South West Coast Path: Lyme Regis to Poole (8 Days & 7 Nights)
- Walk the Jurassic Coast from Lyme Regis To Poole.
- Hunting for fossils on Charmouth Beach.
- Golden Cap, the highest point between Lands End and Poole.
- The birdlife at the Fleet, the UK's largest inland saltwater lagoon.
- Durdle Door, a dramatic sea archway.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Lyme Regis and overnight
This section of the South West Coast Path starts in Lyme Regis which is a lovely old port with beautiful coloured houses.
Featuring sea views, The Mariners Hotel is nestled in the heart of Lyme Regis. Dating back to the 17th century, this former coaching inn has a large private garden and rooms with free WiFi access.
Clovelly is a stylish, comfortable Guest House in the centre of Lyme Regis, Dorset. They offer top quality mattresses, clean crisp bed linen and fresh white towels. Each room has a TV\DVD player, tea\coffee making facilities and private en-suite shower room. You will have access to a large collection of films, books and games.
The Royal Lion is a 400 year old former coaching inn and is just 150 metres from the beach. Some rooms have sea views and balconies. All rooms have a TV with Freeview, tea/coffee making facilities and modern bathroom and rooms feature classic décor. The indoor pool is next to the spa bath and sauna. The games room has full-size snooker, pool and table tennis tables. The Royal Lion also has 2 guest lounges and offers free Wi-Fi. The Oak Room restaurant serves a full cooked breakfast and uses local and seasonal produce for their evening meals. The bar has original fireplaces and panelled walls and the courtyard café provides outdoor dining. They serve real ales, light meals and home-made cakes.
The path heads inland skirts the remains of the largest coastal mudslide in Europe. Walking up past the Black Ven cliffs to Timber Hill provides some wonderful views back to Lyme Bay. You soon descend to Charmouth beach which is famous for its fossils, so take time to have a little look and see if you can find any!
From here the path follows cliffs along to Golden Cap, which is the highest place on the South Coast. The path finally reaches West Bay where you head inland following the Rver Brit to the attractive market town of Bridport.
The Tiger Inn is a free house in the town centre of Bridport. Offering food, drink and accommodation in a grade two listed building, only one and a half miles from West Bay beach. Their new boutique guest rooms have king sized beds, flat screen TV, free WiFi and en suite bathrooms, WiFi, a TV, clock radio, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities. The accommodation has recently been extensively refurbished and is clean, bright and airy with interesting and beautiful views over the town and surrounding countryside. They have two pretty courtyard gardens that are sheltered and heated where you can relax with a drink.
Haddon House is a regency style, country house hotel and is the areas only three star Visit England Hotel. The hotel is set in over an acre of grounds and is situated just 300 yards from the picturesque harbour, Jurassic coastline and 18 hole golf course at West Bay.
The Bull Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel, situated in the heart of Bridport. The Bull has 19 individually furnished rooms. There are two restaurants in the hotel and a courtyard garden for the warm summer evenings.
Leave high cliff tops behind you as you head along the coast today. Burton Bradstock is a great resting spot with its old spinning mill house and thatched cottages. Keep your eyes peeled for the peregrine falcon above you - the world’s fastest bird.
Chesil Beach follows with its 18 miles of pebbles, which is uniquely separated from the mainland by a lagoon. There a choice of 2 paths here, one following the beach and the other heading inland across the South Dorset Ridgeway and visiting Abbotsford Castle.
With on-site parking, 8 en suite bedrooms (pre-renovation) and beautiful views from the garden up to St Catherine’s chapel, The Ilchester Arms is the perfect destination to enjoy precious time with friends and family. All rooms offer either double or single beds, en-suite bathrooms, complimentary toiletries and tea making facilities. Some bedrooms also have tv’s. A delicious full English breakfast is provided in the morning.
The Swan Lodge is a warm and friendly Bed and Breakfast establishment set on the East side of Abbotsbury opposite the Swan Inn.
This is 18th century stone cottage situated in the heart of Abbotsbury, but off the main road so very quiet and peaceful. The cottage is on the South West Coast Path just a five-minute walk from the famous Swannery, unique Tithe Barn and urbeck 1.5km from the wonderful Sub Tropical Gardens, historic Jurassic Coast and Chesil Beach. They have a comfortable double bedroom overlooked by the beautiful church, with TV/DVD, Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate making facilities, free WiFi.
