Worbarrow Bay is one of our favourite beaches in Dorset and a popular spot amongst locals wanting to escape the summer crowds. Often overshadowed by its neighbours Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, this hidden gem is equally as beautiful and seldom busy even in the height of the summer.
Boasting aqua blue waters and flanked by white limestone cliffs on all sides, this magnificent bay should not be missed during your time in Dorset. The sheltered beach is great for a cooling dip and the crystal-clear waters make it a popular spot for snorkelling and rock pooling. When the weather’s calm you will often see impressive yachts moored close to shore.
There are no bars, café’s or restaurants at the beach, so you should bring your own food. The stunning surroundings make it the perfect place to enjoy a picnic or even a BBQ.
One of the best things about Worbarrow Bay is that it is dog friendly throughout the year. There are no restrictions and dogs are allowed off lead as long as they’re kept close control.
The beach can be accessed via a track from Tyneham Village, which you should try to incorporate into during your trip. The village was abandoned during the second world war so that the land could be used for military training. Despite resident’s desire to return Tyneham Village it has remained empty ever since.
As you walk around what remains of the modest fishing village, it’s like stepping back in time. The school house, church and farm have been restored to their former glory with small exhibitions to give an insight into the once thriving village. Letters and artefacts give an insight into the turmoil the residents experienced when asked to leave their homes.
The walk to the beach is well signposted from the village and takes about 20 minutes. There are toilet facilities close to the car park and the track is level and suitable for push chairs. The gentle walk offers lovely views over the heathland and an abundance of wild flowers if you visit in the spring. As you follow the track you will see tanks, targets and other disused military equipment in the distance. The land remains an important training base for the British Army, which can sometimes affect access to the area.
If spending a day relaxing on the beach is not for you, there’s another way to admire the beauty of Worbarrow Bay. The beach is set on the South West Coast Path, a popular walking route. At the entrance to the beach you can ascend a steep hill onto the headland, Worbarrow Tout, an excellent vantage point to look over the beach and nearby Pondfield Cove.
If you’ve got the energy we highly recommend making the climb to Flowers Barrow, an Iron Age Hill Fort, which boast spectacular panoramic views along the Jurassic Coast.
Worbarrow Bay is approximately 20 minutes’ drive from our Dorset campsite. The short journey takes you through the heart of the Isle of Purbeck, offering beautiful views of the Dorset countryside as you travel along winding country lanes.
The car park lies at the end of a narrow and track, so care should be taken in larger vehicles, campervans and motorhomes. There is no set parking fee, instead visitors are invited to make a donation, which goes towards the upkeep of the land and facilities. The suggested donation is £2 and the gate to the car park is locked at 7pm, so you should be careful to vacate the beach well before this time.
Worbarrow Bay is owned by the Ministry of Defence and can only be accessed at certain times of the year, when military training is not taking place. Live firing is signified by a raised red flag, so you should not attempt to access the beach when the flag is at full mast. Worbarrow Bay is open to visitors most weekends and during the school holidays, however it is best to check for unplanned closure online before making the journey.
Follow signs to Wareham and then pick up signs for Lulworth
Distance from us:
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We booked for two nights in our Motorhome and ended up staying six nights. Staff very friendly and accommodating. Shower blocks were kept clean and water was lovely and hot. Bus stop directly outside site going to Poole and Swanage on the he number 40 bus route. Worth getting a return ticket to save money Mo, Oct 2021
We had a simply fabulous time at South Lytchett Manor last month. We were not sure about camping in October but the site is well insulated, the playground kept our kids well entertained and the facilities were super clean and comfortable. We loved having a shop onsite and there are water taps and electricity points in abundance.. we have stayed at a number of sites and couldn’t recommend this Beth, Nov 2020
Great campsite, really friendly and polite staff. Very clean facilities and felt ‘safe’ with all the hand sanitizer and clear signage, highly recommend - we’ll probably book one of the huts next time.... Richard , Oct 2020
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