An anchorage worth a visit

Leaving the Solent, going west towards Portland or Weymouth? Or coming from the west country heading for the Solent? Don’t forget about this popular beauty spot – Lulworth Cove.

In anything except for a south or south-west gale, it is a beautiful spot to anchor for a mid-passage lunch stop. Or even an anchor stopover for the night on those fairer, more relaxed day trips.

Lulworth Cove entrance

If the barometer is dropping fast though, it will be worth missing until next time. Surges from the open water outside can be quite high when entering and there have been many horror stories with yachts anchored overnight having a terrible (and dangerous) night’s sleep because of it. That being said, if the weather is favourable, Lulworth Cove really is a stunning place to visit.

Getting to Lulworth Cove

You can’t really see the entrance too well from the open water, until quite close. Especially when Lulworth firing range is active, and the chase boats are keeping you well away from the coast (which is fair enough I think!). So, once you are out of the way of that, keep trusting your pre-planned heading and once you are closer, you will see a gap in the cliffs. You will want to do this in daylight though. 


Anchoring is your only option in the Cove. It’s a very circular area, with the middle being the deepest. Depending on where the weather is coming from, you can hug the shore as close as your keel lets you to shelter from it. Don’t forget the fall of the tide though.


Once you have your dingy inflated and have rowed to the stony beach shore, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from. Lulworth Cove is a popular tourist attraction with many visitors by car and coach throughout the year. Be warned, it can be extremely busy in the summer months. 

There are public toilets, gift shops and everything else that most tourist attractions have. There are some great walks too, with views that are spectacular, although none of the walks are flat!

Final thoughts

Lulworth Cove is one of my favourite places to visit on the South Coast. I always make a beeline there if the passage plan fits. Bring your trunks too, swimming and paddle boarding in the Cove is very popular. Even if you don’t get off to go to the shore to join the other land-based mammals, the feeling of being in this secluded area with the huge hills all around you, is unlike many other anchorages you’ll find. 

Having tea in the cove with the obligatory sailors feet pose