Visiting Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door

July 9th, 2018

The south coast doesn’t get more Jurassic than this!

Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are a popular destination for fossil hunters, hikers and photographers wanting to take some incredible images. There’s many ways to discover the area including walking, cycling and coasteering, so whether you want to see them from land or sea, be sure to plan a whole day – you’re going to need it!

Lulworth Cove is just over a half an hour drive from Ulwell Holiday Park and the route is stunning. Head past Corfe Castle and past the nature reserves of Wareham to reach your final destination.

lulworth cove in summer

What’s there to see?

The cove itself provides a breathtaking white pebble beach and when low tide hits it unveils a treasure trove of rock pools that are ideal for wildlife spotting and crabbing. A steep walk up the side of the cove and you’ll be able to see the most famous rock arch in the world. Durdle Door is a naturally occurring phenomenon that was created in the chalk cliffs around 10,000 years ago and is very impressive.

durdle door jurassic coast

For those who want to really feel immersed in the area, you’ll want to book a field session with the Lulworth Rangers. Based in the visitor centre, these folk know everything there is to know about the area and can probably let you into some of its best kept secrets.

What is there to do?

Aside from keeping your eyes peeled for fossils, there’s plenty to do at Lulworth Cove, including boat trips in the summer. These give you a different view of the cove and of course, the stunning stone arch of Durdle Door. Take the natural coastal path up and round to catch the views of Durdle Door and head down on to the beach to get a closer look. On a sunny day it provides the most incredible images and there’s even been dolphins seen nearby.

rock formations at Lulworth Cove

For those that want to get to know the history of the area, the Heritage Centre should be your first stop. Open between 10am and 5pm it’s free of charge and conveniently located next to the car park. You’ll be able to get information about the unique geology as well as the types of flora and fauna you might catch glimpses of. Take the time to browse the displays and watch the two short films too – you’ll be able to see how the site was formed and how it looks during stormy weather.

Why not try to see if you can tell where different films and tv shows have used the site in their shoots – Nanny McPhee, World War Z and even an episode of Doctor Who have all used the stunning scenery as a backdrop for some fantastic actors.

Need to refuel?

After the hike you’ll most likely need to take a breather and enjoy some food and drink ,and you’re in luck because there is a place to suit everyone. From the rustic, yet authentic The Boat Shed, to The Coffee Bar and even the quaintly-named The Dolls House, the cove does not disappoint. Homemade food is popular and if you’ve got a sweet-tooth then be sure to pick up some homemade fudge or traditional sweets for the journey home.

Boat Shed Cafe, Lulworth

How accessible are they?

Lulworth Cove can get busy during the summer so if you’re visiting between May and September it might be best to walk, cycle or hop onto public transport. There are parking spaces available, but it’s best to be the early bird if you want to get a spot. There is a fee for parking, however to gain access to the cove or walk up and round to Durdle Door it’s free.

Update 2020: In order to restrict visitor numbers the Lulworth Estate is operating a strict pre-booking system. You must book your car parking spot online in advance. To secure your chosen date and time we recommend giving as much notice as possible.

Baby changing facilities and disabled toilets can be found by the car park at the Heritage Centre. Unfortunately there is no wheelchair or pushchair accessibility down to Durdle Door

Dogs are welcome on the beach, however they need to be kept to the left hand side of the slipway leading down to the cove.

When visiting beauty spots in Dorset, including Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door we kindly ask guests to remember to abide by the Countryside Code. We must all work together to ensure the beaches stay litter free and a pleasant place for everyone to relax.

What our guests say

  • A gem of a place

    Sandra, Winchester

    What a find. I almost don’t want to tell you about it.

    It’s a family park with lovely, mostly new, fresh, clean spacious caravans – all set out almost in steps on the side of a small hill. The larger hill rises behind you, the sea spreads out in front and the swimming pool beckons behind the bar.

    The people are friendly, the site is clean and welcoming and the scenery unbeatable. It’s a gem of a place.

  • Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage


    Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage. A truly wonderful location, lying under the stunning Ballard Down and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Being only a 10 min walk from Swanage and the coast means it’s conveniently located for all amenities.

    The staff are always very helpful to sort out any problems and keep the site in fantastic condition. A 5-star park.

  • Friendly, clean & well kept

    Cheshire, UK

    Stayed here as a base to tour Isle of Purbeck and go on to Air show in Bournemouth. Not the cheapest site but definitely the cleanest and well thought out.

    Swimming pool , shop and pub/restaurant all in proximity and well kept/stocked. Bus stop right outside entrance. Grass pitches have plenty of space and well drained with shower blocks water/ drain points really handy.

    Will definitely be using this site again.

  • Lovely weekend

    Tina, London

    We have just returned from a lovely weekend caravanning at Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park.
    Lovely clean site with indoor heated pool. We went in the pool around 5pm and were the only ones in there (apart from life guard) it was lovely and warm and clean.

    We walked to old Harry’s rock and then Down into Swanage itself and had fish and chips and an ice cream.
    Staff on the site were helpful and friendly. Lovely stay.

  • Our second, lovely Christmas at Ulwell

    Jane P, Cheltenham

    After the success of Christmas 2016 at Ulwell, we returned again for Christmas 2017 and had another great time. Lovely warm caravan, peaceful and relaxing on site and a fantastic carvery on Boxing Day at The Village Inn.

    Thanks to all staff who were working and made sure we had such a great break away.

All reviews


We are currently at an amazing 4.5 score at TripAdvisor, based upon 200+ reviews from verified guests.

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Proudly associated

Over the years the family has developed the park to award-winning standards and in a style which compliments its surroundings.

  • Camping and caravanning
  • AA
  • British Holiday & Home Parks assocation
  • Poole Tourism
  • Visit Britain

Finding us


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.


1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North



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