South West Coast Path: Jurassic Coast

England
Trekking
Self-Guided
Panoramic view from South West Coast Path: North Cornwall Coast

South West Coast Path: Jurassic Coast

Prices

From $1,175USD

Difficulty

Self-guided

Hotels / Bed and Breakfast

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Highlights

Experience the majestic landscapes of the South West Coast Path on this 9-day adventure

Experience the rugged natural beauty and impressive landscape of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Feel the sea breezes, breathe the salty air, and take in the inspirational vistas as you trace the English coastline.

Relax on lovely sandy beaches and in hidden coves, including famous local landmarks such as Chesil Beach and Lulworth Cove.

Enjoy local hospitality as you stay in small, family-run bed and breakfasts that offer personalized service and are accustomed to meeting the needs of South West Coast Path walkers.

This self-guided walking tour follows the South West Coast Path on The Jurassic Coast, an exceptionally beautiful section of the English coastline, significant enough to be designated as a World Heritage Site.

The South West Coast Path (SWCP) National Trail gives you the perfect route to explore this area on foot, surrounding yourself with this unique environment for 9 days. You will not only explore some of the finest walking in the UK, but you’ll also enjoy charming villages along the way.

On this self-guided walking tour, you’ll journey from the town of Budleigh Salterton in Devon county along the coast of the English Channel to the city of Poole in Dorset. Predominantly hugging the coast, the trail leads you along rugged cliffs and gorgeous beaches, including the famous landmarks Chesil Beach and Lulworth Cove.

South West Coast Path: Jurassic Coast Walking Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Budleigh Salterton

Welcome to Devon and the town of Budleigh Salterton! If you’re arriving by train, the closest stations are Honiton (12 miles) or Exmouth (5 miles). Budleigh Salterton is an unspoiled and charming town on the Jurassic Coast, which is a World Heritage Site. It offers a variety of shopping options and other attractions, as well as a two-mile pebble beach.

You can also choose to start your trip from Exmouth, as this larger city has easier transportation options. The option extends your first day of walking, but it gives you the opportunity to see the “Geoneedle” that marks the beginning of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Overnight Location
Budleigh Salterton or Exmouth
Distance
N/A
Meals
None

Day 2 Walk to Seaton

Your tour begins with a long day of walking, beginning in Budleigh Salterton. You can warm up with an easier start, and the end is also easy, but the middle is an arduous walk. It is also possible to shorten the walk by taking a taxi or public transportation to Sidmouth but be aware that you will miss some amazing coastline views.

As you leave Budleigh Salterton, follow the path immediately inland in order to cross the marsh by the mouth of the River Otter, then return to the coast. A gradual but easy climb takes you along the cliffs until you reach Ladram Bay, then continues past High Peak (156 m / 512 ft) without going up to the summit. Continue along the trail through several wooded stretches to arrive in Sidmouth, which is a great place to stop for refreshments.

When you’re ready, keep following the coast and the ups and downs of the trail and you’ll come to Branscombe. Here in this lovely little village you can find a forge that is believed to be one of the oldest in the country. From here, the trail winds up to the clifftop to Beer Head which offers wonderful views of Beer and Seaton. Make your way down to the village of Seaton for a well-deserved night of rest after a long day.

Overnight Location
Seaton
Distance
17 miles / 27.5 km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 3 Walk to Seatown

Today’s route leads you through one of the few extensive woodland areas on the whole South West Coast Path. When you leave Seaton, you’ll cross the bridge over the River Axe and return to the cliff line in a place called Haven Cliff. While manageable, the stretch of trail between Seaton and Lyme Regis is tough and can take several hours. You’ll pass a fascinating landform called “Undercliff”, formed by a landslide in 1839 in which approximately 8 million tons of rock and soil slid out to sea and a large chasm was opened.

The beautiful, uncultivated terrain surrounding the path continues all along the path to Lyme Regis, a historic town that received its charter in 1284. It is well-known for its old buildings and high fossil density. From here, follow the path as it takes you inland, bypassing the area known as The Spittles, then on to the town of Charmouth, where you can choose to stop for some rest and refreshments. The trail remains inland for a while, crossing small streams and passing through woodland areas, before returning to the cliff line and following to Seatown. Enjoy a pleasant night’s stay in this small but unspoiled village.

Overnight Location
Seatown
Distance
15.25 miles / 24.5 km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 4 Walk to Abbotsbury

In case you’re starting to get tired, today is a much more restful day. Though it starts with a few climbs up and down on the cliffs, it soon becomes mainly level, easy paths on the beach or through fields.

