Explore a piece of history at Tyneham Village and Worbarrow Bay

August 2nd, 2018

No holiday in Dorset would be complete without a trip to the beach and with so many to visit on our spectacular coastline, it can be difficult to know which to choose. Why not try something a little different this summer and head to Worbarrow Bay, where you can combine stunning sea views with the chance to experience part of Dorset’s history at Tyneham Village. Less than half an hour drive from Ulwelll Holiday Park, a trip to this forgotten village and beach will make a fantastic day out for all of the family!

Tyneham Village 

Tucked away down winding country lanes in the heart of the Dorset countryside, Tyneham Village is a small rural village, abandoned in the Second World War as part of Winston Churchill’s D-Day preparations. Today, much of the village lays empty and visitors are free to explore the relics at their leisure.

tyneham village ruins

As you wander around the remains of the once thriving fishing village, it feels as if you are stepping back into a foregone era. The school building remains locked in time and thanks to careful restoration in recent years, it is possible to see examples of some of the students work laid at the desks. As you will see many of the children’s stories and drawings focus on the abundant wildlife present in the area, which if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of during your trip.

tyneham village farm show

It is also possible to enter St Marys Church, where exhibition boards give an insight into the lives of each of the families that called Tyneham home. Here you can purchase a Tyneham Village map, which will give you suggestions for round walks in the local area.

Tyneham Barn is also well worth a visit. Learn about the villages rich farming history and see some of the original tools that were used.

Worbarrow Bay

After a morning of exploring Tyneham village follow the signs marking the safe route through the army ranges to Worbarrow Bay. As you take the 20-minute walk, you will see heathland often rich with meadow flowers stretching into the distance. Disused military vehicles and targets can also be seen in the distance, serving as a constant but interesting reminder that the site is still in use by the armed forces.

worbarrow bay beach

Unlike many of Dorset’s beaches, Worbarrow remains a hidden gem and is often quiet even in the height of summer. Pick your spot on the white shingle beach and sit back, relax and enjoy the breath taking blue waters. If you’re feeling adventurous, the water clarity makes Worbarrow Bay an excellent spot for snorkelling and swimming. For those that find relaxing difficult, a hike up Worbarrow Tout will be rewarded with far reaching views.

A bite to eat

Neither Tyneham Village or Worbarrow Bay have a cafe on site so you will have to travel a little further afield if you are looking for something tasty to eat. On the journey back to Ulwell, why not stop off at The Square and Compass at Worth Matravers, where you can sample homemade pasties and pies as well as their renowned ciders and ales. This family friendly pub also has its very own museum, which displays a vast array of fossils collected from along the Jurassic Coast and artefacts from bronze age.


Getting to Tyneham & Worbarrow Bay

Tyneham village is located on an active firing range, maintained by the MOD. Therefore, both Tyneham Village and Worbarrow bay can only be accessed at certain times of the day. It is best to check the range is open prior to travelling to prevent a wasted journey! The village is free to enter; however a donation towards parking is suggested to help with ongoing maintenance and restoration projects.

Toilets are located at Tyneham farm just a couple of minutes walk from the village.

Worbarrow Bay is a dog friendly beach year round.



Tyneham Village & Worbarrow Bay FAQs


How do you get to Worbarrow Bay?

To get to Worbarrow Bay you will need to follow the B3070 from East Lulworth before taking the sharp, signposted turn to Tyneham Village. The road is quite narrow but there are plenty of passing places along the way. At the bottom of the road there is a large car park. From here you can follow the footpath to Worbarrow Bay. The walk is around 1 mile and is flat and suitable for pushchairs.


Is Worbarrow Bay busy?

The beach at Worbarrow Bay is much quieter than many beaches in Dorset. Of course, there are still plenty of visitors in the summer, but nowhere near the volumes of people that can be found at neighbouring Durdle Door or Lulworth Cove.


Are there toilets at Tyneham?

Yes, there are public toilets at Tyneham Village. They are situated in between the car park and the restored History Barn.


Is Worbarrow Bay dog friendly?

Yes, Worbarrow Bay is a dog friendly beach and there are no lead restrictions in place. Worbarrow Bay is dog friendly year round.


Can I visit Tyneham Village?

Yes, Tyneham Village is open to the public and we highly recommend a visit during your holiday in Dorset. This historical site has plenty to explore and it is surrounded by some of the best scenery along the Jurassic Coast. Please remember that the village lies within land owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and is often closed for training purposes. You can check whether Tyneham Village and Worbarrow Bay will be open ahead of your visit on the gov.uk website. Alternatively, signage is displayed on the B3070, directly opposite the entrance to Lulworth Castle. A red flag is raised is firing is taking place.


