Our Jurassic Coast walking holiday takes you along a captivating section of the South West Coast Path and is an unforgettable walking route that hugs the dramatic Dorset coastline.
The Jurassic Coast has remained an unmistakable feature of the British coastline due to its unique fossil strata. The area has certainly been a magnet for fossil collectors who visit this fascinating World Heritage Site year after year, but the fantastic hiking on offer here is not to be missed. The heritage, wildlife, geology and scenery along the way are truly inspirational and each step brings new wonders.
Walking from Dorchester in the West, this wonderful self-guided trail begins in the rolling Dorset Hills made famous by the world renowned author and poet Thomas Hardy. Your first day follows some of the South Dorset Ridgeway which is part of the South West Coast Path National Trail and offers stunning views of the Jurassic Coast. The walking route also provides the opportunity to explore one of the UK’s most significant ancient ceremonial landscapes. The Ridgeway not only offers fantastic views of the Jurassic Coast, but also of the inland scenery of river valleys, chalk downland, villages and farmland, and it provides access to some of Dorset’s famous landmarks, including The White Horse and Captain Hardy’s Monument.
The route then joins the coast just west of Chesil Beach. Forming part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, this sweeping, shingle ridge stretching for miles into the distance is a sight to behold, in fact, the view of Chesil Beach from the coast road above Abbotsbury has been voted by Country Life Magazine as Britain’s 3rd best view.
As the cliff top path dips and rises, you will visit iconic Heritage Coastal sites including Bat’s Hole, Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and the commanding fortification of Corfe Castle. The route along this section is hilly, but there are lots of interesting places to rest, look for fossils, enjoy the coastal views and natural geological features.
The final part of your journey steps back in time with a steam train ride which takes you through the stunning Purbeck countryside to Swanage. From here your walking route continues along the chalk cliff tops to the famous Old Harry Rocks, standing tall and proud at Handfast Point. The stunning views of Studland Bay then come into view and its glorious four-mile stretch of golden, sandy beach, with gently shelving bathing waters and more views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. A short ferry ride from Swanage to Sandbanks precedes the last leg of your walking adventure with a gentle promenade walk into the seaside resort of Bournemouth.
This walking holiday is ideal for the independent adventurer looking to escape either on their own, with a partner, family or group of friends where you all can reconnect and enjoy great walking, food, drinks and friendly accommodation.
With excellent transport links from London, Brighton and Gatwick to Dorchester and Bournemouth, this short break is perfect. If you are traveling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip (there may be a small charge for this). We can also advise or arrange your transfer back to your car.
This walking holiday is flexible and available on a date to suit you (subject to availability) for a total of 4 days walking and 5 nights accommodation (additional nights are available if you would prefer to enjoy this route at a more leisurely pace). As a guide, this itinerary averages about 12 miles per day walking, with a couple of slightly longer days. You will check into your first night's accommodation in Dorchester on Day 1 to give you a chance to explore this fabulous historic town before you begin your walk the next day. We strongly advise booking your trip in advance as places are limited. This particular walking holiday can be enjoyed from April-October.
Prices are based on a 'from' price, depending on accommodation type and availability. Accommodation is based on two sharing an en-suite room, staying on a bed & breakfast basis (single accommodation is available at a supplement). When selecting the accommodation we work with helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation as close to the trail as possible. Our preference is to provide en suite accommodation, however in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms or accommodation further off the trail may require additional transport (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
On booking you will receive a fully detailed itinerary, type of accommodation and a price quote. Your lunch and evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each meal option in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub, restaurant or at your accommodation and will make recommendations based on our knowledge of the area. We suggest budgeting an additional £30 per day per person for lunch and dinner.
With your bag transfers all taken care of, all you need to concentrate on savouring the views of this glorious corner of the country and putting one foot in front of the other. You can have complete confidence that we will take care of your every need.
We will take the time to find out more from you about the experience you would like, the things you enjoy and your travel plans. We then use our passion, experience and local knowledge of the area to craft an itinerary just for you.
We are out and about guiding and pre-walking routes all the time, so you can be sure that you will be receiving the very best in terms of experience and expertise.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your booking in more detail and we would be delighted to share our knowledge and passion for this stunning area with you to help ensure you have the perfect trip.
"We felt completely secure in the hands of Pied a Terre from start to finish. They took our brief quickly and efficiently and responded with an ideal bespoke walk for us incorporating all the key features we requested. The accommodation was spot-on and everything went like clock-work, from the itinerary to the baggage transfer" Mr Oldfield, October 2021