Durdle Door is one of the Jurassic Coast’s most iconic landscapes. It is a natural arch, formed from a layer of hard limestone standing almost vertically out of the sea.

Durdle Door stands at the foot of a steep path followed by a set of wooden steps. It is accessible from above via a car park and the South West Coast Path, from which it is a 15 minute walk down to the beach. At the foot of this path are a pair of shingle beaches – Durdle Door to the West and Man o’ War Cove to the East.

The stretch of footpath between Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove is the busiest in the south west and sees more than 200,000 walkers every year. The walk between the two sites takes 30 minutes up and down a steep, but spectacular, walking path.

Durdle Door is part of Lulworth Estate, which is owned and managed by the Weld family. The Lulworth Rangers operate out of the Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre and are responsible for conservation and visitor management across the estate.

How to Get There

Durdle Door is best accessed by car, by turning at Winfrith Newburgh if driving from the west, or at Holmebridge (shortly after Wareham) if driving from the east.

The X55 bus connects Durdle Door and neighbouring Lulworth Cove to Weymouth, The Tank Museum at Bovington, and Wool train station. Taxis to Durdle Door are available from Wool station.

For further information, visit our Travel page.

Durdle Door from the sea
Durdle Door from the sea. © Steve Belasco - stevebelasco.net

Car Parking and Facilities

Parking is available directly above Durdle Door, and is accessed via Durdle Door Holiday Park. For the latest parking information and costs, visit Lulworth Estate’s website.

It is a 15 minute walk down a steep path then steps from the car park to the beach. Good footwear (not flip flops) is essential.

Please be aware that there a no toilets on or adjacent to the beach at Durdle Door. The nearest available toilets are in the holiday park.

Although Durdle Door beach is accessed by a steep path and steps, the viewpoint from the clifftop can be accessed by all terrain wheelchairs. There are also accessible toilets available in the holiday park.

durdle door - parking and facilities
View of the steps down to the beach at Durdle Door. Photo © Martin G - mgphotography.uk

Beach Information and Dogs

Bathing at Durdle Door can be dangerous. The beach shelves steeply and there is a strong under-tow. Take care on the shoreline because sudden large waves can engulf people at the water’s edge. This has caused fatalities in the past.

Durdle Door is one of the Jurassic Coast’s dog-friendly beaches and can be enjoyed all year round with your four-legged friend.

Durdle Door - Tony Armstrong
Durdle Door. © Tony Armstrong via Flickr.

See the below video from Lulworth Estate with everything you need to know about visiting Durdle Door.

 

Where to Stay

We recommend staying at Durdle Door Holiday Park, located within easy walking distance of the coastline.

There’s also nearby Swanage Coastal Park or Sandyholme Holiday Park, or you can book a cottage in the area with holidaycottages.co.uk.

For a comprehensive list of local options, visit our Accommodation page.

Durdle Door
Durdle Door. © Lulworth Estate

Things to Do

Lulworth Estate Bike Trail
Lulworth Estate Bike Trail. © Lulworth Estate

Walks Around Durdle Door

Walking the South West Coast Path at Durdle Door offers spectacular views across the Jurassic Coast. We recommend an Ordnance Survey map to accompany a day’s walking.

Walking the coast path to the east of Durdle Door brings you to the famous Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole.

Further afield are the incredible geological formations of Worbarrow Bay and the eerie abandoned village of Tyneham. To the west are the coastal hamlets of Osmington Mills and Ringstead.

Bat Head West from Durdle Door
Bat Head as seen from Durdle Door.

Visitor Centre

Pay a visit to the nearby Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre, where you can learn more about Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, two of the most iconic geological features on the Jurassic Coast.

2021 update: The Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre is currently closed, but there are plans for alternate opening arrangements to be put in place for the 2021 Summer. We will update our website when more information is known.

Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre
Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre. © Lulworth Estate

Education Groups

Nearby Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre is typically available for school and other education groups, with a range of learning topics available.

2021 Update: Education services at Lulworth are temporarily unavailable, but enquiries about future sessions are welcome.

Please contact Lulworth’s  Education team with your enquiry.

School group Stair Hole lulworth
School group at Stair Hole. © Lulworth Estate

Need to Know: How Was Durdle Door Formed?

Around 25 million years ago the African tectonic plate collided with the European plate. The huge pressures generated heaved and folded rocks to create the mountain chain we know as the Alps.

 

Ripples from that collision spread north through the Earth’s crust and gently folded the rocks here, in what would become south Dorset and Purbeck.

The unmistakable limestone arch of Durdle Door
The unmistakable limestone arch of Durdle Door. © Visit Dorset