Visiting Tyneham Village and Worbarrow Bay

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.

Tyneham Village

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.

Telephone Box

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.

Labourer's Cottage

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

Tyneham Cottage

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.

Tyneham Village School

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.

Tyneham School Piano

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

St Mary's Tyneham

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

Church door sign

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

Church of St Mary

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.

The Rectory

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

Tyneham House

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.

History Barn

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

Worbarrow

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

Worbarrow Bay

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.

Southwest Coastpath

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.

Sea Swimming

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

Eliza Worbarrow Bay

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

Worbarrow Bay

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.

Worbarrow Tout

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.

Worbarrow Tout View

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.

Jurassic Coast

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.

Tank Traps

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.

Stone stacking

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!!

Lens Ball

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.

Country Kids

 

12 thoughts on “Visiting Tyneham Village and Worbarrow Bay

  1. 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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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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