Just after leaving Seatown, you’ll follow the coast along the cliff path. Pass Eype Mouth, a break in the cliff line where the River Eype meets the sea, and West Bay, once an important harbor that faded after the railroad came to the nearby town of Bridport. Here the more leisurely route begins as you drop down to Burton Beach and continue to Cogden Beach and Chesil Beach. Leave the coast here and head inland past Chapel Hill and continue to Abbotsbury. While only a small fragment of the original 600-year-old abbey remains, it is lovely to see. You may also enjoy a tour of the Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens. Spend the night here in Abbotsbury.

Overnight Location
Abbotsbury
Distance
12 miles / 19.5 km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 5 Walk to Ferrybridge

The route to Ferrybridge is an easy and gentle walk. Begin by heading inland from Abbotsbury to reach Linton Hill, then continue across areas of farmland and through wooded areas. Enjoy this varied landscape until you reach Wyke Wood, after which the path returns to the coast. Trace the edge of West Fleet, a large, natural, tidal lagoon hidden behind the well-known Chesil Beach. Walk along the bank of the lagoon, then choose either to take a short detour in to Langton Herring village for a bite to eat, or to continue your walk past East Fleet. Continue until you reach Ferrybridge, at the end of the lagoon, where you will spend the night.

Overnight Location
Ferrybridge
Distance
11.25 miles / 18 km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 6 Walk to Lulworth Cove

Leave Ferrybridge and head for Weymouth, where you’ll encounter the ruins of Sandsfoot Castle, from the 16th Century, on the coast of the town. As you continue walking, you’ll pass Nothe Fort at the end of the Nothe Peninsula. From here you must cross the water, either by short ferry ride or by crossing the bridge, which takes a few minutes longer. Continue walking, and you will pass Weymouth, Osmington Mills, Ringstead Bay and the Holworth House as you head toward Lulworth Cove. Just before reaching Lulworth Cove, you’ll see landmarks such as Durdle Door, Dungy Head, and Stair Hole.

Lulworth Cove is one of the highlights of the South West Coast Path and you will have plenty of time to explore this scenic and unique area because this is your stop for the night.

Overnight Location
Lulworth Cove
Distance
14.5 miles / 23.5 km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 7 Walk to Swanage

Today is the longest day of walking on this tour and covers most of the distance you have remaining in your trip. There are few opportunities to purchase refreshments today, and few landmarks along the way, so plan accordingly.

Follow the trail as it traces the coastline, rising and falling with the coastal terrain. Pass Mupe Bay and Worbarrow Way, before coming to Clavell Tower. This tower was built in 1830 but was too close to the edge of the cliff and it was threatened by erosion. It was moved inland by dismantling it and reassembling it in its new home. The process took two years, from 2006-2008. Continue your walk along the beautiful Kimmeridge Ledges, then head inland at the magnificent Houns-tout Cliff. Follow the trail around St. Alban’s Head all the way to Durlston Head, a distance of several miles. Near Durlston Head, the village of Swanage is your destination for this leg of the tour.

Overnight Location
Swanage
Distance
20.5 miles / 33 km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 8 Walk to South Have Point (Poole)

Today is the shortest day of the tour, which allows you to finish your trip with a leisurely pace. Begin on the Swanage promenade, up the distinctive white chalk cliffs where you’ll find a fantastic view of the Old Harry Rocks. Looking out across the Poole Bay, in the distance you can glimpse the town of Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight. Descend down the slope into Studland and choose between walking along the Studland Bay beach or crossing the heather-filled sand dunes further back from the water. The beach walk ends at South Haven Point where you can catch the ferry into the town of Poole. You should have plenty of time to explore this wonderful town with its fantastic, wide beach. The largest natural harbor in Europe is found here in Poole. Relax and enjoy, knowing you have completed your incredible walking tour.

Overnight Location
Poole
Distance
7.75 miles / 12.5 km
Meals
Breakfast

Day 9 Departure Day

Sadly, your South West Coast Path walking tour of the Jurassic Coast has come to an end. Trains from Poole can take you to Southampton, Reading, or London and beyond. Have a pleasant journey!

Overnight Location
N/A
Distance
N/A
Meals
Breakfast

South West Coast Path: Jurassic Coast Walking Tour Price and Dates

This self-guided hiking tour in England is run as private tour for your group only and the price is based on the number of guests on your trip.

