Lulworth Cove is a small village in Dorset, most famous for its natural horse-shoe shaped harbour. It’s situated about half a mile south of the village of West Lulworth, with a population of less than a thousand A popular tourist spot, it forms part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site – 95 miles of coastline stretching from East Devon through to Dorset. It’s England’s first natural World Heritage Site. Lulworth Cove forms and important part of the history of English coastline – recording 185 million years of the Earth’s geological past.
It’s also the meeting place for 5 friends in ‘The Reunion’ a new novel from Denny Bradbury. They meet a Lulworth Cove and take boats out to sea – where they get into trouble. The book follows their lives after Lulworth Cove.
Geologists estimate the cove was formed more than 100,000 years ago, with powerful waves forming the horse-shoe shape. Commercial fishing takes place at the cove – scallops are caught and sold locally. The grounds were also once popular for catching lobster – the lobster nets can still be seen at low tide.
The area has a rich history with artefacts from the Bronze Age, Celtic, Roman and Anglo Saxon settlers. The name Lulworth is Saxon for Manor or place of Lulla. Lulworth has a mention in the Doomsday book of 1066, created after the Norman Invasion. It records 16 cottagers, 33 villains and 38 borders and serfs.
There are even claims Napoleon Bonaparte visited the cove in 1804. A young farmer’s wife suggested he was looking at a map to decide whether it would be a suitable landing place for an invasion. Much of the surrounding area forms the Lulworth Estate, privately owned by The Weld family. This includes Lulworth Castle which is also the site for Camp Bestival, the annual music festival.
In ‘The Reunion’ Denny Bradbury describes Lulworth Cove as “a quiet beach, rocky in places, the twin headlands reached around forming nearly perfect circle as if to embrace the space within”. In the book, the relationships between the five women are tested after their time at LulworthCove.