The South West Coast Path: Lyme Regis to Lulworth Cove

Step back in time to an era when dinosaurs ruled the earth and where their fossilised remains are still being revealed among the crumbling cliffs of this fascinating stretch of coastline. Your itinerary includes some of the most famous geological features in England including Chesil Beach, the Isle of Portland, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.

The Jurassic Coast in Dorset and East Devon is England’s first natural World Heritage site, displaying 185 million years of the Earth’s history along a stretch of spectacular coastline. This seven-day itinerary starts in Lyme Regis – jewel of the Jurassic Coast – with an opportunity to take part in a fossil walk before heading eastwards over Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast with far-reaching panoramic views to the picturesque, historic village of Abbotsbury.

The trail then passes along the Fleet Lagoon to Weymouth then on to Lulworth taking in the geological wonders of Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole before returning to Weymouth. On the final day, there’s an opportunity to take a circular walk around the ruggedly beautiful Isle of Portland.

Tour Overview

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Coastal / History / Food and drink /Geology

Landscape Type

By Water

The South West Coast Path: Lyme Regis to Lulworth Cove

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Starting from Lyme Regis, the trail climbs the imposing Golden Cap – highest point on the south coast before the red sandstone hills gradually give way to the natural wonder of Chesil Beach. Further east, the rolling cliffs become white limestone and chalk, with spectacular formations such as Durdle Door.

Catch the X51/X53 bus from Axminster train station to nearby Lyme Regis and check into accommodation. Explore the historic town, including a walk out on to The Cobb. Perhaps take part in a pre-booked fossil walk or if time allows, walk through the spectacular Undercliffs to the west of the town. 8km / 5 miles


Walk east to Charmouth then follow the Path over Golden Cap – highest point on the south coast with massive views out over the English Channel. Descend to Seatown before continuing along the clifftops to the bustling little harbour of West Bay at the mouth of the River Brit. Overnight in one of the port’s welcoming inns. 16 km/10 miles

Follow a choice of routes along the iconic pebble strand of Chesil Beach or up on the ancient track of the South Dorset Ridgeway with its wonderful views along the coast to the Isle of Portland, Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon. Explore the rich history of the medieval monastic village of Abbotsbury at the western end of the Fleet Lagoon, where hundreds of mute swans are resident at the swannery. Delve back even further into Abbotsbury’s prehistoric origins among the many tumuli and barrow burial mounds in the parish. 16 km/10 miles

Follow the meandering path along the landward edge of the Fleet Lagoon as it twists and turns through the rolling fields and woodland of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the historic old port of Weymouth. Part fishing and part seaside resort, head for the lively waterside pubs around the harbour and nearby Hope Square to sample local ales and seafood. 23km/14.5 miles

One of the very best sections of the entire South West Coast Path, this spectacular section takes in views of Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole. There are some particularly steep ascents and descents on the way to Lulworth Cove, but these offer breath-taking views of the limestone arch of Durdle Door, the high cliffs of White Nothe and Weymouth Bay and Portland beyond. Return by bus for a second night in Weymouth. 17.6 km/11 miles

A walk of dramatic, rugged cliffs, nationally rare plants, hidden coves and stunning views. Follow the Coast Path to the clifftop above Fortuneswell and admire the panoramic views. The coastal path then runs anti-clockwise around the Isle along old quarry tracks. Nature has reclaimed some of the disused quarries, which become a stunning mass of grasses and wildflowers in the spring and summer months. 20.9km/13 miles

Stay in Weymouth or Dorchester

Perhaps take time to explore either Weymouth or Dorchester, Dorset’s the historic county town, before departing.


Fly to London Heathrow or Exeter Airport.

Direct main line rail links from London Waterloo (2 hours 45 minutes) and Exeter St Davids (40 minutes) to Axminster. Connecting bus service to Lyme Regis (20 minutes).

Depart from either Weymouth or Dorchester train station – both have direct links to London Waterloo.


X51/X53 bus runs along the coast between Axminster and Weymouth

X54/X55 and Breezer 30 (summer only) run between Weymouth and Lulworth.

No. 1 bus is the most regular service linking Weymouth and Portland


The route is generally of moderate difficulty – averaging some 17km per day and sections of Day 2 and Day 5 include some strenuous climbs. This itinerary may be walked at any time of year although Day 2 and Day 5 not recommended at times of strong winds. Best times of year to walk it are May, June or September.


Food & Drink

Excellent seafood – especially locally caught Dorset crab – is abundant on these sections of the path and will feature extensively on the menu in most local inns and restaurants. Look out for distinctive local ales like Palmers and the award-winning Cerne Abbas Brewery – with its unmistakable logo. Weymouth has a particularly vibrant nightlife scene at weekends in high season.

Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

You can also visit the South West Coast Path Association shop where your purchases will help to support the charity carry out their work to protect the Trail

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