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