From Abbotsbury the path starts by heading uphill and inland to open country side with some fantastic views across to the Isle of Portland. Todays walk is bound for ‘The Fleet’ which is the largest inland saltwater lagoon in the UK. Protected since 1393, its one of the oldest nature reserves and teeming with wildlife this is a nature lovers dream.
When you reach the waters edge the path follows the coast passing in and out of bays and hamlets en route to Ferry Bridge and then to Weymouth for your overnight stay.
John and Sue welcome you to The Redcliff, a charming building set among a row of Victorian houses in a quiet cul de sac and only a few paces from the beach. The building was built in 1827 and they have kept the character of the home, including its creaks and groans and the narrow stairs to all 3 floors. The Redcliff has 12 en-suite rooms, 6 of which have stunning sea views across Weymouth bay.
The Esplanade is a Grade II listed building situated alongside the sea. The Hotel is yards from the award winning Weymouth beach and a short stroll from Weymouth town centre. All of their rooms have en-suite facilities and are furnished with 100% Egyptian cotton linen on the beds, the bathrooms are well stocked with a host of complimentary luxury toiletries as well as again providing 100% luxury Egyptian cotton towelling. Each room presents a free view flat screen TV. And complimentary tea tray. The rooms on the front of the house have splendid views across Weymouth Bay and the beach.
The Cunard has seven comfortable rooms, all rooms have their own en-suite shower room, and are all fresh, clean and modern. The owners pride themselves on their high standards of cleanliness and friendliness. They are situated in a prime position, just off the main road and are just steps from Weymouth’s beautiful and acclaimed sandy beach and coastline. They are close to the town centre and within walking distance of all local amenities.
If you have the time, an extra night in Weymouth is recommended which allows you to walk around the Isle of Portland, a highly recommended extension. It’s a 13 mile circular route and offers some wonderful rugged walking.
Weymouth is a lovely old seaside town with some great eating spots and you may even see some Punch and Judy shows on the beachfront. The path to Lulworth passes the iconic sight of Durdle Door which is a real highlight on the coast path. It is a sea archway which is over 200ft high and a real sight to be seen.
Just past here you will enter Lulworth cove with its azure waters and chalk hillside where you head inland to your overnight accommodation.
Lulworth Cove Inn is situated on the doorstep of Lulworth Cove, which has stunning coastal views. All rooms are comfortable, have en-suite facilities, tea & coffee making facilities, tv’s and great views along the coast.
Tewkesbury Cottage is a 400 year old thatched cottage set in the picturesque village surroundings of West Lulworth. The rooms are comfortable and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay.
Reflecting the Castle Inn’s stunning coastal location, the plush furnishings and bed linen ensure a great night’s rest, with sleek en-suite bathrooms topping off the laid-back luxury feel.
Little extras like free parking, WiFi and a selection of teas and coffee in your room make your stay easy and worry-free.
Today’s journey is one of the toughest sections of the entire walk. It follows a remote route through the firing range between Lulworth and Kimmeridge. You will need to plan ahead as the firing range is heavily restricted and only open on certain weekend days.
The walk starts by crossing Fossil Forest - the largest Jurassic forest in the world and then skirts the coastline with undulating cliff walking to Kimmeridge.
The walk from Kimmeridge starts by passing the Purbeck Marine Nature Reserve, which has a wonderful rock pool aquarium. It continues along the cliffs past Clavell Tower and reaches St Aldhelm's Head with its impressive Norman Castle. With St. Aldhelm's Head behind you, move ahead along the cliffs past Dancing Ledge to a lighthouse and on to Durlston Country Park, a national nature reserve. From here, walk around Durlston Head and into Swanage, a pleasant Victorian port and fishing village.
The Pines Hotel enjoys a magnificent view over Swanage Bay, most of the comfortable, well-appointed bedrooms have their own sea facing balcony. All have private en-suite facilities, colour television, telephone and radio. The Head Chef is proud of his excellent reputation. His “raison d’être” is to delight guests with a variety of splendid menus. He uses only the finest fresh produce and makes full use of local specialities. The Restaurant is personally supervised by an experienced Manager who ensures that you will receive the friendly, attentive service necessary to enjoy your meal – complimented by a wide choice of wines from the cellar.
Glenlee is an attractive 1930s detached building set in a tranquil location on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, opposite putting greens, and is less than a five-minute walk from the beach. Rooms are decorated to a high standard and are all en suite with Egyptian cotton bedding, fresh flowers, fast free Wi-Fi, high-def smart TV (offering catch-up services), hot drinks facilities and high quality toiletries. The town centre is a ten-minute stroll along the promenade.
