South West Coast Path Short Breaks

South West Coast Path Short Breaks

A selection of short walking holidays along the iconic South West Coast Path

3 to 4 nights
26-34 miles
Moderate to Moderate / Demanding

From £360 per person

Find your holiday

About the trail

The below routes have been devised by Contours to give our walkers the chance to enjoy a taste of the world-famous South West Coast Path. Those with less available time can complete one of these short breaks in just a few days, while others may wish to try a short stretch of the trail before tackling a full section, making these walks an ideal starting point for building your confidence.

Each South West Coast Path Taster Break offers its own unique ambience, fascinating history and fantastic sights to discover. Learn more by selecting a route below.

Choose your route

  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Dorset Short Break
  • South Cornwall Short Break
  • Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - North Short Break
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options North Devon Short Break

Dog friendly tours available

Dogs are welcome on select routes along this trail. Look for the pawprint icon when choosing your holiday.

About this route

4 nights
34 miles
Moderate / Demanding
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £500 per person

Dorset Short Break

The perfect quick getaway to explore the Dorset coastline. This shortened itinerary showcases the best highlights of the region, including the sandy beach and chalk-white cliffs of Lulworth Cove and the mesmerising arch of Durdle Door.

The fossil museum at Kimmeridge gives these landscapes a good deal of context. It marks the walk’s progression onto a rollercoaster of ascents and descents: a healthy challenge that rewards you well with fine views from Durlston Head.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
DORSB From Weymouth to Swanage 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate / Demanding £500

Short breaks

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
DORSB From Weymouth to Swanage 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate / Demanding £500

Dorset Short Break 4 nights, 3 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights

Important information

Please Note: The Dorset Taster Break goes through the Lulworth Ranges. These are normally open most weekends and around Easter, May Bank Holiday, Spring Bank Holiday and most of the summer period. 

If your walk between Lulworth Cove and Kimmeridge falls when the ranges are closed, it will be necessary to take a detour inland. There are various options available for this detour and all of them are given in our information pack.

More information on the Lulworth Ranges can be found on the MOD website. Before booking please check that the ranges will be open. A list of opening times can be reached by clicking here.

This tour is available to book all year, however out of season from November to March, there may be a small supplement for luggage moves, which will be moved by taxi rather than the usual luggage courier.


Travel to Weymouth where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Weymouth to Lulworth Cove. 12 miles (19.5km) / 1729 ft (527 m) ascent

Day 2

Lulworth Cove to Kimmeridge(L). 7.5 miles (12km) / 1752 ft (534 m) ascent

Day 3

Kimmeridge(L) to Swanage. 14.5 miles (23km) / 1932 ft (589 m) ascent


Depart from Swanage after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£50.00 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
© Contours Walking Holidays Dorset Short Break map
Weymouth to Swanage
34 miles (55 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Learning about the fascinating geological history of the Jurassic Coast.

Wandering along a mixture of sandy beaches and clifftop paths, and breathing in the fresh sea air.

Admiring the break-taking scenery from a range of viewpoints, and spotting the famous Durdle Door after Swyre Head.

What's included?

  • 4 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days


You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 34 miles (54.5 km)
Duration: 4 nights, 3 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 7.5 miles (12 km)
Maximum daily distance: 14.5 miles (23 km)
Code: DORSB Grade: Moderate / Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Weymouth
End of holiday: Swanage

Route Profile

Dorset Short Break Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air

The most convenient major city and international airports are Exeter and Bristol.

By Rail

There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Weymouth). The nearest rail station to the end of the trail (Swanage) is at Wareham (about 11.5 miles away).

By Bus

Various bus services run to Weymouth and from Swanage. There is a bus service from Swanage to Wareham.

From London

Trains run from London Waterloo station (and a few from London Paddington station) to Weymouth.

Return to Start

The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to catch a bus/taxi from Swanage to Wareham rail station. From there, catch a train to Weymouth rail station.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.