Follow the dramatic coastal footpaths and ancient ridgeway trails of the beautiful county of Dorset. Designed for hikers new to walking tours as well as those more experienced!

A self-guided walking tour.
Season: Available all year except late December but please read this very important notice about starting days for this tour.
Duration: 6 or 8 nights.
Grade: Moderate hiking, some steep gradients. Routefinding straightforward. For explanation see “How We Grade Our Tours“.
Tour prices: See “Tour prices” below.
Tour codes:
D6 or D8

Note that accommodation in this area tends to be heavily booked in peak holiday periods, especially in late May, late July and August, so book early!

Take a look! The circular walking route on Day 2 of this tour closely follows this 7-mile route published by the South West Coast Path!

Tour Map

Images from our Dorset Coast & Purbeck Ridgeway tour…

  • Old Harry Rock, Studland
  • Durdle Door, Dorset
  • Corfe Castle, Dorset

Overnight stops:

D6 tour: Nights 1&2 West Lulworth (Lulworth Cove);  3 & 4 Kimmeridge; 5 & 6 Corfe Castle.

D8 tour: Nights 1 to 6 as D6, then nights 7 & 8 Studland.

Accommodation: Small guest houses (B&Bs), usually including a farm guest house; some nights with en-suite or private facilities, which can be guaranteed throughout for a supplement.

Meals included: 6 or 8 breakfasts; evening meals can be obtained locally without pre-booking. Packed/picnic lunches are obtainable locally from village shops (but not at Kimmeridge) or from the accommodation.

Rail stations. Start of tour: Wool, then short taxi ride to West Lulworth/Lulworth Cove; end of tour Wareham (frequent bus – timetables are provided – or taxi from Corfe Castle (D6), or taxi from Studland (D8)). If ending the tour at Studland there is also a direct bus service to Bournemouth for more frequent trains. Wool and Wareham are linked by direct trains once per hour every day of the week via Bournemouth and Southampton airport with Woking (shuttle bus link with Heathrow airport) and London Waterloo. From Bournemouth rail station there are also direct trains to the Midlands and North of England avoiding London. Bus and taxi fares are not included in the tour price.

Nearest international and other airports: London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Bournemouth, Southampton.

Tour prices 2018:

Tour code D6:
6 night tour, ES or private facilities most nights: £540. SRS*: £120. STS**: £145.

Tour code D6E:
6 night tour, en-suite or private facilities every night: £570. SRS*: £150. STS**: £175

Tour code D8:
8 night tour, ES or private facilities most nights: £670. SRS*: £160. STS**: £190

Tour code D8E:
8 night tour, en-suite or private facilities every night: £710. SRS*: £200. STS**: £230.

  • Extra nights: £60 per person per night; single room £80 per person per night.
  • SRS* = single room supplement (applicable when 3 or 5 persons book together).
  • STS** = solo traveller supplement (applicable when booking is for one person only)

Prices quoted are per person on basis of two people in double or twin-bedded rooms. Included in the price are bed and breakfast each night, with baggage transfers, maps and route directions. ‘ES’ (en suite) facilities means that there is a private bathroom with shower or tub and toilet within the main door of your room. ‘Private facilities’ means that the private bathroom may be outside the main door of your room. When the booking is made for a party of 3 or 5 customers, a single room supplement is payable. When the booking is made for a single traveller, a solo traveller supplement is payable. Note: normally a maximum of 1 single room per booking.

The Purbeck peninsula has long been an officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and as part of the ‘Jurassic Coast’ of Dorset and East Devon, has now been awarded the coveted status of World Heritage Site by UNESCO, putting it on a par with such wonders as the Great Barrier Reef and the Giant’s Causeway.

Between White Nothe and Studland coastal footpaths (part of the South West Peninsula Coast Path national trail) pass rugged sea cliffs, headlands, sea stacks, natural arches, rocky coves and sandy beaches. The beauty of the coastline is protected by the Purbeck Heritage Coast Project. Inland ancient ridgeway paths follow the crests of chalk and limestone ridges. The jagged ruins of Corfe Castle punctuate a gap in the chalk ridge. Little Norman churches, village greens with duck ponds and country pubs typify England at its best.

Dorset is known for its mild and sunny climate and is a good place to hike at any time of year. Route-finding is easy with our detailed route descriptions, and the days of 12 to 20km (8 to 12 miles) are not strenuous, although there are some steep gradients. The tour is therefore suitable for those with little or no previous experience of walking tours. The Day 3 walk from Lulworth Cove to Kimmeridge crosses a military zone which is only open to the public at weekends and holidays. So the starting day is generally restricted to Thursday or Friday, except at holiday periods (see ‘important notice‘ at the top of this page).

Thomas Hardy is well known as the great Dorset novelist – his novel The Hand of Ethelberta is set among the limestone quarries of Purbeck.

More images of this tour…

Tyneham Beach, Dorset How to Book

Hiking Tour Enquiries

Request our detailed factsheet for this tour - code FSD - to find out more about daily walking distances, places of interest to visit and more!

Request factsheet

Other Discerning Traveller hiking tours

Discerning Traveller offers other coastal walking tours:

Devon & Dorset: The Jurassic Coast

Hike along this great new UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Beer fishing village, Dorset

Cornwall: 3 coastal hiking tours

Cornwall’s long and dramatic coastline is a wonderland for hikers and walkers. We offer a choice of three different week-long self-guided tours along the cliff-top footpath taking in tiny fishing villages and remote sandy beaches.

Padstow Rock Ferry

The Pembrokeshire Coast of Wales

The rugged cliffs of the 300km (186 mile) long Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail offer some of the finest hiking to be found anywhere. Our two 1-week tours both end at the tiny city of St Davids.

Solva coastline

‘[I particularly liked] the views, along the coast path and on the ridge. The walk through the range on Sunday morning was paradise, no-one to be seen until 11am…Thank you very much for this well-documented tour.’

M Mauve
…the rich variety of bed and breakfasts… The magnificent scenery…It was good to walk from one meal to another, feeling like a real connoisseur in a place you never were before…it was very well organised… we met jealous comments from fellow walkers (heav[il]y loaded) about our “very refined” way of doing a walking tour – when they spotted the taxi driver coming to collect our luggage’.
‘…all in all: a very nice vacation, Well arranged. [We particularly liked] the nature, the suroundings, the weather, the nice people. [The accommodation at Corfe Castle was] wonderfully hospitable.’Mr, Mrs and Miss Snippe

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