Dorset's World Heritage Coast
The landscape of Dorset really does have something to please walkers of all tastes; a spectacular ‘Jurassic’ coastline (recently favoured with World Heritage status) with some splendid sea-sculpted offshore rock formations; long downland ridges with magnificent views over both sea and countryside; delightful little combes sheltering idyllic thatched villages and isolated farmsteads set in the fold of the hills.
One of the great joys of walking in Dorset is the fantastic contrast between the coast and its rural hinterland, and our programme of walks is designed to exploit this contrast to the full. As well as enjoying some superb walking along the switch-back coast around Kimmeridge and the ‘Isle of Purbeck’ peninsula you will walk across the exhilarating downland which rises just inland from the cliffs. The itinerary will vary depending upon the grade of the holiday, but should include visits to the charming Victorian seaside resort of Swanage with its historic town centre and attractive harbour; the stone-built village of Corfe Castle with its picturesque cottages and iconic castle, the airy ridges of Nine Barrow Down, Ballard Down and Knowle Hill, which provide a hunting ground for numerous birds of prey and support a stunning variety of wild flowers and butterflies; the Studland National Nature Reserve with its unspoilt Dorset heath; and Old Harry Rocks.
If you want to find out what flora and fauna you are likely to see at different times of year visit the excellent website maintained by Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve.
To give you a 'taster' of the landscape take a look at the beautiful aerial photography in this short video.
Lonely Planet lists hiking the South West Coast Path as one of the world's great adventures with “walking at its most diverse, most spectacular and most delicious", and we would definitely agree with that description.
Your holiday on the Dorset Coast will be based at Mortons House Hotel [ETC/AA***] in Corfe Castle, a beautiful 16th century Elizabethan manor house which is situated just off the central square. Built in 1590 in the shape of an 'E' to honour Queen Elizabeth I, the house has been sympathetically converted and furnished to provide individual character rooms, all extremely well-appointed with ensuite bathroom facilities. Mortons House Hotel was named as the winner of 'Small Hotel of the Year' category in the 2005/2006 South West of England Excellence in Tourism Awards whilst the dining room, which specialises in using quality local produce, holds two sought-after AA rosettes for the quality of the cuisine and service.
- All of the above prices are per person, and based upon two guests sharing a double or twin-bedded room.
- Single traveller? Enjoy sole occupancy of a double room at a supplement of £35 per night (reduced to £25 per night in November 2017). (More about single supplements)
Currency Converter: All of our prices are in British pounds. To estimate the cost in another currency use the currency converter here.
Onward travel: Bus or taxi