Prices below are per person:

  • Price per person sharing a double/twin room: $1,175USD
  • Price per person staying in a single room: $1,575USD
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Accommodation on the South West Coast Path: Jurassic Coast Walking Tour

This tour is based in 3-4-star hotels and bed and breakfasts. In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $550USD to have a private room in a hotel.

Stoneborough House, Budleigh Salterton

Stay in this luxurious and elegant bed and breakfast that rivals any 4-star hotel for service and comfort. It is an easy walk to explore the town or the seacoast, or you can just relax in the conservatory that overlooks the garden.

Pebbles Bed and Breakfast, Seaton

A lovely, 3-storey Victorian hotel awaits you where your hosts have thought of every detail to make your stay comfortable. Only 100m from the sea.

Wheelwrights Bed and Breakfast, Seatown

A comfortable night awaits you at Wheelwrights Bed and Breakfast after a long day on the SWCP. Bird lovers will especially the rooms with garden views, where bird feeders attract a variety of birds.

Abbotsbury Tea Rooms, Abbotsbury

Abbotsbury Tea Rooms offer spacious rooms with sitting areas, and the facility also has a restaurant, and coffee shop. Close to the trail as well as an easy walk to lovely beaches.

B+B Weymouth, Ferrybridge

This seafront bed and breakfast is in a great location to enjoy all that Ferrybridge and Weymouth have to offer. The sea views from the lounge are especially lovely.

Rudds of Lulworth in Lulworth Cove

The fabulous location of this bed and breakfast is what makes it truly extraordinary. It’s nestled into the cliffs with lovely gardens and a pool overlooking the sea and beaches.

Ocean Lodge, Swanage

You’ll feel right at home at the Ocean Lodge. It’s an easy walk from award-winning beaches and the Swanage Victorian Pier.

Jessimine Bed and Breakfast, Poole (Bed and Breakfast)

Enjoy cozy hospitality that makes you feel at home and at ease in this family-run bed and breakfast. It’s conveniently located near beaches and the ferry port.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s included in the South West Coast Path: Jurassic Coast Walking Tour?

Meals

8 breakfasts included with accommodations. Lunches, dinners and drinks are not included.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 8 nights along the tour. Extra nights may be added for an additional fee.

Also Included

  • Luggage Transfers
  • Full Tour Pack with color-coded routes on local maps
  • Smartphone App with GPS routes
  • 24-hr emergency helpline

Not included

  • Lunch, Dinner & Drinks
  • Entrance to attractions
  • Buses and/or Ferries unless otherwise stated
  • Tourist Taxes where applicable

Optional Extras

  • Extra night in Ferrybridge (between days 5-6) to walk the extended circuit of the headland: $150USD per night
  • Extra nights in Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, or Poole: $150USD per room per night

Frequenty Asked Questions about South West Coast Path: Jurassic Coast

How hard is this self-guided walking tour on the South West Coast Path?

We rate this tour as a 4 / 5. The difficulty level is moderate but you should be ready to walk up to 20.5 miles (33 km) per day.

Do I need a Visa?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included?

Breakfasts are included with your accommodations. Lunches, dinners, drinks, and other food is not included.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have Health and Medical insurance to join this trip. Get your Travel Insurance.

How do I get to Budleigh Salterton to start this tour?

Travel by train or bus to the town of Exmouth and take a local bus to Budleigh Salterton from there. You can also choose to begin your walk from Exmouth, instead. See itinerary Day 1.

Where does the tour end?

The tour ends in Poole. Trains are available from Poole train station to London and other major cities in England.

Do I need vaccines?

Check with your family doctor.

What should I wear?

Dress for the weather of the season in the Jurassic Coast. Always pack a jacket in case the temperatures are cooler than expected, and quality rain gear. Sun protection such as a hat and sunglasses is also recommended. Choose clothes that are comfortable and manage moisture well.

What is the weather like in the Jurassic Coast?

The Jurassic Coast has generally cool but mild weather, without extremes of heat or cold, making it reasonable to visit at any time of year. This beautiful area is not known for abundant sunshine and it rains frequently, particularly during the fall and winter. More information about weather in the Jurassic Coast.

When is the best time to travel to England for this tour?

The best time to travel to the Jurassic Coast for this tour is during the warmer months from May to September, but the trip is available year-round.

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Prices

From $1,175USD

Difficulty

Self-guided

Hotels / Bed and Breakfast

Start Your Booking

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Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 4 / 5. The difficulty level is moderate but you should be ready to walk up to 20.5 miles (33 km) per day.


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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