Headwater - Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Self-Guided Walk

6 days
from
$1,299 USD
incl. taxes
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Trip code: 
W05JC
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
1–6
Min age:
8

Walk along one of Britain's spectacular coastlines.

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.

Highlights

  • Sweeping sea-cliffs, panoramic chalk downs, rich rolling hills, ancient woodlands, meadows and hedgerows
  • Incredible variety of wildflowers, birds and butterflies
  • Unique history: battle-worn castles, Iron Age forts, WWII bunkers and fossils spanning 185 million years

Key information

  • 5 nights in 3 to 4-star accommodation
  • 3 days point to point walking (1 optional walk on day 4)
  • UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast - England's first Natural World Heritage Site
  • Traditional seaside towns, spectacular bays and beaches, delightful English villages, world-renowned tea-rooms!
  • Countries visited: United Kingdom

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Route notes and maps provided

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - compulsory supplement)
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

3 + 1 optional

Days of Walking & Trekking
Day by day breakdown
Day 215.0km/10.0miles
Day 311.0km/7.0miles
Day 48.0km/5.0miles
Day 513.0km/8.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Weymouth
to
Sandbanks
  • 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 17th century harbour or take a taxi (5 mins) to the 16th century Sandsfoot Castle - one of Henry VIII's Device Forts.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Weymouth to Lulworth/Corfe

    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 13th century 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.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Corfe to Swanage

    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.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Free day in Swanage (optional walk)

    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.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Swanage to Sandbanks

    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.

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Leave Sandbanks

    After breakfast, your hotelier will arrange a taxi to Poole station at a time to connect with your onward travel arrangements. This costs around £15 and takes 15-30 minutes dependent on the traffic.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

United Kingdom

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

Full English breakfasts are included; with so many dining options on your doorstep, we've left other meals up to you.

Dorset has a long history of farming and fishing and the choice and freshness of the local seafood is spectacular. Other local produce comes from the lush pastures and fertile agricultural land and  there are more and more local farm shops and farmers markets offering foodie delights from fruit and vegetables straight from the garden to freshly baked pies, bread, organic meats and plenty of other treats such as Dorset Knob biscuits, Portland Dough Cakes and tongue-tingling Dorset Naga chillies!

Dorset is also home to some of the UK best independent breweries and a handful of vineyards that produce some excellent beer, cider and wines (still and sparkling).

Weather

From May through to October temperatures are pleasant and some rainfall is to be expected. The warmest months are July and August with an average temperature being 17 degrees. The best time for sea swimming is in September when the sea is at its warmest (average sea temperature 17 degrees).

Is this trip for you?

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.

This is a self-guided tour, as such there will be no group or tour leader and you are free to complete the walks at your own pace. We have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and B&Bs

All accommodation is 3 to 4 star. The places you'll be staying in are among the best in the region, including a beachfront B&B in Weymouth and a lovely 19th century mansion in the centre of historic Swanage.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration.

 

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

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Call us on 1 844 227 9087