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Notice: The Dorset Local Resilience Forum is advising residents and visitors to West Dorset to avoid cliffs and beaches with a cliff backdrop, following a significant landslide on 24 July and a large rock fall on 11 January, at Burton Bradstock. Please also follow advice and closure information on signs along the South West Coast Path and connecting paths.
Stunning coastline and England's only natural World Heritage Site
The great rocky shoulder of Golden Cap offers magnificent views at every compass point. On a clear day you can see across Lyme Bay to Dartmoor - well worth the effort of the walk uphill.
Stonebarrow Hill is a great starting point for 25 miles of footpaths around the Golden Cap estate. An old radar station houses a National Trust information point, shop, toilets and a basecamp.
Descend a steep flight of steps and discover St Gabriel's Beach. This stretch of secluded shingle has become a hunting ground for Jurassic Coast fossils and traces almost 185 million years of the Earth's history.
An all-ability circular trail takes you through the woodlands of Langdon Hill Wood. Rich in wildlife, they are home to large numbers of 'blue' butterfly in summer and many different fungi in autumn.
Finally, high on the cliffs you'll find the ancient Thorncombe beacon. It was one of a series dotted along the English coast as part of an early warning system guarding against foreign invasion. Enjoy the spectacular views east to Bridport and Chesil Beach.
Today, this part of the coastline is a hotspot for walkers, swimmers and lovers of beautiful surroundings. However, this wasn't always the case. Not so very long ago, it was a notorious spot for smuggling.
Thanks to a new family-friendly trail, you can now follow in the footsteps of the Golden Cap smugglers, imagining how they transported their illicit goods up from the sea.