Focus on South West: Dorset - A County of Jurassic Proportion
The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site covering some 95 miles of coastline from East Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. The section of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset is made up of numerous sandy beaches where you can fossil hunt to your heart’s content. The famous and well-photographed limestone arch of Durdle Door is a sight to behold and you can walk along the coastal path here to Lulworth Cove. The Cove has tropical-blue waters brushing against a white pebble beach and makes for a lovely location to spend some time. The village offers a variety of places to eat (including the welcoming Lulworth Cove Inn), a Heritage Centre and summer boat trips.
Other notable places to explore along the Jurassic Coast include:
- Lyme Regis – famous for its geology and blue cliffs with fossilised evidence of life on earth years ago, a bustling harbour, family-friendly beach and array of shops
- West Bay – a small seaside resort and harbour with towering golden cliffs
- Chesil Beach – a dramatic and windswept beach with vast shingle ridge stretching for miles
- Golden Cap – want to see what the Jurassic Coast looks like from over 150 metres above the sea? The highest point on the south coast of England, Golden Cap rises to 191 metres. The climb to the top is challenging but rewarding. Golden Cap is surrounded by meadows, streams and woodland, all managed by the National Trust and well worth exploring.
Heading inland, two of our recommended historical places to visit have both been shaped by warfare. The first, Corfe Castle, is a survivor of the English Civil War, having been partially demolished by the Parliamentarians. The romantic castle ruins tower over the village below and give great views across Purbeck. The castle has fallen walls and secret places to uncover.
The second is the abandoned village of Tyneham. Evacuated in 1943 during World War Two, the village has been deserted ever since and over the years nature has begun to reclaim the empty homes. The fact that Tyneham is now owned by the Ministry of Defence, and is only accessible to the public at weekends and select dates throughout the year, all adds to the mystery of this amazing and unusual place.
Corfe Castle ©VisitEngland/Weymouth and Portland Borough Council/ Cycle West/Tim Pestridge
Main image: Seatown & Golden Cap ©James Loveridge Photography