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Explore the world famous Jurassic coast with a history of millions of years

 The Jurassic Coast is one of the most popular destinations in the UK, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Whether you want to hunt for fossils, visit a museum or simply take in the beautiful scenery on a stroll, you'll find there's plenty to do, no matter what time of year, at the  shore Jurassic Sea .

 

The Jurassic Coast has been recognized by UNESCO for its outstanding geology - Jurassic CoastThe Jurassic Coast has been recognized by UNESCO for its outstanding geology @lale_onthego

 

Jurassic Coast Dorset stretches 95 miles along the south of England. The white cliffs towering above the sea are an iconic image of the UK. While the Dorset coast has some of the best scenery in the UK, this UNESCO World Heritage site is much more than just stunning vistas.

 

One of the most stunning parts of the UK coastline - Jurassic CoastOne of the most stunning parts of the UK coastline @misionmagic

 

Here, you can explore rock pools in coves or relax on long golden beaches. Let your mind wander at decaying castles and hunt for dinosaur fossils on the beaches. After walking along the windswept coastal paths, warm up in a cozy English pub with a pint of local beer.

It's a great place to be for a few days or even a week!

 

Highlights of the Jurassic Coast

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Britain's most beautiful regions. From incredible seaside scenery to charming seaside towns; Rugged hiking trails to the coolest local breweries, here's a selection of Jurassic coast attractions , Dorset. 

 

Door Durdle

The Durdle Door is an iconic image of the Jurassic coast . Over time, the crashing waves eroded much of the limestone, leaving a beautiful natural arch trapped in the open sea. It's a stunning view and a 5 minute walk from the Durdle Door car park.

 

Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch in the sea, caused by millions of years of erosion - Jurassic CoastThe Durdle Gate is a natural limestone arch in the sea, caused by millions of years of erosion. @hotspot.world

 

This part of the Jurassic coast has some of the best scenery anywhere in Dorset. Right next to Durdle's mouth, the beautiful wide sands of Man O'War beach make for an attractive beach corner. If you're feeling more energetic, walk along the undulating paths that cling to the cliff edges with stunning views along the coast and out to sea. It's one of many great short walks!

 

The beautiful wide sands of Man O'War beach - Jurassic CoastThe beautiful wide sands of Man O'War beach create an attractive beach corner. @meagmeanderingsuk

 

Lulworth Cove

Bordered by white chalk cliffs, the bay at Lulworth is almost circular. The area is considered one of the best examples in Europe of the interaction of marine erosion on an alternating sequence of hard and soft rock. You can see all the different layers in the rock where they formed over the ages - visual evidence of the earth's constant motion on  the Jurassic coast .

 

Lulworth Cove is a beautiful cove - Jurassic CoastLulworth Cove is a beautiful cove @voyagewithmatt

 

Fossil forest

To the east of Lulworth Cove is the Fossil Forest: a cluster of fossilized stumps, as well as stems and roots, all dating from the Jurassic period. It was formed about 150 million years ago, when a temporary drop in sea levels allowed plants and trees to grow in an area that was formerly underwater. As the climate changes, water levels rise again and forests die. But their remains have been preserved by limestone deposits. So in the “forest” you can walk among trees much older than the surrounding rocks.

 

Fossil Forest is a cluster of fossilized stumps - Jurassic CoastFossil forest is a cluster of fossilized stumps

 

Fossils found on Jurassic coastFossils found on Jurassic coast @archaic.knowledge


Lyme Regis

It is a beautiful seaside town with a small harbor and a beautiful beach. But what makes Lyme Regis such an important site on the Jurassic coast is the abundance of fossils found in this area, thanks to the local green clay. Famed Georgian fossil hunter Mary Anning came from town and discovered her first ichthyosaur skeleton when she was 12 years old - right at Lyme Regis beach! There is a brilliant museum where you can see countless fossils and learn more about the history of the area.

 

It's also a great place to explore the Jurassic CoastThis is also a great place to explore this part of the coast. @lymeonline

 

On the shores of Lyme Regis - Jurassic CoastOn the shores of Lyme Regis @lizzie.eats.explores

 

Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocks marks the easternmost point of the Dorset Jurassic coast . These are three chalk walls stretching out to sea from Purbeck Island. Local legend holds that the rocks were named after Harry Payne, a pirate from nearby Poole. The Old Harry Rocks are the most dramatic stretches of coastline in the UK, where stacks of dazzling white chalk assembled like a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be completed are a feast for the eyes.

 

Rock walls eroded over time - Jurassic CoastStone walls eroded over time @aestheticexpeditions

 

There are several different ways to view it. You can hike along the peaks, mountain bike through the trails at the edge of the cliffs, kayak around them, or take a scenic boat tour. 

 

Portland Bill

Connected to the mainland by the arc of Chesil Beach, Portland Island stretches out into the English Channel. Its southern tip is Portland Bill, which has a dangerous and dramatic coastline.

 

Portland Bill, has a dangerous and dramatic coastline - Jurassic CoastPortland Bill, has a dangerous and dramatic coastline @dave_shawphoto

 

Even if you've never heard of Portland, chances are you've seen its rocks. Portland Limestone was used to build St Paul's Cathedral in London, as well as countless other important structures. At Portland Bill, the man-made Pulpit Rock is testament to the quarry that once operated there. Tout Quarry has now been turned into a beautiful sculpture park and nature reserve.

 

Portland Bill Lighthouse - Jurassic Coast BờPortland Lighthouse Bill @mikeodwyerphtos

 

Abbotsbury Village

With the exception of the possible Cotswolds villages , Abbotsbury remains as traditional English as they come and makes an ideal stop for a Jurassic coastline trip . It was even the setting for Thomas Hardy's 'Far from the Madding Crowd' movies. Explore the village shop, post office, shops and tea room before heading to St Catherine's Chapel perched on a hill.

 

Saint Catherine's Chapel - Jurassic CoastSaint Catherine's Chapel @chrisjonesphotographer

 

This vaulted 14th Century chapel is impressive enough, but the views are even better. From here you can see Chesil beach. Fishermen from all over come to this beach to fish in the nutrient-rich deep waters just offshore.

From March to October you can also visit Abbotsbury Swannery. Stroll the paths and see hundreds of swans in protected waters. During nesting season, this is the only place in the world where you can walk past a flock of nesting swans.

 

Important information about the Jurassic coast

The best time to visit the Jurassic coast is from May to early July when the days are long and dry, and September and October are also good. From mid-July to late August the weather is great, but the area is extremely busy. The winter months can be cold and wet, but if there's a sunny day it's a really beautiful place to explore during the winter.

 

A village on the Jurassic coastA village on the Jurassic coast

 

A handful of airlines fly to Bournemouth or Southampton airports, just east of the Jurassic coast . Most are domestic flights but you can fly direct from Paris, Amsterdam or Dublin. However, the majority of visitors will need to pass through London .

 

You can use the bus and train network to explore the Jurassic coastYou can use the bus and train network to explore the ky Jura coast

 

You can use the bus and train network to explore the Dorset coast,  but they don't run as often. Many of the best destinations are just a few hours to see and are located at the end of small roads or in small villages. Exploring the Jurassic coast by bus is the perfect way, just sit back and admire the view from the bus.

The risk of landslides and falling rocks increases after extreme weather and sea conditions. Residents and visitors to the county are encouraged to follow safety advice along the coast as landslides and rock falls can happen quickly and without warning. Tides have also reshaped and altered the beaches around the coast meaning it is more susceptible to being cut off by incoming tides.

Walking along the coastal paths can be muddy and slippery at times - remember to always stay on official routes and always obey warning signs.