Set within England's only natural World Heritage Site, Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast of England.
Owned by the National Trust, Golden Cap is nestled within the 96 miles of the Jurassic Coast, the hill is a very popular all year round, but especially during the summer months.
Its name comes from the cretaceous golden sandstone rock found at the top of the hill. For keen geologists this vein of rocks stretches all the way from the Cotswold. Its 191 metre peak provides unfettered views along this stretch of the Jurassic Coastline, which spans 185 millions years of the earth history.
At its base it is exceptionally good for fossil hunting especially for ammonites and belemnites.
Golden Cap Facts
||191 m (627 ft)
||Charmouth, Seatown, Chideock, Morecombelake
||South Dorset Downs
||Dogs Welcome. Please tidy up after your dog and keep on leads at the top
Golden Cap Walks
There are several walks up and around Golden Cap depending on how energetic you feel. Here are our favourites, easy to moderate walks.
Walk #1 - Charmouth
This walks starts off near the Charmouth Heritage Centre. You will be rewarded lots of times along the journey with fabulous views of the coast. There are lots of ups and downs to this walk so it’s a little easier than a straight climb.
Distance: 7 miles
Time: 2.5 hours
There are 3 car parks near the Charmouth Heritage Centre. Start Here.
From the Lower Sea lane car park look for a bridge to cross the river Char looking out to see this should be on your left. Almost immediately you will find should (NB for James this path is sometimes closed to landslips & guests have to divert through the village & up stonebarrow narrow lane. Please check this path is open before publishing this walk) the South West Coast path.
Stick to the path all the way to the top.
Walk #2 - Stonebarrow
More favorable to many families and some walkers is Golden Cap from Stonebarrow National Trust Car Park. This is accessed via the small Stonebarrow lane which runs up the side of part of Newlands Holiday Park and can be accessed via a gate onsite. Parking at the top in 2016 was £2 for the day or free if you are a National Trust member. Here you are on top of a neighboring hill with fantastic sea views. To reach Golden Cap you head downhill then up to the summit.
Distance: 7 miles
Time: 2.5 hours
Walk #3 - The Anchor in Seatown
This walk starts off gently, but is much more of a constant ascent than from Charmouth. That said, it is still a very enjoyable and easily (consider deleting as to an OAP it may not be easily?) manageable walk.
Distance: 2.5 miles
Time: 1 hour
Park up in Seatown car park – budget for 2 to 3 hours, depending on whether you fancy lunch in the award-winning Anchor Inn.
Come out of the car park and start to walk back along Sea Hill lane. Take care during this stretch as there are no pavements and the road is narrow.
After the second house on the left you will find a path and signing pointing you in the right direction.
After about 100 yards you will find yourself in a farmers field. Follow the well-trodden path up to the top.
Julia Bradbury visits Golden Cap
If you are a fan of Julia Bradbury you will have watched her TV series on her favourite walks with a view. One of her first outings was Golden Cap. Take a look at her Dorset overview and get excited about your visit. National Trust.
Things to see and do around Golden Cap
The area around Golden Cap is full of things to keep the family busy. is There are lots to do and see at Golden Cap Charmouth Heritage Centre
Without doubt this is the most popular activity in Charmouth. People come from all round the world to visit this World Heritage site and discover hidden treasures. You don’t need a hammer just a little patience.
Charmouth Heritage Centre hosts guided walks throughout the year & has a fantastic short film in their little onsite theatre providing tips & advice. This is especially good if they are not running a walk or the walks are full up when you visit. Visit the Charmouth Heritage Centre
Only 14 minutes drive from Charmouth you have Shute Barton.
Recognised as an important non-fortified manor houses from the Middle Ages. This medieval house is owned by the National trust and open for guided tours. Check the website for dates and times. National Trust Shute Barton website.
If you fancy a venture out or change from Newlands Own onsite Tow Bar & Restaurant Try one of these…
Seatown’s Anchor Inn
The Anchor Inn is Seatwon is an award-winning pub set in at the base of Golden Cap. If you like good food, great views are real-ale you won’t be disappointed.
Website: Anchor Inn
Hix Oyster & Fish House
If you love fish, the look no further. Mark Hix, is a local. Nestled in the high foothills of Lyme Regis, the Hix has unparalleled views Lyme Bay and the Cobb. Despite the celebrity status of the Chef, the setting is informal.
Website: The Hix Oyster and& Fish House
River Cottage Famous Farmhouse & Original Axminster Canteen as both featured on Channel 4
The original Canteen redeveloped & opened after River Cottage
Website: Axminster Canteen
For a true to TV dining experience or you could even try one of the many courses including foraging, butchery & bread making!
Website: River Cottage Farm House
Charmouth Heritage Centre
Dogs on Golden Cap
Golden Cap is a great place to bring the dog. They are permitted and will be welcome, as long at you are responsible. Expect to find livestock, plenty of wildlife and other walkers with their dogs.
Here are some top tips to get the most out or your walk.
- Golden Cap hugs the coast line with areas of eroding cliff edges. Keep your away from the edges and in sight.
- Summer can be hot and sea-breezes make you think it is cooler than it really is. It’s important to keep your dog well watered.
- Expect some livestock along the way. Keep your dog under control and use a lead if necessary.
- Bag it and bin it. No one wants to come across dog mess.
"Fantastic Fun Family Lodge holiday"
Trip advisor Review: 22 August 2016
...At the beach there is the Fossil heritage centre which also has activities for kids and fossil rock pool hunt guided walks. Or walking out the top of the site away from village a short hike up the hill takes you to National trust Stonebarrow site breathtaking views of the Golden Cap Estate.
5 stars – Tripadvisor