sea Lily
Enjoy a stay at the charming Sea Lily

We have a superb selection of places to stay in Lulworth and Lulworth Cove. Take a break at the charming Sea Lily, a sweet thatched cottage sleeping four guests in Lulworth Cove. It makes an ideal couples' retreat with its private rear courtyard garden - sit back on warm evenings with a glass of something chilled, and watch as the stars in the sky sparkle above.

Other places to stay in Lulworth Cove: 

Carefree Cottage
Take the dog with you to Carefree Cottage

Let all your worries drift away in the beautifully-named Carefree Cottage, also in Lulworth Cove. Situated in the grounds of a grade-II listed farm, it sleeps up to four guests and the family dog. Its enclosed suntrap garden is the ideal place to feel the sun on your face as you sit back and wait for your next activity, happy in the knowledge that Fido is safely snoozing by your side.

More dog-friendly cottages in Lulworth:

With so many things to do in Lulworth, you’ll be needing a relaxing home-from-home to rest your tired feet after your adventures. Whether you are travelling as a couple, a family or bringing the dog, our collection of cosy holiday cottages in Lulworth will offer everyone the perfect Dorset holiday.

Lulworth holiday cottages

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