The Jurassic Coast, located along the southern coast of England, is a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site that stretches for 95 miles. This rugged coastline is famous for its geological and historical significance, featuring a range of stunning landscapes, fossils, and cultural attractions. The Jurassic Coast boasts 185 million years of history, dating back to the Triassic period, making it a significant destination for history lovers, nature enthusiasts, and adventure seekers.
This blog will highlight the top destinations to visit along the Jurassic Coast, including beaches, bays, and castles. These picturesque locations provide visitors with an immersive experience, a chance to witness stunning views and to learn more about the region's history.
Old Harry Rocks – A Natural Archway
Nestled along the breathtaking Jurassic Coast, Old Harry Rocks is a striking sight that has been attracting visitors for generations. Located in Dorset, England, it consists of three tall chalk formations that rise majestically from the sea, creating a natural archway that is a true marvel of nature. Tourists flock to see this geological wonder, which is steeped with ancient history and folklore. The name Old Harry comes from a Dorset legend of a devil that took up residence in the rocks. However, scientists have a different theory. They believe that the rocks were formed millions of years ago by erosion and natural factors like wind and waves. Regardless of the stories surrounding its creation, Old Harry Rocks remains a popular destination among tourists, who come to marvel at the spectacular views, go birdwatching and fishing, and stroll along the stunning coastal path. A trip to Old Harry Rocks is a must for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and fascinating history of England's southern coast.
Corfe Castle is a dramatic ruin that sits high on a hill overlooking the Purbeck Hills. Located on the scenic Jurassic Coast, Corfe Castle is a must-visit for history and nature enthusiasts alike. Situated in the tranquil, picturesque village of Corfe, the castle dates back to the 11th century and holds a rich heritage. The ruins stand tall and proud, offering eloquent evidence of the castle's dramatic past. Walk through the grounds and listen as the tales of battles, sieges, and civil wars are retold through tour guides or even your own imagination. People from all over the world flock to Corfe Castle to marvel at its Gothic-style architecture, which beautifully blends with the natural landscape. The stunning views from the castle hill will leave you mesmerised as you admire the stunning panorama from the English Channel to Poole Harbour. A trip to Corfe Castle is a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in English history and experience the serene beauty of the Jurassic Coast. The parking is free and a visit to the village by steam train is a great option.
Lulworth Cove is a natural wonder formed about 10,000 years ago by the forces of the sea and rivers. The crescent-shaped cove is surrounded by cliffs and is a haven for wildlife. Visitors can explore the cove's pebbled beach, enjoy a boat ride, or take a stroll along the cliff tops for stunning views of the coastline. The historical significance of the landscape is marked by its place in Durdle Door for centuries being used as series of raids on the coastal towns.
Durdle Door - A Natural Wonder
Durdle Door is a natural arch that spans the golden sandy beaches and clear blue waters of Lulworth Cove. Thousands of years of crashing waves and weathering have carved it into a distinctive shape that captures the imagination of visitors. Not only is it a stunning sight to behold, but it's also steeped in history. The area around the arch has been inhabited for thousands of years, and it's believed that the Romans used Durdle Door as a crucial navigational landmark. Visitors can indulge in a 15-minute walk to a nearby lookout point that offers breathtaking views across the cove and the arch. Durdle Door must be on every traveller's list when visiting the Jurassic Coast.
Weymouth - The Perfect Seaside Town
Weymouth is a beautiful seaside town that boasts a long, sandy beach, a picturesque harbour, and lively streets lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. The town has an intriguing history, including its role in the 2012 Olympics as the venue for sailing events. The town is popular with families because of its shallow waters and long stretches of sand. Visitors who love nature can explore the adjacent nature reserve, with its diverse flora and fauna. Overall, Weymouth offers something for everyone and is an excellent place to spend a day or two exploring.
Abbotsbury - A Hidden Gem
Abbotsbury is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Jurassic Coast, known for its pictorial village and sublime coastal walks. The famous Swannery is the village's most popular attraction, where visitors can see swans, ducks, and other waterbirds in their natural habitat. Abbotsbury sub-tropical gardens are also worth a visit for their stunning array of plants and exotic flowers. The gardens offer an opportunity to soak in the beauty of nature while taking in the picturesque surroundings. For those wanting to explore the coastline, Abbotsbury offers a 3-mile walk to Chesil Beach, which is a haven for birdwatchers and marine-life enthusiasts.
West Bay - A Haven for Photographers
West Bay is a small, picturesque harbour village that sits at the foot of towering cliffs providing a stunning backdrop for photographers. The village's beach has rock pools that are perfect for exploring, and its golden sands are ideal for sunbathing. Visitors can stroll along the harbour, watch fishing boats returning with their catch or purchase fresh seafood from the local fishmonger. The distinctive cliffs are home to an array of birdlife, including peregrine falcons and kestrels. Therefore, the village is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
Located in West Dorset, this is a fantastic spot for fossil hunting. The beach is known for its incredible marine reptile fossils, which often emerge from the cliffs after heavy storms. The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre is an essential place to start your visit, as it has plenty of information about the area's geology and tips for fossil hunting. You can also join guided walks or purchase a book to help you identify fossils. Make sure you check tide times before heading out!
This is a quintessential English seaside town, nestled on the coast of East Devon. It's famous for its beautiful beaches and picturesque cottages, but the real highlight for fossil hunters is the Ammonite Pavement. This unique stretch of beach is home to a multitude of ammonites embedded in the rock. A guided tour with the Lyme Regis Museum is an excellent way to explore the area's geological history and get some insider knowledge from local experts.
This landmark is the highest point on the south coast of England and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The cliff itself is made up of distinctive yellow sandstone, which is the source of the name Golden Cap. The area is also significant for its geological history, as it's one of the few places in the world where the boundary between two geological periods is visible. Take a picnic, enjoy the views, and take in the remarkable history of the area.
This charming village on the East Devon coast is home to one of the region's oldest breweries, as well as a beach full of unique geological features. The beach is famous for its Technicoloured pebbles, which come in a range of hues caused by the minerals in the coastal cliffs. The beach also has several rock pools that are teeming with marine life. If you're feeling adventurous, you can take a fishing trip or rent a kayak to explore the area further.
This quaint town in East Devon is well known for its geology, thanks to its Triassic cliffs. The cliffs and beach are rich in fossils, including the prints of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. You can take a guided walk with the Sidmouth Museum, which provides fascinating insights into the area's history. The town itself is also a delightful place to visit, with plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore.
Contact Together Travel for Help Planning Your Visit to the Jurassic Coast
All in all, there’s something for everyone on the Jurassic Coast. We’ve shared some of the most awe-inspiring places to visit where you can learn about the geology of Britain and explore its history and wildlife. Whether you want a vibrant holiday filled with adventure or simply time to take a breather from everyday life, this U.K. coastal delight should be your first port of call. Consider bringing along your friends and family or travelling solo. Whatever you decide to do next, just make sure you don’t miss out on exploring this prehistoric paradise! Just remember when it comes to visiting the Jurassic Coast, plan as much as possible in advance to ensure you make the most of all its offerings. And if you do find yourself stuck for ideas about what to see and do when planning your trip, feel free to contact Together Travel at +44(0)1625 416430 as we are best placed in helping out budding adventurers!