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KIMMERIDGE BAY TO LULWORTH COVE

DATE(S) OF TRIP: We've done this many times.

WHERE?: It's on the Dorset Coast, effectively being the southern edge of the 'Isle of Purbeck'. Map.

LAUNCH SPOTS: You can only get to the sea by road at the beginning and end, and there are few landing spots inbetween.

Kimmeridge - the Bay is accessed via a toll road, although if you are early or late it isn't manned, ie. free! In winter, you can drive right down and park at the water's edge, otherwise you are forced to use the carpark on the cliffs - quite a carry down, maybe dump the boats and then park.

Lulworth Cove - for the colder half of the year, you can drive down to the water's edge to unload. Through the summer, you have to carry boats several hundred metres from the carpark to the water. The carpark is extortionate.

DISTANCE/ TIME: About six miles. About two hours to complete.

LOCAL TIDES: There is little flow...barely noticeable. This is as the trip is sheltered by Portland Bill.

HAZARDS/ PROBLEMS: Just after leaving Kimmeridge Bay you cross the surf spot of Broad Bench, a shallow bedrock reef. This sticks out to sea and if there is swell, may need a big dogleg to avoid.

Most of this trip is through a live firing range. Check firing times.

If the sea is 'lively' and you choose to start at Lulworth, you will be directly exposed to swell and clapotis as soon as you leave sheltered Lulworth Cove.

ROUTE TAKEN: Cross Kimmeridge Bay and work your way around the bedrock promontory of Broad Bench. You now paddle along below the Gadcliff, an impressive overhanging affair.

You then round the little headland of Worbarrow Bay to enter Worbarrow Bay, which is gorgeous. Steep chalk cliffs rise from the water. Immediately behind Worbarrow Tout is a footpath leading a mile to the village of Twynham, evacuated in WWII. A visit is essential.

You can land in the wide bay in many places but the most tempting is at Arish Mell where there is a chink in the cliffs. You can't go far inland; it's a military base.

At the western end of the bay are Mupe Rocks, worth exploring.

From the rocks, a mile of cliffs (look out for fossilised trees) lead to wonderful Lulworth Cove.

Photos from this trip

EVENTS/ OBSERVATIONS:

OTHER NOTES: Glorious. The south coast's finest scenery?

CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley