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Worbarrow and Tyneham

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: SY 882 802

Last Visited: 2013


This walk is in heart of the 30km² (7,500 acre) Lulworth Military Range, an area littered with scrap military vehicles used as targets, and other bits of military paraphernalia.

It is also subject to regular shelling, so you have to keep to the way-marked paths.

On the plus side, the land has been kept free from development, and is a haven for wildlife.

Worbarrow

Worbarrow

Looking out from the village car park, you can really get a sense of how beautiful the downs looked before they were intensively farmed.

Old House Worbarrow Bay

Old House
Worbarrow Bay

From the car park there is a fine cliff-top walk of about 4 km (2.5 mls) down into Worbarrow Bay.

The ranges are open on selected weekends and for the whole of August (check opening days). Park in the public car park in Tyneham village and head for the cliffs.

Once you reach the bay, you can take a short diversion up to the top of the Tout (if youʼve got the legs), or go for a swim.

Mind you, the sea round here is mildly radio-active, as there is a an outfall from AERE Winfrith (or whatever it calls itself now that it has been privatised) just up the coast at Arish Mell. However, this does not seem to put people off swimming.

Allen Williams Steel Turret

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: SY 871 797

Last Visited: 2013

Allen Williams Steel Turret

Allen Williams Steel Turret

In a small enclosure just off the main path is an unusual relic of World War II; an Allen Williams Steel Turret.

As the nearby plaque used to explain, this consisted of a hemispherical top made of welded metal plates over buried cylinder of concrete, just large enough for one person to stand in.

The idea of spending hours cooped up in one of these on a cold winterʼs day, does not bear thinking about.

Update May 2013: The sign and the metal dome have now been removed and the hole filled in, although you can still where the turret was.

Tyneham

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: SY 881 803

Last Visited: 2013

Like Imber in Wiltshire and the villages in the Stanford Training Area in Norfolk, Tyneham was taken over by the War Department during the Second World War, and never given back.

The Elizabethan manor house was pulled down in 1967, but the school (now a museum) and church are still in a good state of repair. There are also substantial remains of many of the other houses and cottages.