No holiday in Dorset would be complete without a trip to the beach and with so many to visit on our spectacular coastline, it can be difficult to know which to choose. Why not try something a little different this summer and head to Worbarrow Bay, where you can combine stunning sea views with the chance to experience part of Dorset’s history at Tyneham Village. Less than half an hour drive from Ulwelll Cottage Caravan Park, a trip to this forgotten village and beach will make a fantastic day out for all of the family!
Tucked away down winding country lanes in the heart of the Dorset countryside, Tyneham Village is a small rural village, abandoned in the Second World War as part of Winston Churchill’s D-Day preparations. Today, much of the village lays empty and visitors are free to explore the relics at their leisure.
As you wander around the remains of the once thriving fishing village, it feels as if you are stepping back into a foregone era. The school building remains locked in time and thanks to careful restoration in recent years, it is possible to see examples of some of the students work laid at the desks. As you will see many of the children’s stories and drawings focus on the abundant wildlife present in the area, which if your lucky, you might catch a glimpse of during your trip.
It is also possible to enter St Marys Church, where exhibition boards give an insight into the lives of each of the families that called Tyneham home. Here you can purchase a Tyneham Village map, which will give you suggestions for round walks in the local area.
Tyneham Barn is also well worth a visit. Here you will be able to learn about the villages rich farming history and see some of the original tools that were used.
After a morning of exploring Tyneham village follow the signs marking the safe route through the army ranges to Worbarrow Bay. As you take the 20-minute walk, you will see heathland often rich with meadow flowers stretching into the distance. Disused military vehicles and targets can also be seen in the distance and serve as a constant but interesting reminder that the site is still very much in use by the armed forces.
Unlike many of Dorset’s beaches, Worbarrow remains a hidden gem and is often quiet even in the height of summer. Pick your spot on the white shingle beach and sit back, relax and enjoy the breath taking blue waters. If you’re brave enough, the water clarity makes Worbarrow Bay an excellent spot for snorkelling and swimming and for those that find relaxing difficult, a hike up Worbarrow Tout will be rewarded with far reaching views.
A bite to eat
Neither Tyneham Village or Worbarrow Bay have a cafe on site so you will have to travel a little further afield if you are looking for something tasty to eat. On the journey back to Ulwell, why not stop off at The Square and Compass at Worth Matravers, where you can sample homemade pasties and pies as well as their renowned ciders and ales. This family friendly pub also has its very own museum, which displays a vast array of fossils collected from along the Jurassic Coast and artefacts from bronze age.
Tyneham village is located on an active firing range, maintained by the MOD. Therefore, both Tyneham Village and Worbarrow bay can only be accessed at certain times of the day. It is best to check the range is open prior to travelling to prevent a wasted journey! The village is free to enter; however a donation towards parking is suggested to help with ongoing maintenance and restoration projects.
Toilets are located at Tyneham farm just a couple of minutes walk from the village.