Dorset’s ghost village holiday cottages

Dorset’s ghost village

Kate W 27 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.

Welcome to Tyneham! In what could be considered one of the most beautiful spots in the country, with Kimmeridge Bay to the east and Lulworth Cove to the west, sits this characterful village. A mix of huts and country houses make up the village and a traditional church sits in the centre.

Tyneham Dorset's ghost village

Only one thing doesn’t add up - the village is completely deserted. What could cause the inhabitants of this idyllic coastal town to leave? It happened suddenly, a letter was issued and seemingly overnight Tyneham became a ghost village – read the full tale at the end of this post.

Visit this mysterious Dorset site to investigate the ruins of homes and buildings on a day out exploring this idyllic section of coastline. It’s a beautiful place to visit and an intriguing stop along a coastal walk or during a day out to discover this region. Why not browse our cottages to begin planning your trip to Tyneham village in Dorset?

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Tyneham village opening times

How to get to Tyneham village

Tyneham beach

Tyneham village walks

The tale of Dorset's very own lost village

Stay nearby


Tyneham village opening times

Opening times

It’s an eerie experience walking around this ghost village, accessible only at weekends when the military firing range is not in use. Always check the opening times for walking on the Lulworth Ranges and accessing Tyneham village before planning your big day out!

The village is primarily open to the public at weekends with a few exceptions. The exhibitions in Tyneham Church, Tyneham Farm and Tyneham School are open between 10am and 4pm. Check the calendar to plan your trip.

The gate to Tyneham is locked each night at dusk. Entry is free but there is a donation box in the car park.

How to get to Tyneham village

Getting there

Tyneham can be a little tricky to find as it is not well signposted, and it does not have a postcode that can be entered into a satnav! We suggest taking the A35, then A351 towards Swanage.

Just after Wareham turn right and follow signs to Creech/Kimmeridge, then Tyneham. The turning to Tyneham village and Worbarrow Bay is on the left.

Please note: mobile reception is very poor in the area around the village!

While visiting Tyneham, why not make a day of it and head to another of Dorset’s fantastic attractions or places of interest? Take a look through our guide to the top things to do in Dorset to plan a few days of adventure in this beautiful region.

Tyneham beach

Worbarrow Bay

Tyneham beach in Worbarrow Bay is a wonderful place to visit during your day discovering the mysterious Tyneham village. Dogs are welcome so you can bring your canine companion along with you for a dog-friendly day out in Dorset, and set him or her loose splashing through the sea and digging in the sand.

The beach is a short walk (1 mile) from the village and as you arrive you’ll get to see spectacular views over Worbarrow Bay before heading down to the shingle and sand.

Worbarrow Bay is not easy to get to and it doesn’t really have any facilities, however, if you are looking for a quiet place for a picnic or seaside stroll, it’s a beautiful location to do so.

The beautiful county is known for its towering white cliffs sheltering glistening beaches; discover more of these wonderful coastal spots in our guide to Dorset’s secret beaches.

Tyneham village walks


While many of the buildings have fallen into disrepair or have been damaged by shelling, the schoolhouse has been preserved as a museum. In addition, the MOD was required to maintain the Church as part of the agreement to seize the land, so St Mary’s is absolutely immaculate and has a wonderful churchyard to match.

Flower's Barrow, Tyneham| Moderate, 3.5 miles

Walk through the heart of the village passing the church then the school house, before following a track up to a road. This road will lead you along the top of Whiteway Hill to Flower's Barrow. From here, you can join the coast path which leads down a hill, keep an eye out along here for the trail that will lead you back to Tyneham.

Tyneham from Kimmeridge | Easy/moderate, 7 miles

This walk begins over in nearby Kimmeridge and offers outstanding coastal views all the way to Tyneham. Simply follow the South West Coast Path from Kimmeridge which passes oil derricks and takes you up Gad Cliff, before heading down into Tyneham village. You could always double back on yourself to extend this walk.

Lulworth Cove to Tyneham | Moderate, 14 miles

For a real challenge, take on this long circular route that leads you past Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove and can be divided into two smaller walks if you prefer. Follow the South West Coast Path from Lulworth Cove out to Tyneham before completing the Tyneham loop, return along the coast path and continue past Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door before returning the same way you came to finish at Lulworth Cove.

Discover more of where to go and what to see on this impressive coastline by reading through our guide to the Dorset Coast.

The tale of Dorset’s very own lost village


On Christmas Eve 1943, this peaceful village near the sea and 7,500 acres of surrounding heathland were commandeered by the War Office to help train Allied troops. The 252 inhabitants of the tiny Dorset village were given only days to pack their belongings and leave their homes.

As they left, the displaced families pinned a note to the Church door entreating those who came after to take good care of their village.

Please treat the church and houses with care. We have given up our homes, where many of us have lived for generations, to help win the war and keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.

Sadly for them, they were wrong and in 1948 the village and surrounding land were compulsorily purchased and, despite campaigns, the inhabitants were never allowed to return. What was originally a temporary militarisation of the area became a permanent situation and it is still used for gunnery and other training manoeuvres to this day.

Stay near Tyneham

Stay near Tyneham

Primrose Cottage, Church Knowle | sleeps 8 and 1 dog

This stylish retreat is just the place for a big family getaway or break with friends in the heart of the idyllic village of Church Knowle. Dorset’s popular tourist destination of Corfe Castle is just 4 miles away, so you could easily venture over to visit the shops, cafés and magnificent castle before returning to the peace and quiet of your holiday home.

Linden Lea Cottage, Lulworth Cove | sleeps 4 and 1 dog

Escape to this thatched cottage for a traditional stay in a true rural holiday let. You’ll feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of daily life while relaxing in this 17th-century Grade II listed property. There’s a pub just 200 metres away and seasonal shop 0.5 miles from the cottage so you won’t have to jump in the car unless you fancy a day out on the Dorset coast.

Coombe Cottage, Coombe Keynes | sleeps 3 and 5 dogs

A stunning coastal hideaway that welcomes an impressive five dogs to stay! With a wonderful wood burner for tired pups to stretch out in front of and a grassy area where hounds can race about – not to mention a patio for the humans to enjoy dining alfresco – you can bring along the whole pack on a holiday to this beautiful country cottage near Tyneham.

Thinking of travelling to the Jurassic Coast to uncover this lost village? Stay at nearby Lulworth and you could also visit the turquoise waters of Lulworth Cove and see the unique Durdle Door rock formation while here. 

Dorset cottages

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