St Aldhelm's Head near Worth Matravers

A short Dorset walk in the Isle of Purbeck enjoying the beautiful coastal scenery of St Aldhelms Head. The route uses a section of the South West Coast Path and is an ideal choice for a sunny afternoon.

Technical sheet
No. 293269
A Worth Matravers walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 31/01/17
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h10[?]
Distance Distance : 4.03mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 377ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 381ft
Highest point Highest point : 381ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 59ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Worth Matravers
Starting point Starting point : N 50.596085° / W 2.051742°
Download : -


(D/A) To start the walk, exit the car park and take the signed footpath opposite. This leads across a large field with the hedge-line to your immediate left. Bear to the left around Weston Farm (grid ref. SY968773) to a lane. Bear right along the lane and after turn right down a lane with houses to your right. The lane soon bears left and then right before taking a meandering course down to the sea (grid ref. SY976761).

(1) Turn left on to the South West Coast Path. This follows the top of the cliffs and takes you to St Aldhelm's Head where you can visit the former Coastguard Station. Continue along the South West Coast Path as it turns north. The path soon descends into a deep valley before climbing up onto the cliff tops. The views down to your left include the bay of Chapman's Pool with the Purbeck cliffs continuing westwards. Reaching a footpath junction (grid ref. SY959772) turn right signed to Renscombe. This leads back to the car park(D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 381ft - Car park
1 : mi 0.89 - alt. 197ft - Turn left
D/A : mi 4.03 - alt. 381ft

Useful Information

This walk in Dorset's Isle of Purbeck includes an attractive section of coastal footpath along the limestone cliffs. In the past extensive quarrying of this rock was a major source of local employment and saw extensive use in major buildings through the British Isles. The start is a small carpark located just south of Renscombe Farm at grid ref. SY964773, which lies a mile or so west of the village of Worth Matravers.

For accommodation in the local area:
Burnbake Forest Lodge Holidays - situated in the heart of The Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. Luxury Lodges with Hot Tubs and Wood Burning Stoves!

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 3.83/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 3.5/5
Routemap quality : 4/5
Walk interest : 4/5

on Mon 13 Sep 2021 09:28:34 CEST

Global average : 2.67 / 5

Date of walk : 13/09/21
Description quality : Disappointing
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Average

A good walk along the cliff tops. Should not be described as being easy as there is a heart stopping descent of some 200 steep steps down to a valley followed immediately by a 200 plus step climb up the other side.

on Mon 18 Mar 2019 09:39:06 CET

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 18/03/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

The car park at the village was excellent but soon filled up (supposedly 200 cars) after 2km another car park but smaller
Excellent sea views soon emerged but after 2km we had to turn back due to my partners vertigo. We tool the farm road to St. Aldheims Head which had Ancient graffiti (1622) on the church pillars!
The walk was not completed after discussions with other walkers regarding the closeness of the path to the cliff
A very attractive prospect for me which I will complete on my own
The Square and Compass has a good drinks menu but food is very limited.

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