“The rolling Dorset drunkard made the rolling Dorset road” – this old saying is probably true but it must have been a very drunken Dorset wanderer who helped to define our stunning coastal path, creating not only a meandering track along the clifftops but also forging a mad roller coaster of a walk which can, in places, rise and fall hundreds of near-vertical feet when you least expect it.

For many people the Dorset coast is all about the beaches but take a few steps back from the waterline and it’s a totally different world high up above the waves and far less crowded.  I discovered so many wonderful places and views when training for a 26 mile charity walk a few years ago.

It’s hard to choose my favourite part of the walk but the ever-popular walk from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door has to be included.   This is a clearly defined and well used path from the crescent shaped shingle cove with its great café at the water’s edge.  Although beautiful in summer, I prefer to go on a crisp winter’s day when a few brave souls can often be found wrapped in very thick robes after a toe-tingling dip.  Definitely a spectator sport for me, is this wild water winter swimming!

From the cove, climb the hill behind the café and try to spot Portland Bill to the west –

if it’s shrouded in a sea-mist, you’ll be able to peer down at a Mini-Door and watch the waves crashing through.

If you can face the ascent to Durdle Door itself (it’s worth the climb I promise!), cross the car park and trudge up the nearby hill the real star of the show.   You may encounter the odd friendly cow en-route and shed a few layers as you go but at least you can see the weather coming in over the sea as you continue westwards.   Durdle Door can definitely be appreciated from the cliff top but you may decide to climb down the steep steps (please take care) to the beach where you can really appreciate this incredible natural wonder which is one of the many jewels in Dorset’s sparking crown.

Most people head back to the village from here (best to book for lunch as locally caught seafood is always a draw) but, if you have all day, you could continue – via some very steep climbs – all the way to Weymouth Bay enjoying the fabulous views, perhaps a picnic at White Nothe Point or lunch at the Smuggler’s Inn at Osmington Mills.

Start early though, it’s a long way, but you won’t be disappointed at the captivating and constantly changing views along the way.