The Limes is an informal, comfortable and well-appointed B&B and theyare pleased to welcome families, groups and pets. Full of character and within a two-minute walk to Swanage town centre, the beach, clifftop walks and all that Purbeck has to offer are within easy reach.
The final part of the walk to Poole provides wonderful views over the dramatic chalk stacks of Old Harry before descending to the village of Studland with its nature reserve where many rare snakes and sand lizards live. The last section to Poole involves a ferry trip from South Haven Point to Poole where your last overnight stay will be.
The Poole Quay Hotel offers prime views over Poole Quay Boat Haven and Brownsea Island Nature Reserve, situated on the world’s second largest natural Harbour. Return from your activity packed day to relax over a chilled drink sitting on the terrace of the Anchor Bar or in the comfortable lounge of the Harbour View Restaurant, before enjoying dinner with a view.
All rooms offeriample storage space as well as an iron and ironing board, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, TV and a desk with a chair. All bathrooms have a shower over the bath. Reception is manned 24hrs a day seven days a week and room service is available daily throughout the day and night with complimentary Wi-Fi available throughout.
This lovely Georgian house has been beautifully transformed into a stylish boutique bed and breakfast. It has elegant rooms all en-suite, lcd tv, coffee/tea facilities, choice of breakfast at The Merchant House or Oriels restaurant. It has parking facilities very close by, with superb restaurants, wine bars, historical pubs and shopping, all walking distance from The Merchant House.
Acorns is a well established, quality guesthouse, offering a relaxed and friendly service to ensure your stay is an enjoyable one. It is centrally located only 5 minutes drive to Poole Town Centre.
After breakfast your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
Other InformationIs it for me?
This section of the South West Coast Path takes you along the majority of the Jurassic Coast so you can absorb yourself in its unique history and search for fossils as you walk along the beach. Views are great all the way from secret coves to lagoons. With moderate to strenuous walking at times you will need to be very physically fit to fully enjoy this section of the SWCP.
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
This holiday is graded moderate to strenuous overall. However there are some easy sections too, but you do follow the coast quite closely at times and so it does include some steep ascents and descents climbing up and down from the cliff top paths.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you, subject to availability. There is a single room supplement payable.
Solo walkers are welcome, but there is a solo walker supplement to cover the additional cost of luggage transfer.
The route is well way marked and easy to follow. We supply a detailed map and guidebook so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your way.
- Overnight accommodations in guest houses, inn's, B&B's and small hotels
- Door to door baggage transfer
- A detailed info pack, guidebooks and map
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
- Travel Insurance
- Transport should you need to skip a stage
- Travel to Lyme Regis and from Poole
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Favourite times are April, May and June when the spring flowers are out and September and October when the summer holidaymakers have gone home. Please also ensure you book in line with the Lulworth firing range timetables - these change year on year. Visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lulworth-firing-notice or call 01929 404819 for updates.
By Air - Exeter International Airport is the closest airport and is served by Flybe and Easyjet from UK Airports.
By Rail/Bus - Trains run from London Waterloo to Axminster (2H45) and then you change and take the bus to Lyme Regis from here (20mins).
By Car - Lyme Regis is a 3H30 drive from London. There are some long stay car parks here but they can often be very busy in the summer months, so we always advise public transport as the best option.
By Air - Bournemouth International Airport is the closest airport and is served by a few different airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair and Thomson. You could also fly into Bristol or any of the London Airports.
By Rail/Bus - You can reach London from Poole by a direct train service which takes approx. 2H20.
By Car - Driving to London from Poole takes approx. 2H20. However there is limited parking in Poole so we always recommend public transport. If you need to return to Lyme Regis from Poole then the best way is to catch the train to Dorchester (20mins) and then the bus to Lyme Regis (1H30)
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
The distances and ascent/ descents are approximations of the recommended routes.
IMPORTANT - Check Firing Range at Lulworth timetables before booking!
This section of the South West Coast Path passes a firing range in Lulworth which is only open on certain days of the week, please check https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lulworth-firing-notice or with us before booking that the range will be open. You can call on 01929 404819 to get regular updates.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
The South West Coast Path
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Walking the South West Coast Path
The South West Path stretches around the south-west peninsula of England, exposing dramatic coastal scenery as the walk unfolds. The route is split into several delightful sections as walking the entire route at once would be rather time-consuming. This video gives you an overview of the route and how best to tackle it.
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