Things to do in Jurassic Coast
Planning a holiday and not sure what things to do in Jurassic Coast? Not even sure what the Jurassic Coast is? No worries – Read on and I have you sorted!
The Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning 150 kilometre stretch of coastline in Dorset and East Devon Coast. It’s appeal is endless with windswept cliffs, sheltered bays and placid blue waters. However, unbeknownst to many visitors is a site of outstanding international importance for Earth Science! Essential the Jurassic Coast is a Walk Through Time, layers upon folded layers of sedimentary rock can be read like a book revealing the Earth’s secrets across 185 million years…All the way back to the dinosaurs (hence the name!). For a better explanation check out this video:
In such a large area it can be intimidating, and of course you don’t want to miss the highlights so I have compiled a list of the things to do in Jurassic Coast. By no means exhaustive it is rather a highlights cheat-sheet for this 95 mile stretch of coast between Exmouth in East Devon and Studland Bay in Dorset. It can all be completed in a well timed day but for the best experience you should slow down and enjoy the region…. I have heard fossil hunting can be very relaxing!
“It is above all an elemental place, made of sea, shingle and sky, its dominant sound always that of waves on moving stone: from the great surf and pounding … of sou’westers, to the delicate laps and back-gurgling of the rare dead calm….”
Things to do in Jurassic Coast: Old Harry’s Rock
First up, the massive Old Harry Rocks standing guard on the coast of England near Dorset for millions of years. The white outcroppings marks the most Northern extent of the Jurassic Coast. Here all the fossil-rich line of cliffs come to an crashing halt with these glaring pillars.
Things to do in Jurassic Coast: Lulworth Cove
A beautiful secluded cove with aquamarine water. One of the world’s finest examples of such a landform. It looks exactly like a wine glass when viewed from above…Which is perfect as fish and chips from the nearby shop and a glass of wine is exactly how best to enjoy this serene space!
Things to do in Jurassic Coast: Stair Hole
Folded limestone strata, this is one of the best places to really understand how erosion has shaped this rugged coast. Probably more one for the geologically inclined, it also offers some pretty extreme climbing and its bottom is perfect for exploring with kayak on low tide.
Things to do in Jurassic Coast: Durdle Door
Along along a steep coastal path lies the unmistakable limestone arch of Durdle Door, a gateway into paradise. Maybe sun lovers flock here for its desirable beaches but the more informed will note its geology— the beauty of the contrasting hardnesses of the rocks, and dizzying patterns of faults and folds.
Things to do in Jurassic Coast: Portland Bill Lighthouse
.The Portland Bill Lighthouse has been guiding passing vessels through the hazardous waters of the Jurassic Coast for over a century. It now has cult status and is considered a way mark for ships navigating the English Channel. The third lighthouse to stand here in just over 300 years. The location also offers a stunning vista out into the boundless ocean.
Things to do in Jurassic Coast: Chesil Beach
A 29 kilometre natural masterpiece, an embankment of impossibly well-sorted rocks washed up by the waves. This landscape is fleeting, likely to be re-claimed by geologic processes over time. Walking on this structure is also rather wild, your set sink in and making progress is like quick-sand. A different situation to be sure!
Things to do in Jurassic Coast: Stone Barrow Cliffs
A eroding shoreline that drops sharply into the sea. Don’t be fooled by the swimmers and bathers the real prize here be fossils. As the cliff retreats rapidly it exposes millennium old fossils and other treasures. Be vigilant, and if you don’t find one you can always buy at the fossil shop nearby!
In the Jurassic Coast nature is king. Hard forces rule complexity completely over the soft existence of living things. Continents are built up and then carved to dust just as it has for much of Earth’s five billion years’ time. Hopefully you are inspired by these things to do in Jurassic Coast and will visit Dorset and East Devon in the future. Be on the look out for fossils, and maybe the odd T-Rex!
Having got enough of the stunning scenery yet? No? Of course you havn’t! Why stop at just seeing the Jurassic Coast and instead continue down to Cornwall for more beautiful coast lines, sandy beaches, hidden gardens and ‘oodles of English heritage’? Check out this impressive guide by Angela of Mowgli Adventures to get the ultimate road trip experience in Cornwall – She’s got everything covered so you won’t have to miss any of the best bits!