• Daniel Wretham

Dorset Landscape Photography Locations, Lulworth Cove

Updated: Jul 25, 2020


Back again with another guide to the very best photography locations in Dorset, this time with a real favourite, Lulworth Cove.


Lulworth Cove Sunset, Dorset Landscape Photographer

You don't have to live in Dorset to have heard of this wonderful location, it's one of natures finest examples of a cove anywhere in Britain and sees many visitors every year from all over the world.

Lulworth Cove is a perfectly symmetrical shell like cove full of hidden ledges and great smooth pebbles just perfect to get any photographers creative juices flowing.

Not only do you have the cove and all it's features here but right next to it is the wonderful "Stair Hole" and a short if not steep walk over the hill will get you to the mighty Durdle Door, but we will leave that for another blog at a later date.

Lulworth Cove is part of the Lulworth range complex in deepest darkest Dorset and can be accessed at any time of the year despite being next to the MOD Military firing range which has restricted access during the week to Mupe Bay and the Fossil Forest.

Lulworth Cove was first formed over 10,000 years ago by a river and the sea meeting which carved out the cove itself.

The outer edge is made from the formidable Portland Stone which is incredibly tough and resists the rough and raw power of the relentless pounding sea.

Inside the cove it is a different story were the hills are made up of soft white chalk which means the cove is always evolving and taking on new shapes as the elements take their toll on the cliff, this can lead to a few landslides so caution should be exercised when visiting and shooting.

Lulworth Cove is exceptionally popular with tourists which can be very frustrating for a photographer so some thought should be given to the best times to visit it.

During peak holiday season it is nothing short of rammed and photographers should probably seek a different venue as it becomes virtually impossible to shoot it from any angle without tourists with exceptionally questionable shirts standing in front of your camera asking what you are photographing ? *shudders

Early morning sunrise shots will be a good bet as the tourists will still be in bed but at peak times they will sometimes manage to surprise you with how early they are prepared to get up in pursuit of a prime position on the beach.

Sunset shots are possible in peak times but you will need to be prepared for it to be busy and to receive the same three or four questions over and over again.

1, What are you doing ?

2, Are you local

3, I'm a photographer and you need to hear all about my point and press camera

4, Got any good ones ? (not yet as some complete tool is stood in front of my lens)

Like I said, avoid peak times if you're an introvert photographer like me who likes nothing more than a bit of solitude while out shooting.

Out of season it's a different story, well kind of. While it sees a vastly reduced footfall it still has a lot of people visiting it but at sunrise & sunset it's quite possible you will have the place very nearly to yourself and you certainly wont have to battle for a place to shoot.

If you choose to go during the day you will still have to contend with a lot of other people who are out enjoying the wonderful walks the range has to offer.

To get to Lulworth Cove car park use post code BH20 5RN, This is a pay and display car park from 7am to 7pm so its possible to shoot for free during the summer months in the morning or evening.

It's quite a pricey car park (as are most in Dorset) but if you're looking to do it on the cheap and don't mind a short walk then head for Church Road just before the main car park where you can park for free but it's well known so is generally quite full.

From the car park itself you will follow the path down to the cove going past several pubs, gift shops and the obligatory ice cream/fudge & gift shop (summer months only) which can come in handy if you're in need of a bit of refreshment.

Once you get to the entrance of the cove and also the busiest area you will have an outflow stream on your right hand side which after heavy rainfall can become a raging torrent and you will need boots to get through it but thats only in the winter months.