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

  • Great location

    Paul James

    Great location, 25 mins walk from the front and nice settings, friendly and clean site with good facilities including a good play area for the kids & a free swimming pool. On site pub and pizza. Will be back

  • Amazing views

    Daniel Hare

    Amazing long weekend spent with family in a static park home at Ulwell we had amazing views over swanage and surrounding hills and the night sky from there is picture perfect, the accommodation was everything we could of required, highly recommend Ulwell Holiday Park

  • Fantastic site

    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.

  • Lovely Caravan Park

    Simon MA

    I’ve been coming to Ulwell now for around 20 years and have always been impressed by the site. The caravans are always an excellent standard, indoor swimming pool, great on site shop and great restaurant. Have never had any problems in all the years I’ve been coming here and I’m sure will continue to spend my holidays here in the coming years. The staff are always friendly and helpful.

  • Home from home

    Cara M

    I have been visiting Ulwell for 10 years and as soon as I arrive I feel at home. This time I stayed in a caravan and was so happy with the layout and cleanliness. The shop is well stocked and sells some nice pastries. The village Inn is a nice little spot to relax and have a drink. The food is good too.

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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