The south of England has some of the most beautiful coastline to be seen on our tiny island. From the white cliffs of Dover in the east to the beautiful white sand beaches of Cornwall in the west, there are so many good reasons why we should be spending our time visiting these shores.
Some of the most dramatic sections of our coastline can certainly be seen on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset and East Devon. The landscape and geology is so important it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 2001.
The section of coast covered in the photos below offers some of the most breathtaking scenery. We start the journey at Lulworth Cove, a small village situated halfway between Weymouth and Poole. A pretty village focused mainly around tourism (not surprisingly), there are a handful of hotels and B&B’s, a lovely pub called the Lulworth Cove Inn, a visitor centre and some cafes – my favourite of these being The Boat Shed Cafe , which offers panoramic views of the cove itself.
The walk from the cove to Durdle Door, a stunning rock archway rising from the sea, is just less than 1.5 miles in one direction. The first stretch of this trek is by far the toughest, with a fairly steep incline that seems to go on forever. Once you reach the highest point however, the views back down towards the cove are well worth the effort.
The path then descends gradually, taking in some spectacular views of the cliffs heading west. A much more leisurely section that the initial uphill slog.
As you head closer towards Durdle Door, the Man O’War Cove and Beach become visible from the top of the cliff. It’s difficult to believe that you are in the UK given the clear blue waters here. That is, until you do the same walk during a heavy shower of sideways rain and wind the following day – I definitely remembered I was in the UK at that point. Soaked through!
Further along the pathway, you finally arrive at the top of Durdle Door, where the archway first appears in sight. It’s a lovely scene to take in from the cliff top.
That’s not the end of the trek though – there are some steps that take you right down onto the beach offering some more fantastic angles of the coastline.
There are also steps heading down to Man O’War Beach if you are feeling super energetic.
The beaches in this area are made up of pebbles and shingle, so are not the most comfortable to walk on, but it’s definitely worth heading down anyway.
If the thought of the trek across from Lulworth Cove doesn’t appeal, there is also a public car park nearer to Durdle Door at the aptly named Durdle Door Holiday Park. The walk from here is significantly shorter but be warned, the paths are still very steep and strenuous at points.
There are far longer hikes that can be done in this area if you have the time or the inclination. Our visit was very brief so we walked to Durdle Door a couple of times and also headed east for a few miles which also offered some fantastic views along the way. I’m sure they would have been far better had it been dry, but we can’t have everything can we?!
I’m hoping to return at some point soon to try out some dark sky photography, weather permitting.