TYNEHAM & KIMMERIDGE
Tyneham and Kimmeridge are two villages, not far apart, off the coastal road between Lulworth and Corfe Castle, so can be visited on the same day, though you may prefer to do them separately.
To reach Tyneham first, drive through Winfrith away from the main road and bear left at the church. When you get to the T junction at the bottom of the hill in West Lulworth village turn left and drive up the hill out of the village towards Wool. Just past the army camp on your right turn right and take the road to East Lulworth.
You will come to the high wall of Lulworth Castle on the left, and you take the turning on your right, then in a hundred metres or so turn again to your right.
This is the road that leads to the army ranges and is only open at certain times of the year. It is normally open during school holidays and weekends; to be sure check:
www.dorsetforyou.com/lulworth-range-walks or you can telephone 01929 404819.
The drive along the hilltop through the ranges is pleasure enough – on a clear day the views are tremendous – and Tyneham village is signposted down a lane to the right about two miles along the road.
Tyneham is famous for having been taken over by the army in the second world war, for training preparatory to D-Day.
The villagers were evacuated and promised that they would return after the end of the war, but this never happened; the village remains deserted and is still part of the army ranges.
Visitors can walk round much of what is left of the village and there are exhibitions about the history of the village and those who lived here. Visit the school, which is left as if the children have just gone out to play: their books are open for inspection, and it would be a hard person who failed to be impressed by the quality of their work. . There is also a one mile walk to Worbarrow Bay, which is part of the Jurassic Coast.
From Tyneham, to carry on to Kimmeridge return to the ranges road and in a mile or so turn right to drop down the hill in the direction of Corfe Castle.
After passing the hamlet of Steeple take the next turning on the right which is signposted to Kimmeridge. To reach the sea, drive through the village and follow the toll road that leads to the coast and places where you can park. There is plenty to do here: you can picnic on the grass or beside the sea, hunt for fossils on the shore (no hammers allowed), explore the many rock pools when the tide is out, climb the steep path up to the Clavell Tower overlooking the bay or visit the Fine Foundation Marine Centre, with interactive displays and aquaria. You can even see the oldest ‘nodding donkey’ in the country, which has been pumping oil from the small oil field under your feet since 1961!
It is possible to visit Kimmeridge via Corfe Castle and Church Knowle when the ranges are closed to the public, but Tyneham is only accessible when they are open.