With its dramatic scenery, prestigious castle and fascinating history, Lulworth is one of Dorset’s most interesting spots to visit.

The privately owned Lulworth Estate is a unique organisation comprising 20 square miles of rural and coastal Dorset, including five miles of Jurassic Coast. The estate owns and manages 4,000 hectares of farmland and forestry, 170 residential properties with more than 100 listed buildings, a number of connected commercial businesses including retail, landscaping, building and timber, with the remainder focusing strongly on the leisure industry.

This includes Lulworth Castle and Park, built between 1606 and 1610 primarily as a hunting lodge, which has subsequently played host to five reigning monarchs. Aside from the terrace, the outside of the castle has remained much as when it was originally built, some 400 years ago, although the inside has altered many times as fashions and needs have changed.

The castle has been owned by the Weld family since Humphrey Weld returned after the Civil War in 1651. It stood as a ruin for nearly 70 years following a disastrous fire in August 1929, which raged for three days, gutting the interior.

Restoration work was finally secured by English Heritage, who returned the exterior to its original state.

Today, Wilfrid Weld and his wife Sally are the owners of the estate, and are actively involved in its day to day running.

They have seen Lulworth being turned from a traditional landed estate into a thoroughly modern and self-supporting business involved in tourism and agriculture.

As well as being open to the public, the castle and park are now available for private and corporate hire.

Durdle Door Holiday Park, with its 400 holiday homes, camping and touring facilities, is also part of the Lulworth estate. The nearby iconic landmarks of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door attract some 650,000 visitors each year.

The estate is actively involved in the management and impact of tourism in the area, particularly with erosion of the landscape in the area surrounding Lulworth Cove. A successful programme of guided field trips taught by on-site education rangers is run from the Heritage Centre.

In addition there is a forestry enterprise, a commercial property portfolio and 1,100 acres are leased to the Ministry of Defence as a tank live firing range. The estate has been owned by the same family since 1641 when purchased by Humphrey Weld. James Weld sees his role as a guardian for future generations, local inhabitants and visitors. He is conscious that sustainability and conservation are on-going issues and that the loss of biodiversity needs to be reduced by taking positive action.

Lulworth Rangers Lulworth is recognised as one of the best places to study coastal processes, geology, geomorphology, ecology and tourism in the UK and attracts thousands of students of all ages every year.

The Lulworth Education Service run by the Ranger Department offers on-site teaching at the World Heritage Site. It consists of the geology of famous coastal landforms including Lulworth Cove, the Lulworth Crumple and Durdle Door, supported by a free Heritage Centre exhibition, active visitor and countryside management for the most visited sites, resources such as CDs, DVDs books, maps, field equipment and room hire.

The combination of striking, aweinspiring landscape and its accessibility and facilities make it a popular destination for schools and visitors alike.

Lulworth Castle hosts a range of events throughout the year – here are just some of the highlights:

Easter events: April 3-6 The Castle will be hosting Easter activities including hunts trails and quizzes with an Easter theme – Hunt the Egg, Hunt the Squirrel, Castle and Dragon Quiz and a chance to see the Lulworth lambs, from 10.30am to 5pm. Entrance £4 per child, adult price £5.

Camp Bestival: July 31-August 2 Camp Bestival Goes Wild for 2015 Camp Bestival’s ‘Go Wild’ theme for 2015 is inspired by a love of the open air, getting back to nature, sleeping under the stars and tons of wild activities. Headliners are Underworld, Clean Bandit, Kaiser Chiefs, Alison Moyet and Bob Geldoff – and there will be more. Tickets from Visitor Centre, Lulworth Cove or from campbestival.net

Open Air Cinema: August 26 and 27 As darkness falls enjoy iconic movies on the lawn at Lulworth Castle. Bring your own picnic, champagne and candles and make a night of it. You’ll be in good company and the movies to be shown will be announced on lulworth.com

Country House Fair: October 15 Finding that unusual gift home accessory just got all the more interesting. The Country House Fair at Lulworth Castle is a honeypot for those who love the texture, smell and sight of lovely, quirky things. Fill the senses and bag a bargain too. This brilliant day out includes access to the Castle, Courtyard, Roman Catholic Chapel and grounds.

  • lulworth.com