Walking

A Shortcut to Golden Cap

So named for the honey-coloured minerals that colour its façade, the mighty Golden Cap is the ultimate pinnacle in the South West. Standing at a mighty 191 meters (626 feet) above sea level, it is the highest point on the south coast of England and affords the most beautiful views imaginable.
Rewarding walkers with a huge sense satisfaction and incredible panoramas, scaling Golden Cap should definitely be on the list of any hiker or ambler staying in the area. With several routes you can choose from, including walks along the South West Coast Path from both Seatown and Charmouth, there is one shortcut we particularly enjoy for its moderate gradients and stunning scenery: the Langdon Hill to Golden Cap route.

A Short Walk to Golden Cap

Arriving at the National Trust’s Langdon Hill car park, you can pop some coins in the meter (or roam free if you’re a National Trust member) and start your walk from here. A great walk in winter frost or summer sun, this 3-mile route can be completed in a manageable one to one and a half hours. That said, we would definitely recommend packing a picnic and taking your time!

Warmed up and ready to go, leave the car park and take the gate signposted “Golden Cap”. Keeping to the main path that skirts the tree-tufted Langdon Hill, you will wander through beautiful woodland of Scots pine and larch. In spring and summer, enjoy the multitude of flowers that grow here including bluebells and foxgloves, delicate in nature and fierce in colour. Meanwhile in autumn, keep your eyes peeled for the cool fungi that pop up on tree stumps and grow on the woodland floor.

As you follow the track, clearings will open up on your left side, showing off views over Chideock and the sprawling West Dorset countryside. Seatown, a small coastal hamlet at the mouth of the River Winniford, and Thorncombe Beacon are both clearly visible on fine days. With the path under your feet, keep wandering along until you round the hill and see views of Golden Cap, eventually bearing off on a track in this direction.

With a little bit of down before the up, the path wends its way downhill towards the coast. With Golden Cap as your target, cross a couple of fields and then start your short but fairly steep ascent towards the top. Once you get there, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer spectacle of the blue sea lapping the shore far below and the almost toy-like appearance of the towns and villages beyond.

Seizing the opportunity, this is the perfect spot to spread your picnic if you’ve brought one. When you feel like heading back, follow the path back down the way you came and either retrace the same route around Langdon Hill or veer off to the other side of the hill to complete the circular route - both ways take you back to the car park.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Dorset here.

Starting point: Langdon Hill car park, Morecombelake DT6 6EP

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