What would you say about starting a walk in a picturesque village with limestone cottages, then passing by the rocky beach where a horrific shipwreck happened in the 18th century, visiting the caves of a quarry used by the Navy during the Second World War, having a picnic on the cliffs with breathtaking sea views and then walking down to a cove full of dinosaur fossils? Yes! All of these attractions can be found in just a 5-mile walk along the Jurassic Coast cliffs.
Bournemouth – Worth Matravers distance and where to park.
Getting to Worth Matravers from Bournemouth by bus would take more than two hours, so take the car. Even the car park (it’s free, unless you want to donate) provides an attraction, as you can see a wooden Stonehenge in the field close to it. Here’s a map of how to get from Bournemouth to Worth Matravers.
Okay, let’s embark on a fantastic trek from Worth Matravers to Chapman’s Pool!
Worth Matravers is a village with limestone cottages. An interesting fact is that any new house must be built using local stone. Don’t forget to visit the duck pond, and if you feel like energising yourself before the walk, buy some Purbeck Ice Cream. Salted Caramel is my favourite.
By following the map which I provided at the beginning of this post, you’ll approach Seacombe Cliff. The waves will be hitting the rocks dynamically; you can picture why this rocky outcrop was actually the site of an 18th century shipwreck, in which about 100 people drowned including the captain and his daughter. 130 men managed to catch the cliffs, but only 70 held on and survived.
Not far away from Seacombe, you’ll find Winspit. It’s a quarry which was used for extracting limestone to build the cottages in Worth Matravers, but it not only served this purpose! During the Second World War, it was also used as a defensive base by the Navy.
From this point, you should follow the South West Coast Path, which is a part of the Jurassic Coast. The hills are not too steep and the walk will be pleasant and easy. Keep walking on the cliffs, remembering to admire the views, until you reach the most southerly tip of the Isle of Purbeck, called St Aldhelm’s Head.
At this point we were quite hungry so we decided to stop close to St Aldhem’s Head. We put our blankets close to the edge of the cliffs to admire the sea view, and ate some of the snacks we had in our backpacks.
After we finished our picnic, we headed towards our destination – Chapman’s Pool. These cliffs are more hilly and demanding so make sure you have the stamina and some water by your side!
When I said ‘more hilly’, I meant the steps below – going down is obviously easier, however you have to be extremely careful not to fall. Going up will definitely make you lose a couple of breaths, but hey, you’re not in a hurry, so you can take as many breaks as you want!
Once you conquer the steps, the views from the top of the cliffs will make up for any hardships encountered on the way. The little orangery beach in the picture below is Chapman’s Pool – that’s where we’re heading.
While walking down to Chapman’s Pool, you can choose from two paths. A family-friendly, easier and less steep route was built in 2008 and it’s not challenging at all. The second one is steep and narrow (there’s even a rope to help you) and you have to walk through some bushes. Guess which one we chose…
Anyway, when you finally reach the cove of Chapman’s Pool, you forget about all the obstacles you had to go through to reach your destination and just soak in the beautiful surroundings. Insanely green stones, fossils stuck in the rocks, people kayaking in the cove, old anchors, and fishing boats give this place a magical character.
Our walk from Worth Matravers to Chapman’s Pool was adventurous, educational and gave us a challenging walk on the beautiful cliffs of the Jurassic Coast. Have you ever walked there?