Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk

From $758 per person

****# (91%) Based on 15 customer reviews
CC BY Kyle Taylor / flickr
  • Sweeping sea-cliffs, panoramic chalk downs, rich rolling hills, ancient woodlands, meadows and hedgerows
  • Rare birds, plants and butterflies; incredible variety of wildflowers
  • UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast - England's first Natural World Heritage Site
  • Unique history: battle-worn castles, Iron Age forts, WWII bunkers and fossils spanning 185 million years!
  • Traditional seaside towns, spectacular bays and beaches, delightful English villages, world-renowned tea-rooms!

What's included?

  • 5 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every day from 1 May '17 to 27 Oct '17
  • Full English Breakfasts
  • Managed by Headwater appointed agent
  • Sustainability rating: 89%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Excellent for...

Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk

Beautifully varied and wonderfully unspoilt, Dorset's award-winning Jurassic Coast offers 95 miles of idyllic sandy beaches backed by ancient craggy cliffs and meadows carpeted with seasonal wildflowers. In 2001, it gained UNESCO recognition as England's first Natural World Heritage Site charting 185 million years of the earth's history, with rocks and fossils dating to Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous times.

This 5-night walk is the perfect introduction to Dorset's wild and beautiful landscape, where the quietly rolling Purbeck Hills stand in stark contrast to the huge falcon patrolled chalk cliffs, and where every climb is rewarded with fantastic sweeping sea views. In the main, your route follows the coast-hugging long-distance South West Coast Path, pitching and swooping from one downland hollow to the next before a gentle descent into Lulworth Cove by way of the panoramic Burning Cliff and the world-famous rock-arch, Durdle Door. The 280-acre Durlston Country Park is a haven for wildlife (including rare red squirrels) and, with over 250 species of birds, is an ornithologist's paradise. On your final stretch, if you're lucky, you may spot bottlenose dolphins and playful seals emerging from the waves beyond Swanage where the procession of sculpted cliffs and towering chalk stacks known as Old Harry Rocks, marks the end of the Jurassic Coast.

As well as outstanding natural beauty, the region is also rich in archaeology with ancient forts and crumbling castles proudly guarding quintessential rural villages tucked into tranquil corners and crammed with traditional sandstone cottages, tempting tearooms and atmospheric old coaching inns serving great local food. The places you'll be staying in are among the best in the region, including a beachfront B&B in Weymouth and a lovely C19 mansion in the centre of historic Swanage. Breakfasts are included everywhere; with so many dining options on your doorstep, we've left other meals up to you.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Weymouth

We meet you at Weymouth train station and take you (5 mins) to your contemporary B&B right on the town's splendid Georgian Esplanade. Your accommodation overlooks the beach made famous by Mad King George III in 1789 when he took his first Royal dip using a newfangled beach machine and turned sea bathing into a national pastime! Stroll the amazing sands, visit the bustling C17 harbour or take a taxi (5 mins) to the C16 Sandsfoot Castle - one of Henry VIII's Device Forts.

Day 2 Weymouth to Lulworth/Corfe 15km/9.5mi/5hr

Take a short (11 mins) bus transfer to join one of the most scenic sections of the magnificent 630-mile long South West Coast Path. With the dramatic white chalk cliffs as your backdrop, you follow the classic smugglers' route down to picturesque Osmington where the aptly named C13 Smugglers' Inn does great coffee! A short climb to the top of Burning Cliff is rewarded with the most fabulous views of the fossil-filled Jurassic Coast before continuing on to Durdle Door - one of the most photographed rock arches in the world. Today's final stretch hugs the coast down into gorgeous Lulworth Cove - a great place for lunch, a swim or a journey back through 185 million years of history at the renowned Heritage Centre. A pre-arranged taxi will collect you for the 20-minute journey to Corfe, described as one of the most beautiful villages in England, where you stay overnight.

