The Tyneham Skyline.

Start. Tyneham.

Route. Tyneham - Whiteway Hill - Flower's Barrow - Worbarrow - Gad Cliff - Tyneham.

Notes. This walk was entirely within the Lulworth Army Range, a vast tract of land over 7,000 acres acquired by Churchill's war cabinet in 1943, this is a live-fire gunnery range only open to the public on certain days, weekends and bank holidays, but don't take my word for it, check with the local tourist information. Over 60 years of army occupation has created one of the largest natural wildernesses on the south coast, lists of flora and fauna exceed anything recorded officially on any designated nature reserve anywhere in the British Isles. Just one word of warning, the paths are well marked for good reason, for your own safety don't aimlessly wander around, this is a live-fire range, not everything explodes on impact.

The start of this walk was rather sad, a poignant reminder of a past way of life, a way of life that ended in December 1943. With war raging across Europe notice was given to the inhabitants of Tyneham and surrounding farms, (250 people from 102 properties) the War Office was taking over the land. The training of mainly American troops took place here in preparation for the D-day landings. Six days before Christmas 1943 the residents left, a now famous notice pinned to the church door read, “ Please treat the church and houses with care, we have given up our homes where many of us have lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free, we shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly” they never did. With the cold war looming, 1948 saw the government compulsory purchase the land.

The history lesson over lets slip the walking boots on and head up the hill. Our route starts behind the church of St Mary's where a gate and stile allowed access to a good track winding up to the ridge, we followed this keeping between the yellow topped markers. Once we crested the ridge we turned west passing the trig point on Whiteway Hill before reaching Flower's Barrow a once impressive Iron Age hill fort, once impressive because a third has disappeared over the cliff a result of coastal erosion. From Flower's Barrow we made the steep descent to Worbarrow Bay. Another sad reminder of a past way of life the remains of fishermen’s cottages on the edge of the bay, we passed behind the cottages to start the ascent of Gad Cliff, with a wire fence to our left and precipitous drops our right we wandered on to reach a stile, we crossed the stile before descending through gorse, bill berry and blackberry to access Tyneham once more.

view route map.


Tyneham village a sad reminder of a past way of life, on the left No4 The Row once inhabited by the local shepherd, to the right No3 the Post Office.

Outside the Post Office stands this fine example of a rare K1 Mark 236 concrete telephone box installed in 1929.

No3 The Row, the Post Office.

The School House now a museum, open only when the village is.... is St Mary's church, constructed from limestone rubble dates back to the 13th century.

An interesting but rather somber start to today's walk, the depression lifts as we ascend Whiteway Hill with views to Portland for company.

From the summit of Whiteway Hill stunning views over Dorset's heath land, in the distance the massive basin of Pool Harbour.

Viewing the friendly Tyneham Valley face of Gad Cliff with the English Channel stretching to the horizon.

Another wonderful silver/grey seascape, the little knobble reaching into the sea is Worbarrow Tout.

Seen from near the summit of Whiteway Hill the Isle of Portland across Weymouth Bay.

Looking to Rings Hill home to Flower's Barrow iron age fort, beyond that Bindon Hill and another hill fort.

Magical views to Lulworth Castle and beyond.

Stunning views over Lulworth Army Range as seen from Rings Hill.

From Flower's Barrow fort wonderful views west along the Dorset coast.

Sue drinks in the views, that's Portland grey on the horizon.

Beautiful Worbarrow Bay and Tout seen from the steep descent of Rings Hill.

On the shingle beach Worbarrow Bay looking to Mups Rocks and the bay of the same name.

Looking to Rings Hill, our descent path can clearly be seen a lot steeper than it looks.

Ascending Gad Cliff pausing for breath, this was definitely the most difficult section of the walk, the views Worbarrow Tout, Bindon Hill and a distant Portland.

Gad Cliff backed by views east along the coast.

Viewing Worbarrow Bay from the well trod coastal path traversing Gad Cliff.

High above Wagon Rock soaking up the views over Brandy Bay, Hobarrow Bay and the headlands of Long Ebb and Broad Bench.

Another view across the grassy top of Gad Cliff.

Views over the Tyneham Valley with Whiteway Hill across the skyline.

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