Why is Tyneham Village abandoned?

Tyneham Village was abandoned in 1943 because the land was needed by allied forces for military training. The measure was supposed to be temporary, however villagers were not allowed to return, even after the Second World War ended. It has remained abandoned ever since.

Many of the original buildings remain and it possible to explore the historic fishing village during a visit to this section of the Jurassic Coast. Some of the buildings have been restored to give an impression of what they would have looked like in times gone by. You can go inside the building remains as well as the church and school.


Who lived in Tynehem House?

Tyneham House was originally owned by the wealthy Bond Family. It was then used to house members of the Women’s Auxillery Air Force (WAAF) following the forced evacuation that took place during the Second World War. After the war had ended it was gradually stripped of valuables and deemed too costly to repair and was ultimately demolished by the army. Some believe this was to hide damage that had occurred from shelling.


Are dogs allowed at Tyneham Village?

Yes, dogs are allowed at Tyneham Village. We suggest keeping your four-legged friend on a lead and under close control to be courteous to other visitors. Visitors are reminded to stick to marked paths.


What is the name of the abandoned village in Dorset?

Tynenham Village is an abandoned village situated in the heart of the Dorset countryside, close to Worbarrow Bay. It is well worth a visit during your holiday in Dorset and offers a glimpse of the past. The abandoned village is open to the public for much of the year.


Who owns Tyneham Village?

Tyneham Village is owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) following a compulsory purchase order after the Second World War.


Where is Worbarrow?

Warbarrow Bay is an idyllic beach on the Dorset section of the Jurassic Coast. It is situated to the east of Lulworth Cove and flanked by the South West Coast Path. If you plan on visiting by car the nearest car park can be found at Tyneham Village, around 1 mile walk away.


What happened to the residents of Tyneham Village?

Tyneham is a historic fishing village that was abandoned just before Christmas in 1943. Residents were forced out of their homes to clear the area for military training in preparation for the D-Day landings. The Ministry of Defence had promised villagers that they would be allowed to return to their homes, however a compulsory purchase order was carried out, which prevented this even though the war had ended. Today the village is part of the Lulworth Ranges and is open to the public for much of the year.


Do you have to pay to visit Tyneham Village?

No, you do not have to pay to visit Tyneham Village. The village is open to the public and you are free to walk around it as you please. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation to use the car park. Monies raised goes towards the upkeep of the site.


Is Tyneham Village open?

Tyneham Village is situated on land owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and forms part of the Lulworth Ranges that are used for active firing. As such, the village is closed to the public when military training is taken place. To find out whether Tyneham Village is open today or on the day you plan to visit, please consult the gov.uk website. There are also information boards displayed on the approach to Tyneham Village, opposite Lulworth Castle. A red flag is flown if entrance to the ranges is not permitted.

If you plan on using the car park at Tyneham Village please note there is a gate to gain access. This is open at 9am when there is no firing and it is closed at dusk.

What our guests say

  • A lovely quiet site

    Andy Blackwell

    A lovely quiet site, nice warm amenities with good sized shower cubicles, shop not open yet as it’s too early but the local pub is ideal. Staff were very friendly and helpful. If you’re reasonably fit you can walk into Swanage but the bus service is great so why would you want to. Overall a very nice break, we will be back.

  • Super swimming pool

    Joseph Molford

    Fantastic site, we have had a brilliant holiday. Super swimming pool and changing facilities. Site really handy to get to Swanage and Studland. Will definitely return. Thanks to all the staff for a lovely holiday.

  • Excellent quality caravan site

    Peter Skrobacz

    Excellent quality caravan site, top quality, small and friendly, location fantastic. Been visiting Ulwell for over 25 years now and every year is special.

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    Jenny H

    We have just returned back from our weeks stay at Ulwell Holiday Park with our 2 small children and dog. It was an absolute brilliant week! The site has everything you need, and more! A lovely comfy pub on site for drinks and a bowl of chips, a small shop, swimming pool, large play are with park, and the bus stops right outside.. what more could you want

  • Easter break


    We have just returned after a brilliant Easter break. Couldn’t fault anything at all and we didn’t want to leave. We didn’t visit the pub but the shop is stocked with local produce and essentials. The facilities are great and the location convenient. Our van was spotless and had everything we needed. We will definitely be back

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From Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry and following the B3351 into Swanage.

From Wareham using the A351 into Swanage, turn left along the seafront towards Studland.


The park is situated on the main bus route from Bournemouth to Swanage.


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