Day 3 Corfe to Swanage 11km/7mi/3hr

Built by William the Conqueror and destroyed by Cromwell's vengeful troops during the Civil War, the dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle - now a National Trust property and the setting for several historical feature films - stand at the gateway to the Isle of Purbeck and its surrounding hills. We've deliberately kept today's walk short to enable you to explore at leisure before setting out on the panoramic ridge high above the village. It's a journey of diverse natural beauty - with Poole Harbour and Bournemouth to your left, the rolling Purbeck Hills to your right and the Isle of Wight clearly visible in the distance - as you follow the pretty Purbeck Way into Swanage, a small Victorian seaside town with a stunning semi-circular bay. You spend two nights at lovely Purbeck House, close to the town centre and just a few minutes' walk from the beach.

Day 4 At Swanage 8km/5mi/2.5hr (optional)

We strongly recommend a circular walk today to Durlston Country Park, a magnificent 280-acre nature reserve of sea-cliffs, downs, meadows, hedgerows and woods. With 250+ bird species, 500+ moths and 33 species of breeding butterfly, few places in the country have the same ornithological appeal as Durlston and, from March to July, hidden deep in the cliffs are sea birds, swifts and swallows. The recently restored Victorian castle boasts a fully interactive Visitor Centre, restaurant and panoramic roof terrace.

Day 5 Swanage to Sandbanks 13km/8mi/4hr

Today's magnificent coastal path hugs Swanage Bay as you climb gently out of the town and up to the famous white chalk sea stacks, Old Harry Rocks. As you continue towards the tiny Purbeck village of Studland, you'll pass 'Dragon's Teeth' tank traps and Fort Henry - a concrete observation bunker built in 1943 and used by Churchill, Eisenhower and King George VI to watch the rehearsals for D-Day. From the gorgeous white sands of Studland, it's just a short hop (5 mins) on the chain ferry across to the luxury four-star Haven Hotel & Spa on exclusive Sandbanks peninsula. There's an optional bus ride for those wanting to visit neighbouring Poole - a beautiful coastal town whose natural harbour is the second largest in the world.

Day 6 Leave Sandbanks

Walking information

Varied walking mostly on the South West Coast Path but with sections through open meadows and along country lanes. Some steep, but relatively short, ascents and descents along with some clifftop walking, but a head for height is not necessary.

Walking information

Varied walking mostly on the South West Coast Path but with sections through open meadows and along country lanes. Some steep, but relatively short, ascents and descents along with some clifftop walking, but a head for height is not necessary.

For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Brittany's Emerald Coast Walk

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

B+B Weymouth   (3 Acorn)

Weymouth Esplanade, location of B+B Weymouth

Situated in a Grade II listed Georgian building right on the seafront along Weymouth Esplanade is B+B Weymouth, a privately owned bed and breakfast offering guests boutique accommodation in the centre of a historic seaside town. Rooms here offer a clean, minimalist design and there is a tastefully decorated lounge area with leather couches, free tea and coffee, and floor to ceiling windows, which offer spectacular views over Weymouth Beach.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Oliver's, Corfe Castle   (3 Acorn)

Olivers, Corfe Castle

Situated in the postcard pretty, historic village of Corfe in the shadow of the incredible castle ruins is this small, friendly, family run B&B. The guest accommodation was built circa 1833 from the fine grey Purbeck stone you can see throughout the village and has worn many hats in its 180 years of life. It has been a tea room, a grocers and a fine crystal shop amongst other things, but now it is a traveller's treasure in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Rooms are all en suite and are furnished to a high standard.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Purbeck House, Swanage   (3 Star)

Purbeck House, Swanage

Occupying the highest point on Swanage High Street, Purbeck House was constructed in 1875 in the Scottish Baronial style, imitating a feudal castle. The building was the creation of George Burt, a man referred to by Thomas Hardy as “The King of Swanage”, and features some interesting artifacts including: statues from the Royal Exchange (the one destroyed by fire); a tiled floor originally laid in the House of Commons; an arch that once stood in Hyde Park; a balustrade and columns from old Billingsgate Market; granite left over from the Albert Memorial; a richly carved crown thistle and rose from the medieval Parliament Buildings (burnt down in 1834) and a gargoyle said to come from Westminster Hall. The hotel is split into two buildings, the original house and the Louisa Lodge, both offering comfortable well appointed rooms.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Haven Hotel, Sandbanks   (4 Star)

