If you’re familiar with these two popular Dorset beauty spots on the Jurassic Coast, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, you will know how busy they get in the summer season. Kayaking in Dorset is one of the best ways to explore and beat the hustle and bustle on land. Exploring by water opens up so many more exciting places to discover, and certainly lets you gain a different perspective on this beautiful section of Dorset coastline. The ocean is the most beautiful shade of turquoise here, and you really could mistake yourself for being somewhere a lot more exotic!
Start & Launch, (hire) Lulworth Activities, Rudds, Main Road, West Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5RQ
Return, come back the way you came
Wear the relevant safety equipment (recommendations on this page)
LULWORTH COVE – START & LAUNCH
The start point for this kayaking adventure is Lulworth Cove car park: BH20 5RQ *note that this is a pay and display car park, charged at £10.00 for all day, and £5.00 for 4 hours. Although expensive, there isn’t really a close alternative, and this car park really does take you close to where you will start. If you need to hire your equipment for the day head on down to Lulworth Activities based here: Rudds, Main Road, West Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5RQ. The launch point for this trip is Lulworth Cove beach, follow the beach traffic, you can’t go wrong!
MAN O’WAR BEACH
Once in the water, head for the mouth of the cove and start paddling to exit right out of the cove. Carry on straight, not straying too far from land, but far enough out to not hit any stray rocks. The next stop on this trip with be Man O’War beach, a sight you may have seen before if you have visited this area of coastline, if you thought it looked good from the cliffs, you are in for a treat when you reach the beach via the ocean. Man O’War Beach is a great spot to enjoy the coastline away from the masses. To reach this area via foot you are looking at a considerable trek from the Durdle Door car park, one that many people aren’t prepared to take, which is great news for you! (I’m talking about the second cove along in the image below) This is the perfect picnic spot, soak up some rays and enjoy a break on this beautiful beach. This is what kayaking in Dorset is all about, stunning views, turquoise oceans and sandy beaches.
When exiting Man O’War Beach, you need to paddle right to continue down to Durdle Door, if you haven’t heard of Durdle Door before, it’s a very well known Dorset landmark, and to put it simply a big rock arch in the sea! You really are better of exploring Durdle Door via the ocean, the beach get’s incredibly busy with tourists during the summer months. Exploring it by sea really does offer a much more peaceful perspective.
To return to your start point simply turn around and paddle back the way you came. I’m not normally a big fan of routes where you have to turn around and come back the same way, but this is definitely an exception. Your surroundings are so amazing, it really is just as good seeing it all for a second time around!
Safety in the sea can be a scary topic, but one that’s vital to consider before you set out on your trip. A couple of factors to consider include; weather, make sure you check the forecast ahead of your adventure, paying particular attention to changes in the forecast and wind speed and direction. When you are at your kayaking location pay attention to the wind direction, and plan accordingly for off-shore winds. This is where the wind is blowing from inland and out to sea. This could potentially make it hard work paddling back to shore if you head out too far, if you’re unsure, don’t risk it. Always wear a buoyancy aid (you can find a recommendation at the bottom of this page). Make sure your buoyancy aid is a snug fit, with no risk of slipping over your head. Make sure you pack enough water for the time you are planning to be out, and always ensure you take a phone in case you need to call for help in an emergency. Make sure you check the tide times before setting off (link below) and plan your trip accordingly.
DORSET KAYAKING TOURS
Apprehensive about exploring on a kayak solo for the first time? Further along the coastline at Old Harry Rocks, Fore Adventure offer guided kayaking tours, which could be the perfect opportunity to build your confidence in the water in a safe environment. The tours are led by experienced and qualified instructors and everything is provided for you. The tour goes from Studland Bay to Old Harry Rocks and costs £55 for a half day, (Studland Bay is around a 30 minute drive from Lulworth Cove).
RECOMMENDED KAYAKING KIT
Check out the below kit to ensure you have everything you need for a safe and exciting adventure kayaking in Dorset. Please note that this blog contains affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, Destination Downtime earns a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Thanks in advance for your support.
New lifejackets sold in the UK, Ireland and Europe are required to meet the international Standards Organisation standard ISO12402. For kayaking you need a buoyancy aid at level 50. Make sure the lifejacket is a good fit, comfortable and non-restricting.
Waterproof Phone Case
A cheap purchase that brings hours of piece of mind! The exact model I use is no longer available however, this is extremely similar. I would recommend testing your case out before you hit the water by popping something inside and submerging it in water.
Waterproof Dry Bag
To ensure your personal belongings are kept dry on your kayak consider investing in a good quality waterproof bag. This bag features 2 adjustable shoulder straps and buckles to make it easy to carry. To free your hands you can use it as a large volume backpack, it also comes in plenty of cool colours to choose from.
It’s a great idea to purchase a pair of water shoes to ensure you don’t ruin your trainers form submerging them in water. These water shoes are quick drying, lightweight, and fit snuggly on your feet.
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Will you be heading out on an adventure kayaking in Dorset? Share your adventures below in the comments.