Explore the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Coast...
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty Level2 Two
Explore the cliffs, rock formations and seaside woods of the Jurassic Coast, all from the comfort of our exclusive hostel in the fishing village of Beer. The fossils may be millions of years old, but the views are timeless.
Covering 95 miles of the Dorset and Devon south coast, the Jurassic Coast is an area of dramatic cliffs, sea-shaped rock formations, and a hunting ground for ancient fossils. The entire coastline is accessible via footpaths, allowing us to explore some of the best places on a walking weekend that will take you back in time. Alongside the walking, we’ll be relaxing in our own hostel for the weekend, with great food and like-minded company.
This fully-guided weekend will be based in Beer, a fishing village in Seaton Bay, where the views from our hostel stretch out over the English Channel, and the cliff-top paths and sandy beaches are only a short stroll away.
In a nutshell:
- Explore the cliffs and beaches of the Jurassic Coast, with its spectacular rock formations and miles of footpaths.
- Discover the millions of years of history in the rocks, and maybe find a dinosaur fossil.
- Drink-in the sea views on our fully guided weekend where all you have to worry about is putting on enough sun lotion.
- Relax in our exclusive hostel, with all meals prepared for you by one of our hosts.
- Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd November
You’re welcome to arrive at the hostel any time after 5pm, where your Large Outdoors host will meet you and introduce you to the rest of your weekend companions. The evening is yours to unpack, explore the village of Beer, or simply relax with a cup of tea until dinner is served at 8pm.
After dinner we’ll run through the plans for the next two days and talk a bit about the weather forecast and kit you’ll need, as well as walking plans. All this of course is done over our famous cheese-board. There is the option of two walks the next day, which amount to a longer or shorter exploration of the same area.
After a sit-down breakfast at 8am and time to make packed lunches, we’ll embark on our walks. Your guides will be able to adjust the plans and pace to whatever the group wants to do. Some options are:
The stretch of coastline to the east of Beer and Axmouth is known as the Undercliff, after several large landslips, the last of which was in the 19thcentury, that totally changed the shape of the cliffs. The area is now a national nature reserve, and is cloaked in a woodland that has been called the nearest thing to a tropical rainforest in the UK, due to its unique plants and humid environment.
Luckily for us, a path runs right through it, and is the only way of exploring this unique environment. A longer walk will set out straight from the hostel door and walk the coastline, including the Undercliff, all the way to Lyme Regis. As well as the woodland, this stretch includes areas of beach and of open cliff top. A shorter walk will involve first driving to Lyme Regis and then heading on an out-and-back route onto the Undercliff path.
If a group prefers another option, we can head west along the cliff-top path past the promontory of Beer Head and down to Branscombe Mouth. Continuing further along the cliffs, with views inland and out to sea, we can then decide whether to return the same way, or make our way inland via paths that lead us back to Beer.
If the sea-side weather is looking awful, we always have the option of heading inland to discover the woods and downland of East Devon, perhaps walking a section of the East Devon Way. For those who do not feel like walking, there are the nearby towns of Lyme Regis and Seaton to explore, and you could perhaps take a ride on the Seaton and District Electric Tramway!
Late afternoon onwards
When both walks have returned to the hostel, you’re welcome to head out to the local pub, or relax in the lounge or the garden with a cup of tea. This evening’s meal has three courses, and will be served at 8pm, so feel free to make the evening your own as you re-live the day’s adventures.
After dinner, we’ll discuss the walk options for the next day. We normally then find that the group assembles in the lounge over a few drinks, sharing stories with each other and making some great new friendships.
After another 8am breakfast it’s time to pack up and leave the hostel. Depending on how the group feels, there can again be a longer and a shorter walk option, or we can all head out together. Walk options include:
The cliffs around Charmouth are one of the best places to find fossils, and if you find loose ones on the ground you’re welcome to take them home! We’ll park in Charmouth village itself and then take a walk east, spending some time fossil hunting amidst the cliff debris and then taking in the views from the cliff-top path on the way to the peak of Golden Cap. The group can easily split into two to do a longer or shorter distance, but the best way of appreciating this landscape is slowly, watching the views unfurl and examining the rocks beneath your feet. We’ll see more by not trying to go too far!
We’ll aim to finish the walks at around 1pm, when we’ll meet in a local pub for a well-deserved Sunday lunch. This tends to finish at around 3pm, when people head off for home.
About the area
Basking in the warm waters of the English Channel, the south west of England contains a stretch of coast nearly 100 miles long that is famous throughout the world. Tucked away among the cliffs are thousands of fossils, dating back over 180 million years, and exposed by the relentless crash of the sea. Besides the fossils, the cliffs have been sculpted into some stunningly beautiful rock formations, such as natural arches and coves. The cliff-tops, whether open or wooded, are all accessible to walkers and are interspersed with seaside towns and villages at great intervals for day walks, or even gentle strolls.
Good To know:
We have exclusive use of YHA Beer for the weekend. This hostel is a stone country house, with grounds and a comfortable lounge. It’s a short walk away from the fishing village of Beer and the seaside. There’s central heating throughout, and it has a drying room.
Beds are allocated on a shared-room single sex basis. Bedding is provided but please make sure you bring a towel.
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What our members have to say...
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016