Haven Hotel, Sandbanks

The Haven Hotel is on the very tip of the Sandbanks peninsula at the entrance to Poole Harbour and offers incredible views across the water all the way to the Isle of Wight! Rooms are tastefully furnished and well equipped and the hotel has a fantastic restaurant and bar. It also offers guests free use of the impressive spa facilities which include indoor hydrotherapy pools, sauna and steam room, outdoor heated pool, jacuzzi and a sun lounger area. With sea views and a private entrance onto the beach, you can hear the waves crashing as you recline with a glass of wine.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Travel options

Transfer to the hotel from Weymouth train station at the start of the holiday.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mr Rice on 31/10/2016

We were warmly welcomed by the local agent who advised us and made sure collections of us and our luggage happened on time. This generally worked well, with only one slight mishap. Whilst a couple of the hotels on our walking holiday wouldn't necessarily have been our personal choice, all of them were clean and comfortable. Locally sourced food was available in most of them. The daily walking routes were very well written and only occasionally did we refer to the thoughtfully provided OS map. Going off piste was minimal. The Jurassic coastal path walking was magnificent. In summary, considering the late time of year, travel to and from the West Country was not included and the fact that the accommodation was only half board, on reflection we felt the holiday was quite expensive. However it was good to have somebody else resolve the logistics so we could focus on enjoying the walking. Thank you to the Headwater team.

Reviewed by Mr Schafer on 19/09/2016

Overview Wonderful trip with nice lodging and wonderful varied hikes. Detailed Review Arrival and Transfers: This was our 6th Headwater trip and we were joined by another couple on their first trip with Headwater. We flew into Heathrow a day prior to the start of the trip and proceeded to make our way to Weymouth. We had considered using a coach/rail transfer but ultimately decided on a private transfer as it was less expensive for a party of four. We used Thompson Airport Cars (£145.00 for a private minibus). The driver met us at the terminal, was very professional, gave us some ideas for our time in Weymouth and drove us to the front of the Weymouth B+B. This was a very relaxing, efficient, and stress-free way to get from Heathrow to Weymouth for the start of the walk. While in Weymouth we purchased our return train tickets from Poole to Waterloo Station, taking advantage of a £16 off peak, advance purchase rate on Southwest Trains. We had arranged to meet with the local agent (Roy) shortly after our arrival and he went over the particulars of each day and gave us a great overview of the hiking, lodging, logistics and some restaurant and activity recommendations. He was very friendly and has a great sense of humor. Lodging: Weymouth B+B: Excellent central location across from the waterfront and bus stops. Very plain but comfortable rooms. Our room faced a courtyard and was quiet. Our travel companions room faced the side street and, maybe because of the bank holiday, they encountered a lot of street noise late into the night. The breakfast consisted of a small buffet and cooked to order eggs, sausage, mushrooms etc. Alford House (Corfe Castle): Very Nice B&B on the main street about a five minute walk from the center of Corfe Castle. Our host, Suzie offered us refreshments upon our arrival, dinner recommendations and a cooked to order breakfast. The room was large, nicely furnished, quiet and very comfortable. Purbeck House (Swanage): A beautiful hotel about a 5 minute walk uphill from the center of town. Our room was a nice size room up several flights of stairs facing a courtyard. The room was fairly quiet, but as it faced south west tended to be a little warm. Breakfast was a combination of a buffet/cooked to order. Harbor Heights (Poole): A modern, comfortable, air conditioned hotel that was about a 25-30 min walk from the ferry dock. Great views of the harbor. Two strong recommendations if you stay in this hotel. Ask the local rep/headwater about taking the local bus from the ferry to the hotel. After the wonderful hike from Swanage to the Poole Chain ferry, the walk to the hotel was along a road and not particularly scenic. Also, the hotel is not very close to other restaurants and while the on-site restaurant was good, the available dining times were somewhat limited the night of our stay. It might be worthwhile to ask the rep (or call ahead) to secure a reservation at the time you want The Hikes: The hikes were accurately described in the program and the the directions were clear and easy to follow. The 1+ boot description was accurate. Three of the hikes had wonderful coastal views , while the the hike from Corfe Castle to Swanage provided expansive views across the countryside. As I mentioned, we arrived a day early in Weymouth and took the local bus to the cliffs at West Bay and explored Abbotsbury. On our short day in Swanage, we finished up our hike by 2:30 and were able to take a tour boat along the coast from Swanage to Poole (and Return). This was a great, relaxing way to see the next day's coastal hike from the sea. I would highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Mrs Rarick on 19/09/2016

