Durdle Door on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
A stone sign near Durdle Door on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
Pebbles on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
The Coastal Path on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
Corfe Castle on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
A street in Worth Matraves on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
West Bay Beach on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
Wareham on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
St Alban's Chapel on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
Durdle Door on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
A stone sign near Durdle Door on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
Pebbles on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
The Coastal Path on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
Corfe Castle on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
A street in Worth Matraves on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
West Bay Beach on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
Wareham on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
St Alban's Chapel on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England
Durdle Door on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, EnglandA stone sign near Durdle Door on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, EnglandPebbles on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, EnglandThe Coastal Path on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, EnglandCorfe Castle on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, EnglandA street in Worth Matraves on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, EnglandWest Bay Beach on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, EnglandWareham on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, EnglandSt Alban's Chapel on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England

Explore Dorset’s Jurassic Coast

Renowned for its dramatic coastline, delightful country villages and Jurassic geology, Dorset’s coast offers a treasure chest of mesmerising pleasures to explore on your next holiday.

By JAY KAY
  • 1.Swim through Durdle Door

    Undoubtedly one of the Jurassic Coast’s most alluring beaches, Durdle Door possesses both mystery and charisma. Its gate-like rock arch lays claim to beautiful turquoise waters and an almost sandy beach.

    What does almost mean? Well, in another 10 thousand years the very fine smooth stones will eventually become granules of sand. In the meantime you can enjoy the rather soft surface these tiny rocks create, without the need to spend hours brushing off before getting back in your car.

    Next to Durdle Door beach is another spectacular cove curiously named Man O’War. The rocky wall that separates it from the open sea ensures calm waters that tend to be a few degrees warmer, making it a sought after spot for snorkelling and swimming.

    Man of War Cove on the Dorset Coast

    The beaches can be popular, especially during summer holidays. Mornings or late afternoon are quietest. For the closest car park, drive through the Durdle Door Caravan Park and from there, pick up the short but steep path down to the beaches.

  • 2.Visit a square stone Norman chapel

    The exact origins of St Alban’s Chapel are unclear. Its architecture suggests Norman construction and the lack of altar or piscina hints at the possibility of it being a Corfe Castle watchtower, before the curious building fell into the services of the church.

    Located on the windswept St Alban’s Head, a few miles from Worth Matravers, this little square stone chapel with one door and one narrow slot window attracts the odd visitor as well as locals looking to tie the knot.

    The closest spot to park is about 2km away, just out of the village of Worth Matravers. The seemingly undemanding path will lead you toward a harmless looking stone wall behind which a vertigo inducing experience awaits you. First you’ll hit the cliff edge, sharply dropping off some 100 metres, with only a wire fence separating you from giving in to the head spin.

    As you follow the elevated coastal path, you’ll have to negotiate a large dip before finally reaching the coast guard cottage and the chapel itself. On the way back you can either return the same way or continue to complete the loop on the country lane, eventually delivering you back to the car park.

  • 3.Take a dip in a rock pool

    Created for the benefit of the local preparatory school, the rock pool coarsely carved into the giant steps of Dancing Ledge still allures young and adult visitors alike with its clear waters and challenging accessibility.

    The rock pool at Dancing Ledge in Dorset UK

    The rock pool that refills at every high tide is only one of the many charms that have put Dancing Ledge, a set of gigantic rock stairs formed over millions of years, on the map. Its rugged landscape attracts adventure seeking children, photographers as well as climbers who love the unusual rock mixture as if made for their craft.

    You’ll adore the scrambling challenges, up and down the different levels, each offering a myriad of tiny rock pools showing off marine life that has got left behind after the last high tide. Put simply, this is a beautiful tranquil part of the Jurassic Coast at any weather including the walk that starts from the nearby park cark. You can find in the village of Langton Matravers at the end of somewhat rough surfaced Durnford Drove.

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4 August 2012