Grab your backpack, camera, swimming suit and towel, this time I promise you I will not take you far away, indeed we are staying in England.
There’s no better way to take a short break from the city than with a camping trip. Believe it or not in the UK there are a lot of beautiful beaches and landscapes that are just there waiting to be discovered, so start packing, grab few friends and go exploring!
We took off London on a Friday evening and, after a few stops, around 11 p.m. we arrived to the camping site in Osmington Mills where we built our tents. The day after, the sun wake us up before the alarm could ring, quick breakfast and we went to discover the Jurassic Coast. One day and an half of exploring Dorset and then Sunday evening we were again on our way back to London. It was a short break but it felt much longer, probably because of the amount of things that we’ve done so, let’s start.
First some general information regarding the Jurassic Coast. Don’t worry, it will not take long, I don’t want to bother you too much with the history but at least let me tell you some little things that you might be curious about it.
The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site, this means that it is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is legally protected by international treaties. It stretches from East Devon until Dorset with a distance of 154 Km of coast. During this journey we will go through years and years of history, between fossils, cliffs and coves (trust me it will boost also your instagram profile, not only your experience)
Said that let’s get to the interesting part!
Man ‘O War Bay
As soon as get out from the car in Durdle Door parking lot (small fee to pay, £5 for the whole day) the first thing that you see will be the Man ‘O War bay and this, well, this will be the first time you will say to yourself “oh my God, I’m so happy I came here”, but carry on, the surprise is not finished yet. Although the water of the sea is so clean that it looks like is calling you, resist and go on, explore first the cliffs and then on your way back you can take a break and restore your energy on the beach.
Durdle Door is just right next to Man ‘o War cove, same very clean water but because this is not a bay you might find a bit of waves and the sea bottom is slightly deeper.
The beach is very long and even though there will be a lot of people because of the fame of this place you will definitely find a place to lie down on your towel.
At some point, on your way back to the parking lot you will find a path going inside the field with the direction for Lulworth Cove, if you like hikes I really recommend you to go there by foot, it might be a bit difficult but is definitely worth it.
Lulworth Cove is a little village and here you can stop to have lunch in one of the pubs. Also if you would like to know more about the Jurassic Coast there is an information centre just by the entrance of the village. If you have the opportunity and you like sports one beautiful way to get to know better the coast is kayaking, you will not just have fun but you will have a guide telling you everything about the rocks of the bay.
Still at the information centre of Lulworth Cove you can ask about the Fossil Forest, this is a remain of a submerged forest from the Jurassic times, this means that that area was colonised 150 million years ago by underwater plants and trees, When the forest flooded the trees died and their stumps, trunks and roots became preserved by layers of calcareous sediment from the deposits of freshwater algae.
This forest is under restricted access because the site is within the Lulworth Ranger so if you want to go and visit it, be very careful of where you step and don’t take any rock or fossils home.
Old Harry Rocks
The Old Harry Rock is the eastern end of the Jurassic coast, is very easy to reach it on foot from Studland or Swanage. As soon as you start walking you will get inside a forest that after a while will open in a big field with a path on one side. The viewing from the top on the cliffs is quite spectacular but definitely is even better from the sea which again, if you like sports, you can easily rent a kayak or a paddle or if you prefer to take it easy you will also find the City Cruises Poole.
Old Harry Rocks is actually only one stack of chalk standing further by the sea that, long time ago was together with another one - Harry's wife - that due to erosion collapsed into the sea and now you can see only the stump of it.
Erosion is something that we can’t prevent so before this happens again start packing and go to enjoy these Heritages in the Jurassic Coast as soon as you have the opportunity. A weekend is enough to visit all these places and your body and your mind will thank you for taking a break from the City.
ARRIVING BY TRAIN: The nearest railway station is Wool (on the London Waterloo to Weymouth line). Bus numbers 15, 30, X54 and X55 connect Wool Railway Station to West Lulworth for Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. The 15 bus operates on school days only. The X54 and X55 operate daily from 15 April 2018 until 22 September 2018. The 30 bus operates from 24 June until 15 September 2018. There is also a Taxi rank at Wool Station, but you should pre-book to guarantee availability.
ROAD TRIP: Durdle Door is just west of West Lulworth on the B3070 which leaves the A352 (Wareham to Dorchester road) at Holmbridge.
ROAD TRIP AND CAR PARKING: Parking is available at the National Trust’s Studland car park, or at one of the car parks in Swanage. Baby-changing facilities and push-chairs are available at nearby Knoll Beach.