Southwest Coastpath
Destination UK

Visiting Tyneham Village and Worbarrow Bay

Posted on
July 23, 2018

We are very spoilt living in my home county of Dorset, as not only do we have the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Jurassic Coast on our doorstep, but much of the county is classed as an area of outstanding natural beauty.


There are also lots of fascinating places to visit throughout the county and one we have wanted to visit for a while is Tyneham Village, just east of Lulworth and part of the Lulworth ranges which are managed by the MOD.

The fascinating thing about Tyneham village, is that it was evacuated in 1943 during WWII and has been deserted ever since.

The Lulworth Range Walks and Tyneham Village are open to the public every weekend, with the exception of around 6 weekends through the winter months, but it is wise to check the website before you plan your visit. It is also open throughout most school holidays.

Most of the small village is derelict, but inside each of the homes are information plaques about what the buildings were used for and who lived in them, along with historical photographs.

The kids loved racing in and out of buildings, hiding in fireplaces and exploring all the nooks and crannies.

The Church and School are still intact and have exhibitions about the village and villagers and the kids had lots of fun pretending they were at school and looking at things that the village children would have been learning about.

The classroom is set up as it would have been in the early 20th century, with images on the walls, an old piano to try, and even pegs with everyone’s names on.

The Church, St Mary’s, dates from the 13th Century and is now managed by the military.

Although some fixtures and fittings have been moved, it is home to a fascinating exhibition giving information on the history of the Tyneham valley.

The exhibitions in the church and the schoolhouse are open from 10am until 4pm when the village is open to the public.

The village is a lot smaller than I thought it would be and some of the buildings, like the Old Rectory which has now been reduced to a single storey, are cordoned off for safety.

There are plenty of places for the kids to climb and explore though.

Over the other side of the carpark is Tyneham Farm, with the Great Barn, the granary, stables, tack room and cowsheds are all still there. There is a historical farming exhibition in the barn and toilets available if you need a comfort break.

If you visit Tyneham then I highly recommend the walk from the village to Worbarrow Bay.

The walk is approximately a mile long, along a flat but stoney track but is well worth it for the views alone.

There is a small rocky patch to negotiate to get down to the shingle beach, but even on a warm sunny day the beach was relatively quiet.

Worbarrow Bay itself is a large broad and shallow bay just to the east of Lulworth and ideal for swimming and water sports. In fact we saw some scuba divers and kayaks when we were there.

The sea was not only lovely and warm, but brilliantly clear and shallow enough for me to let the kids have a good swim.

Sebby wasn’t quite so keen on having a dip but was content with some stone throwing and paddling.

At the eastern end of the Bay is a huge hill known as Worbarrow Tout which Hubby and Isaac insisted on climbing whilst I stayed on beach hunting for shells and sea glass with the kids.

It is a walk that requires sturdy shoes rather than flip-flops but is well worth it for the views over the Jurassic Coast and over to Portland Bill.

For geology enthusiasts, the cliffs and the tout have distinctive angular layers of rock that visibly demonstrate the complex sedimentary folding that affected this area some 30 million years ago.

Hubby spotted a smaller bay to the east of the tout and once we had finished on the beach, we wandered down for a look around.

This beach was an instant hit with the kids, thanks to its tank traps and large stones – they quickly got to work on a stone stack.

I think Worbarrow Bay has now emerged as our favourite beach spot on the Jurassic coast and we cannot wait to head back with our kayak and snorkels!!

Tank Traps

To find Tyneham village and Worbarrow Bay, take the A35, then A351 towards Swanage. Just after Wareham turn right and follow signs to Creech/Kimmeridge, then Tyneham. The turning to Tyneham village and Worbarrow Bay is on the left and there is a single track road down to the carpark. Parking is a voluntary donation of £2 which is invested back into the village.

  1. Reply

    Nikki Thomas

    July 23, 2018

    Tyneham sounds fascinating and what a brilliant way to get a real insight into life back then and weird that no-one ever moved back there after the war. I love places like that and a great way to teach the kids about history too

  2. Reply


    July 23, 2018

    Oh wow these pictures are amazing! Tyneham sounds fab – my girls would love to visit. #countrykids

  3. Reply


    July 24, 2018

    Wow! What amazing photos. The beach looks absolutely gorgeous at this time of year

  4. Reply


    July 24, 2018

    You are indeed lucky! It’s somewhere I’d love to go visit. Hopefully we will soon.

  5. Reply


    July 24, 2018

    What a beautiful place to be. I love the look of that cute telephone box and the church looks lovely x

  6. Reply

    Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One

    July 24, 2018

    I really don’t know this area at all well and had no idea about the deserted village. Will have to see if that’s a doable trip for us this summer I think #Countrykids

  7. Reply


    July 24, 2018

    My husband and I desperately wanted to visit when we went on holiday to this part of Dorset in 2012. We tried 3 times over the course of the week, but it was closed every single time! How lucky you were to be able to visit. This post and the photos are so interesting and it looks like the children had a great time. I hope I can holiday in Dorset again soon and be lucky enough to finally be able to visit! 🙂 #CountryKids

  8. Reply


    July 25, 2018

    Wow you really are lucky living in Dorset and this place looks perfect for a family adventure out and close to the coast – perfect combo!
    Laura x

  9. Reply


    July 25, 2018

    What a gorgeous place to visit! I can’t decide if I like the village or coastline better. I love the picture of the view of the beach in the distance. So pretty. #countrykids

  10. Reply


    July 25, 2018

    I’d never heard of Tyneham Village before, but it looks lovely here. It reminds me of a little place called Eyam near where I live in Derbyshire. I’d love to visit one day 🙂
    Louise x

  11. Reply

    Fiona Cambouropoulos

    July 26, 2018

    Now this is my kind of place. I love exploring old sites, and it sounds like this one has plenty of history and old ruins to keep little minds occupied. I was totally taken even before the bit about leading down to the beach. the perfect looking day out in this weather.
    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog