This self-guided 8-day itinerary lets you walk Dorset’s spectacular Jurassic Coast at your own pace. Start in Lyme Regis and travel east along England's south coast, taking in dramatic chalk cliffs, shingle beaches, prehistoric earthworks, and charming thatched villages before ending in historic Lulworth.

Highlights

  • Walk the Jurassic Coast, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Discover the picturesque seaside port of Lyme Regis 
  • Explore towering cliffs, circular bays, and prehistoric rock formations
  • Visit the eight-mile-long Chesil Beach
  • Journey through a landscape that tells 185 million years of the Earth's history

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lyme Regis Lyme Regis
Day 2 Explore Lyme Regis Lyme Regis
Day 3 Lyme Regis to West Bay West Bay
Day 4 West Bay to Abbotsbury Abbotsbury
Day 5 Abbotsbury to Osmington Mills Osmington Mills
Day 6 Osmington Mills to Lulworth Bay West Lulworth
Day 7 Explore Lulworth West Lulworth
Day 8 Depart from Lulworth  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lyme Regis

Sunset over Lyme Regis Harbor.
Sunset over Lyme Regis Harbor.

Welcome to Lyme Regis, the ‘Pearl of Dorset.’ Settle into your accommodation, then take the afternoon to get acquainted with this historic seaside resort. Head to the picturesque port for a stroll along its famous harbor walls, following the Marine Parade promenade with shops, pubs, and restaurants on one side and the sea on the other.

Day 2: Explore Lyme Regis

Seafront at Lyme Regis.
The seafront at Lyme Regis.

Today is yours to explore Lyme Regis. Charter a fishing boat, go fossil hunting, or visit the 700-year-old working waterwheel. If you're ready to get out of town and into nature, you can walk west from Lyme and reach Undercliff, one of Britain's first National Nature Reserves. Created over the years from a series of landslips, it boasts remarkable biodiversity, rare flora, and abundant birdlife.

Day 3: Lyme Regis to West Bay

Sandstone cliffs at West Bay.
Sandstone cliffs at West Bay.

Your first day's walking brings you quickly to the seaside village of Charmouth. Its location at a gap in the coastal hills makes it a prime place to look for fossils. Continue along the trail and ascend Golden Cap, the highest cliff on England’s South Coast, providing dramatic sea and inland views. Much of this area is owned and protected by the National Trust, making it a haven for wildflowers and butterflies in early summer. Your day ends with a descent into the coastal resort and harbor of West Bay.

Walking distance: 10 miles (16 km)

Day 4: West Bay to Abbotsbury

Cows graze above the village of Abbotsbury.
Cows graze above the village of Abbotsbury.

Today you’ll tackle some small hills at the start of your hike, but the trail soon levels out as you approach the spectacular Chesil Beach. This vast ridge of shingle stretches 8 miles (13 km), with an idyllic lagoon on its landward side. Turn inland at the start of the beach to reach your base for the night: the pretty thatched village of Abbotsbury.

Walking distance: 9 miles (15 km)

Day 5: Abbotsbury to Osmington Mills

Views across Osmington Bay.
Views across Osmington Bay.

Day five takes you inland along The Ridgeway, a chalk ridge that runs east to west for 12 miles (20 km) through the Dorset countryside. Famous for its quantity of pre-historic sites,  it boasts one of the highest concentrations of Bronze Age earthworks in the UK. The ridge provides excellent walking and magnificent panoramic views, particularly from Hardy's Monument. Keep an eye out along the trail for the Valley of the Stones, where impressive Celtic field systems are still visible on the landscape. Walking towards the coast again, you’ll end your day at the charming hamlet of Osmington Mills

 Walking distance: 13 miles (21 km)

Day 6: Osmington Mills to Lulworth Bay

Steps lead to the beach at Durdle Door.
Steps lead to the beach at Durdle Door.

Today begins with a climb to the steep chalk headlands of White Nothe. The surrounding green pastures and wildflowers contrast starkly with the white cliffs, creating breathtaking views. Continue east, and you'll pass Durdle Door, a natural arch of limestone through which the sea passes. Your day finishes with a beautiful walk over Hambury Tout to Lulworth Cove. This perfect circular bays is bounded by cliffs and hills to form a secluded setting for the village of West Lulworth—providing an ideal spot to rest weary legs for the night. 

Walking distance: 6 miles (10km)

Day 7: Explore Lulworth

Lulworth's circular bay.
Lulworth's circular bay.

Spend your last day around the historic village of West Lulworth. Explore at your own pace— have a leisurely day relaxing in town, take a short hike around the circular Lulworth Cove, or end your itinerary with one last adventurous foray up the coast. Walking east, you’ll reach dramatic cliffs that lead to a fossil forest and the evocatively named Smuggler’s Cove. Return to Lulworth for the evening, and enjoy your last night on the Dorset coast.

Day 8: Depart from Lulworth

Sunrise over the Jurassic Coast.
Sunrise over the Jurassic Coast.

Bid farewell to the Jurassic Coast this morning, transferring to the train station in Wool or back to Lyme Regis for connections to London.

Map

Map of Walk England's Jurassic Coast - 8 Days
Map of Walk England's Jurassic Coast - 8 Days