These trips are like a treasure hunt. Each day you wake up and embark on a new adventure following detailed notes/maps not knowing what you will see or encounter around the next bend. The scenery on our Jurassic coast walk was just spectacular.

Reviewed by Mrs Bryan on 13/09/2016

Lovely route, fantastic scenery, quite challenging in some places and paths a little higher than expected for a person with vertigo.

Reviewed by Mis Nair on 13/09/2016

A good holiday with manageable walks , nice weather and stunning coastal and countryside views . Best was Corfe Castle , a lovely little village overlooked by the impressive castle ruins. Accommodation fine except for the B + B in Weymouth ; room cheerless and austere , and location rather noisy ; was woke twice in the night by people shouting and swearing in the street below.

Reviewed by Mrs Frames on 29/08/2016

Overall had a fantastic holiday walking along the Jurassic coast. We were extremely lucky with the weather and pre-booked all but one of our evening meals (using Trip advisor) to ensure they too were of an excellent standard. The accommodation provided varied in style but all were scrupulously clean and offered an excellent selection of food at breakfast; the four star accommodation at the end of the holiday which included access to a heated outdoor pool and spa was especially welcome after all the walking. The route notes were excellent; very easy to follow.

Reviewed by Mr Pryor on 22/07/2016

They were happy to wait unitl 10,00 a.m. to collect our luggage in the mornings, which was great,as we were on holiday and didn't want to rush our breakfast, before walking. All the hotels were well chosen. The holiday was well thought out. We took the wrong route at Durdle Door and ended up on an extremely steep area, so listen carefully to the Rep's instructions. Our rep recommended restaurants for us and booked them, so we had a nice meal at Rick Steins in Poole, and several other nice places, that we might have missed otherwise. Make sure you take a sun hat, as there is not alot of shade on the walks. Expect to feel quite tired, unless you walk 8 miles on a regular basis.

Reviewed by Mrs Currie on 07/07/2016

Good walking with fantastic scenery.

Reviewed by Mr Boyd on 02/07/2016

The holiday provided us with an opportunity to visit and explore an interesting part of England which was unknown to us and the walks were varied with some spectacular scenery. Apart from the walking itinerary itself, there were lots of places and sites to visit, including Portland Bill, Brownsea Island, Corfe Castle, the Swanage Railway, and by way of expedition from Weymouth, both of Thomas Hardy's houses near Dorchester. As usual with Headwater the accommodation was comfortable and thoughtfully chosen.

Reviewed by Mrs Fairhall on 30/06/2016

If you enjoy being in the open air enjoying the country then this holiday is great with very comfortable rooms and great food and places to see, I would recommend this to anyone.

Reviewed by Mr Cheetham on 19/05/2016

For keen walkers who want a holiday organised for them, including luggage-transfer, and are prepared to pay, this is an excellent holiday, but not for the faint-hearted or unfit, as although the distances seem short, the walks are often very strenuous, and there are frequent opportunities for stumbling over loose surfaces, especially on descents. The route descriptions are meticulous, and well-marked,and there is really no need for map-reading. The evening food is often expensive, especially at The Haven, where there is really no local alternative.

Reviewed by Ms Cozort on 09/05/2016

Beautiful region, fantastic scenery, good walks but not too strenuous.

Reviewed by Mr Whitehurst on 14/09/2015

Great opportunity to visit famous sites in UK within a structured organised and well supported walk

Reviewed by Ms Waddington on 19/06/2015

Wonderful walking trip - could definitely be done more challenging walking options outlined in route notes & more of the coatst covered. It really is a turquoise coast when the sun shines!

