Fossil Hunting on the Jurassic Coast

On a trip to Bournemouth last year we decided to take a detour and take a trip along the Jurassic coast – an UNESCO World Heritage site. The whole coastline is braced with fresh air, beauty and laced with a fascinating geology and history. From rolling downs, dizzying cliffs,  weird rock formations to blue seas, long stretches of beach and hidden coves, the Jurassic coast packs in a wonderful variety and plenty of wow-factor highlights. On a clear day the panoramas are spectacular and even in less temperate conditions there’s a rugged grandeur here.

Running from east Devon along the edge of Dorset, the 95-mile Jurassic Coast has its name because of the presence of extraordinary evidence of 185 million years of Earth’s history, with amazing fossil sites and geological features spanning from the Jurassic period. So you can enjoy glorious living scenery – adorned with wild flowers while also getting an awe-inspiring sense of the Earth’s past.

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View of the Old Harry rocks after crossing the Isle of Purbeck

Our day trip started off with the ferry crossing to the Isle of Purbeck. We first went to a viewpoint where we got magnificent views of the Old Harry Rocks, the starting point of the Jurassic Coast. The next stop was the Durlston Country Park which is 280 acre country park offering stunning views, hay meadows, a great historic Great Globe and a wealth of bird and wildlife. The Globe (Stone sphere) is 10 feet in diameter and weighs 40 tons. It was built by John Mowlems Greenwich works and brought to Durlston in sections.

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The great globe at the Durlston Country park
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Entrance of the Durlston Country Park
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A view of the rugged coast while walking on the cliff trail
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My lovely husband posing 🙂

There are numerous walking trails to explore here which are clearly marked. We took the cliff top trail passing by a number of seabird colonies and navigating our way to some spectacular coastal viewpoints. Exploring the full park can take up a complete day and since we were a bit restrained for time so we made our way to the Corfe Castle.

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Ruins of the Corfe castle

Slowly driving west through some of the tiny lanes and villages we reached the Corfe Castle which is dominated by ruins. There is belief that Corfe may have been a Roman defensive site, but the castle we see the ruins of today was a rebuild in the 11th century of what was a wooden building/hall/castle back into the 9th century.

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A view of the coast near the Durdle door
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The walk towards Durdle door

In the afternoon we headed towards the Lulworth Cove and Durdle door the two most spectacular formations of the Jurassic coast. Durdle door is a famous geological wonder with a massive rock arch set right on the Jurassic coast between Swanage and Weymouth. It is made of natural limestone and reaches out in the sea. The beach itself is tucked away making it perfect for people seeking quietness combined with scenic beauty. Since going down to the beach level involved going down quite a number of steps we didn’t bother and started trekking towards the Lulworth Cove.

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The famous Durdle door

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An interesting fact which we came to know Durdle door is privately owned by a family knows as Welds who own the Lulworth Estate consisting of 12000 acres of land in Dorset. Now that’s quite something to own!!!

Now the walk from the Durdle Door to the Lulworth Cove or vice versa is one of the most beautiful walks in England. If you have got a good pair of walking boots the path isn’t too strenuous and can be easily done in half an hour. While walking towards the Lulworth Cove it looks like a hidden gem from above, a picture perfect horse shoe shaped bay. From above it looks like someone’s taken a bite out of the coastline but when you get close up you can see the layers of rock, bent and twisted out of shape over millions of years.

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An uphill but beautiful walk towards the Durdle door
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A view of the Lulworth Cove while walking from the Durdle door.

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If you are visiting Bournemouth or Poole then a day trip to the Jurassic coast is must to get a glimpse of how this extraordinary landscape was formed over time.

How to get there

By Bus – The Jurassic Coaster bus services are one of the great ways to explore the Jurassic Coast. The buses run from Poole to Exeter and stop at a number of towns and villages along the coast. The X53 in particular allows you to enjoy some of the most spectacular views of the Jurassic Coast.

By RailThere are three main railway lines that connect the Jurassic Coast area with London and the rest of the UK. The main one runs from Weymouth through Dorchester, Wareham, Poole and onwards up to London Waterloo.

By Road – It is best to visit the Jurassic coast by car then you can stop in various villages and on many spots by the coast. The A35 runs west from Poole through Dorchester, Bridport and Charmouth, where it connects with the A3052 which runs through East Devon to Exeter. Just west of Poole the A3 connects to the A3051 which runs through Wareham and gives access to the Isle of Purbeck.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. crazytravelista says:

    I can’t believe this beautiful coastline is in England! I would have never guessed! Those walks sound amazing, seems like there is endless scenery! And the idea of those ancient fossils being there makes it even cooler! I really want to go back to England and see more of the countryside and coast. I will definitely be adding this to the list, its gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thank you 🙂 Hope you get to travel to England soon and visit the Jurassic Coast.

      Like

  2. Your photos showcase this little-known coastline beautifully! I can’t believe Durdle Door is privately-owned – I wonder how the family was able to purchase it?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks Lydia 🙂 I know even I feel that this beautiful coastline does not get enough publicity 🙂

      Like

  3. I love the mood in your Durdle Door picture. The Jurassic Coast is definitely something I’d love to see. I’m actually from England but have hardly explored much of the beautiful coastline. Thanks for the travel tips on how to get there too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks Mike 🙂 Since you are from England you should definitely make plans for the summer 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, photos are exsquisite! I just moved to norther England last year and looking forward to a trip down south. The great globe at the Durlston Country park looks really interesting and full of detail, it’s my favorite photo I think

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks 🙂 One can easily spend a whole day hiking in the Durlston Country Park.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never been to this part of the UK despite living here all my life. I want to go now, the coast looks beautiful. I like the fact there is a bus that runs between all the places.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks Kate 🙂 although in winter the buses are not that regular and you do have to walk a lot to get to the coast from the bus stop.

      Like

  6. erikastravels says:

    The Jurassic Coast looks incredibly beautiful and your pictures are stunning. I love the combination of coastal views and crumbling castles. I’m glad you included instructions on visiting the place using public transport, as I’m not much of a fan of renting cars when traveling solo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roshniray says:

      Thanks Erika 🙂 Even I like using public transport. Although in winters they don’t run that often…

      Like

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