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JURASSIC COAST - ENGLAND

DISTANCE

70KM

DIFFICULTY (1-10)

6

DAYS

4

TOTAL ASCENT

1,130KM

% UNPAVED

85%

HIGH POINT

142m

jurassic coast

The Jurassic Coast is one of the most impressive coast line in England. Old Harry Rocks is one of the most famous Purbeck region landmark.

In Purbeck, it’s easy to enjoy walking. Of course, the area has many other attractions. But it would be a shame to visit  Purbeck and not see something of the countryside, and there’s no doubt that the best way to do this is on foot. Fortunately, that’s not difficult: there is a comprensive network of rights of way, most of wich are easy to find and follow.

Purbeck offers startling contrast in a relatively small geographical area. There’s the long ridge of chak hills, running coast to coast from Ballard point to Worbarrow bay. But today in this route we will touch the entire coast line, with high cliffs, little coves and, of course, fine sea views.

This walk along the Jurassic Coast, England’s first UNESCO designated natural World Heritage Site. It covers 63km of truly stunning coastline from Bournemouth to Weymouth, with rocks recording 185 million years of the Earth’s history. The symbol of the walk with the youngest white chalk stacks is Old Harry Rocks. The impact of the sea is distinctly evident in the many amazing rock formations and cliff faces on this stretch of coastline.

Some isolated stretch of the South West Coast Path offers some spectacular views, but be prepared for some difficult walking right from the beginning. The Path roller-coasters along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, rewarding walkers with staggering views of sweeping bays, folded cliffs and richly coloured limestone-loving wildflowers and butterflies.

The path across the Lulworth Ranges is one of the highlights of the Jurassic Coast, but can only be used when the range is not in use. To avoid missing out on this it is recommended you plan your walk to get here when the ranges are open – most weekends and holidays (see here for details). As live ammunition is used, you must not stray off the paths which are clearly marked by yellow posts, and do not pick up any metal objects lying on the ground.

As you walk through open grassland and woodland around Studland, keep a look out for bottlenose dolphins and take time to enjoy the beautiful seasonal wildflowers and butterflies and the spectacular views of the chalk stacks of Old Harry. Three miles of sandy beaches running all the way to South Haven Point offer plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the views across Poole Bay to Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight.

  • In Purbeck it’s easy to enjoy walking. There is a comprehensive network of rights of way, most of which are easy to find and follow.
  • The Purbecks make up part of southern England’s Jurassic Coast, which, though sadly absent of dinosaurs, is a registered World Heritage Site. The area is only accessible via quaint, winding roads, passing by cottages, horses, and hedgerows.
  • The paths are well marked but it is always better to have a map or even better a GPS. The gpx track can be downloaded at the bottom of the page. 
  • Among the most beautiful places you can meet along the way we remember:
  • Old Harry Rocks, are three chalk formations, including a stack and a stump, located at Handfast Point reachable by ferry from the port of Sandbanks, 10km from Bournemouth.
  • Kimmeridge Bay is a spectacular bay  renowned for its fossils. It is a popular place to access the coast for tourists so we recommend taking a bath
  • Lulworth Cove is a cove near the village of West Lulworth,is one of the world’s finest examples of such a landform.
  • For sleeping, the situation becomes more complicated than usual.          
  • To sleep in a tent there are no equipped areas. In case you want to sleep in a tent you have to ask permission from the owners of the land.
  • So the advice is to do things carefully and organize previously night stays.

  • The suggestion is to bivouac, mount the tent at sunset and take it down at sunrise so you should not run into problems. However, always pay attention to where you stop to bivouac.
  • Otherwise you can even sleep in the cities  crossed like Worth Matravers and Kimmeridge. 
  • It is advisable to bring with you a gas burner, some sachets of freeze-dried food and the correct equipment 
  • Chocolate, bread and sausages could be important elements for a daily snack.
  • For food and water we recommend refueling in the cities that you cross on the way.
  • LIFE STRAW water filter is strongly recommended for drinking in any critic situation. 
  • So for food and water there are no big problems, just get supplies in the cities. In cities you can also stop to eat like Swanage, Lulworth Cove, Osmington Mills and Worth Matravers. In this last suggestion to stop and have a beer in the main pub.