West Lulworth: A Visitor's Guide

The beautiful Lulworth Coastline is part of Dorset’s stretch of Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and has many fine beaches for you to explore in the summer months accessible from either the land or the sea.


Just under an hour from The King John Inn, away in the east lie the gorgeous beaches of Mupe Bay and Arish Mel while to the West are the ancient shingle sands of Middle Beach and the impressive Durdle Door, a striking natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset, England.

If you’re looking for the perfect base from which to explore, then look no further than The King John Inn. Located just 40 miles away from the historic centre of Bath, our pub and inn offers 8 sumptuous en-suite bedrooms, delicious drinks and a mouthwatering pub menu.


West Lulworth is a captivating village that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, coastal charm, and outdoor adventures. Whether you seek relaxation on the beach, exhilarating hikes along the coast, or cultural experiences in the surrounding area, West Lulworth is a destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

The village is most famous for its proximity to Lulworth Cove, a horseshoe-shaped bay formed by the erosive power of the sea. The cove’s crystal-clear waters and pebbled beach attract visitors from far and wide, making it a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the fascinating rock formations.

Adjacent to Lulworth Cove is Durdle Door, an iconic natural limestone arch jutting out into the sea. It is one of the most photographed landmarks in England, and its dramatic beauty never fails to captivate visitors. The area surrounding Durdle Door is ideal for coastal walks, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the Jurassic Coastline.

Durdle Door: A Natural Icon

Among the most photographed landmarks in the United Kingdom and a true symbol of the Jurassic Coast’s majesty, Durdle Door stands as a natural limestone arch, gracing countless postcards and photo albums. Its origin traces back over 10,000 years, a testament to the relentless sea erosion that shaped this picture-perfect arch. Privately owned by the Lulworth Estate, Durdle Door remains open to the public year-round, attracting as many as 500,000 visitors annually. Unsurprisingly, it has made appearances in films, music videos, and the works of countless authors captivated by Dorset’s stunning coastline.

Lulworth Cove

In any discussion about the most captivating spots along the Jurassic Coast, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove always take centre stage. While Durdle Door may be the coast’s poster child, Lulworth Cove commands its own share of admirers, drawing thousands of visitors daily during peak season. Beyond tourists, geologists from around the globe flock here to study the unique rock formations, including chalk, limestone, clay, and sandstone, that have shaped this World Heritage Site over the past 185 million years.


Nestled at the heart of East Lulworth, Lulworth Castle is a Grade I listed building with a storied past. Constructed between 1588 and 1609, it found its way into the hands of the Weld family in 1641 and remains under their ownership to this day. The castle faced a devastating fire in 1929, leading to over 40 years of decay. However, determined restoration work spanning two decades breathed new life into this historic edifice. Lulworth Castle stands as a prominent tourist attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year and serving as a central venue for the annual music extravaganza “Bestival,” with the “Castle Stage” taking the spotlight.

Corfe Castle: A Timeless Fortress

Dominating the village that shares its name, Corfe Castle is a historic fortification now managed by the National Trust. Dating back to the 11th century, it was constructed by William the Conqueror in a strategic gap within the Purbeck Hills. Unlike most castles of its era, Corfe Castle was built from stone, a pioneering choice at the time. Designated as a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Monument, it attracts over 250,000 visitors annually, making it one of Dorset’s most popular attractions. After changing hands numerous times, it found its permanent home with the National Trust in 1981.

Bindon Hill: Iron Age Majesty

Situated within the Purbeck Hills, Bindon Hill is an Iron Age hillfort of significant historical importance. Often hailed as one of the largest hillforts in England and Wales, it stands within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering breathtaking vistas from its 120-meter-high cliffs. Many visitors embark on a challenging hike starting near the Heritage Center in West Lulworth, leading to the hill’s summit at 168 meters. This trek, marked by steep ascents and descents, rewards adventurers with unparalleled views of the Dorset coast, including the remarkable Lulworth Cove.

Fossil Forest: A Prehistoric Treasure

The Fossil Forest is a preserved relic of a prehistoric tropical forest, perched on a coastal ledge within the Lulworth Estate. Its origins date back to the Jurassic period when a lush forest thrived during periods of receding water levels. As waters rose again, the forest became encased in limestone, preserving its unique history. Today, visitors come from near and far to catch a glimpse of the large, circular cavities called algal burrs, the fossilized remnants of ancient tree trunks.

Tyneham Village: A Time Capsule of History

Known as the “lost village” or the “ghost town” among locals, Tyneham Village has remained deserted since 1943. Evacuated during World War II, its residents were never allowed to return. While many original buildings still stand, the village is surrounded by the Ministry of Defence’s Lulworth Ranges, limiting access during the week but opening up on weekends. The leisurely one-hour walk from West Lulworth to Tyneham promises numerous stops for awe-inspiring sights and photo opportunities, ensuring a memorable journey.


The King John Inn is approximately 48 minutes by car from West Lulworth.

Take B3071, Tout Hill, North St and A354 to Millers Lane for approximately 25 miles.

Follow Millers Lane and Oakley Lane to the B3081.

Take a slight left onto B3081 and continue for a mile and a half. The Inn will be on your right.