Reviewed by Mr Martin on 06/06/2015

A unique experience that gave great opportunities to see parts of the country that we might not see if we were traveling independently. Following the route notes gives you the confidence to venture further, knowing that you could then get back to your route. Having a rep at the end of the phone just in case anything went wrong gave us a sense of safety and security and proved invaluable when I was unable to walk on the final day.

Departure dates & prices

October 2016 departuresTour only 
Oct 1$899
Oct 2$899
Oct 3$899
Oct 4$899
Oct 5$899
Oct 6$899
Oct 7$899
Oct 8$831
Oct 9$831
Oct 10$831
Oct 11$831
Oct 12$831
Oct 13$831
Oct 14$831
Oct 15$831
Oct 16$831
Oct 17$831
Oct 18$831
Oct 19$831
Oct 20$831
Oct 21$831
Oct 22$831
Oct 23$831
Oct 24$831
Oct 25$831
Oct 26$831
Oct 27$831
May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 1$805
May 2$805
May 3$805
May 4$805
May 5$805
May 6$805
May 7$805
May 8$805
May 9$805
May 10$805
May 11$805
May 12$805
May 13$805
May 14$805
May 15$805
May 16$805
May 17$805
May 18$805
May 19$805
May 20$805
May 21$805
May 22$805
May 23$805
May 24$805
May 25$805
May 26$805
May 27$805
May 28$820
May 29$820
May 30$820
May 31$820
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 1$820
Jun 2$820
Jun 3$820
Jun 4$820
Jun 5$820
Jun 6$820
Jun 7$820
Jun 8$820
Jun 9$820
Jun 10$820
Jun 11$820
Jun 12$820
Jun 13$820
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Jun 15$820
Jun 16$820
Jun 17$820
Jun 18$820
Jun 19$820
Jun 20$820
Jun 21$820
Jun 22$820
Jun 23$820
Jun 24$820
Jun 25$820
Jun 26$820
Jun 27$867
Jun 28$867
Jun 29$867
Jun 30$867
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 1$867
Jul 2$867
Jul 3$867
Jul 4$867
Jul 5$867
Jul 6$867
Jul 7$867
Jul 8$867
Jul 9$867
Jul 10$867
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Jul 25$867
Jul 26$867
Jul 27$867
Jul 28$867
Jul 29$867
Jul 30$867
Jul 31$867
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$867
Aug 2$867
Aug 3$867
Aug 4$867
Aug 5$867
Aug 6$867
Aug 7$867
Aug 8$867
Aug 9$867
Aug 10$867
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Aug 22$867
Aug 23$867
Aug 24$867
Aug 25$867
Aug 26$867
Aug 27$867
Aug 28$836
Aug 29$836
Aug 30$836
Aug 31$836
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 1$836
Sep 2$836
Sep 3$836
Sep 4$836
Sep 5$836
Sep 6$836
Sep 7$836
Sep 8$836
Sep 9$836
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Sep 17$836
Sep 18$836
Sep 19$836
Sep 20$836
Sep 21$836
Sep 22$836
Sep 23$836
Sep 24$836
Sep 25$836
Sep 26$836
Sep 27$836
Sep 28$836
Sep 29$836
Sep 30$836
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 1$836
Oct 2$836
Oct 3$836
Oct 4$836
Oct 5$836
Oct 6$836
Oct 7$836
Oct 8$758
Oct 9$758
Oct 10$758
Oct 11$758
Oct 12$758
Oct 13$758
Oct 14$758
Oct 15$758
Oct 16$758
Oct 17$758
Oct 18$758
Oct 19$758
Oct 20$758
Oct 21$758
Oct 22$758
Oct 23$758
Oct 24$758
Oct 25$758
Oct 26$758
Oct 27$758

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided walking, hotel-to-hotel. Managed by Headwater appointed agent.


Every day from 1 May '17 to 27 Oct '17, for 6 days (5 nights).


Full English Breakfasts.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfer to the hotel from Weymouth train station at the start of the holiday.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

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We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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