Jurassic Coast

Day 6  Cream Teas at the Castle  Wednesday 13 September

the market towns of Dorsetprivate tour of Lulworth Castlebeachfront dinner

PHOTO Lulworth Castle
Lulworth Castle, built for King James I. © photo courtesy of The Lulworth Estate.

Rest, relaxation, and a bit of luxury this afternoon. We've had a busy itinerary since leaving Bournemouth, so today we'll recharge with a leisurely castle visit and some time on the beach. Minimal walking on today's agenda.

Our destination is West Lulworth, an idyllic village tucked in a valley by the sea. To get there, we must bypass the Lulworth Ranges, a chunk of coastline requisitioned by the British Army during World War II. This land was used as the main rehearsal ground for the D-Day campaign. The area is best avoided on weekdays, when it turns into a live-ammunition tank firing range.

PHOTO Train at Wareham station
Wareham station. We take a train from here to the small town of Wool. © photo by Benjamin Wenk.

A short morning stroll returns us to the town of Corfe Castle, where we continue on by bus and train to Lulworth. En route we'll pass through the historic market town of Wareham with its museum dedicated to local hero T E Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia), and the sleepier town of Wool, the setting for parts of Thomas Hardy's novel, Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

Our bed & breakfast in Lulworth is Burngate Farm. It's about halfway between the castle and the cove, the main local attractions.

PHOTO Cream tea
Strawberry jam, scones, and cream at the castle.      photo by John Choffee.

After checking in, we'll have a private tour of Lulworth Castle, a fairytale fortress built in the Jacobean era as a lodge to host royal hunting parties. The adjoining chapel and castle grounds are particularly beautiful. As part of the tour we'll be treated to a luxurious Dorset cream tea.

PHOTO Lulworth Cove
© photo courtesy of The Lulworth Estate.

We leave the tranquil castle gardens behind and head for a swim at Lulworth Cove. This gorgeous little bay sits a mile down the road from Burngate Farm, and is sheltered by high cliffs on all sides, save for a narrow entrance. Next door to it is Stair Hole, a bizarrely eroded cove where you can see 150 million years of geological history compressed into a single span of rock.

Evening meal at The Beach Café. This world-class seafood restaurant is literally a stone's throw from the calm waters of Lulworth Cove.

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