Nestled in the very lap of nature, the county of Dorset lies on the beautiful south coast of England. Being a mostly non-metropolitan area, the environment and natural surroundings of this place has been quite well conserved and protected. This land is famously known for its outstanding natural beauty and wonderful sights. Its versatile landscape comprises of broad elevated chalk downs, limestone ridges and clay valleys. Three fourths of its luminous coastline has also been marked as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. It is ideally located in the South of England with rich history, delicious cuisine and a better climate than most of the United Kingdoms. These factors combined are bound to attract numerous tourists to witness the astounding natural beauty of Dorset.
The Lulworth Cove
This magnificent oyster shaped cove took shape gradually over the course of thousands of years. The sea broke through the Purbeck and Portland Limestone cliffs and eroded away the softer rocks. Today this scenic Cove forms a natural harbour that sits elegantly at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast. Quite close to this awe inspiring Cove is a fossilized forest where the rare remains of the late Jurassic and early Cretaceous coniferous trees are found. Less than half a mile away from the Cove there lies the smaller ‘Stair Hole’ which is considered to be a reflection of what the Lulworth Cove probably looked like in its infancy and early stages.
The Durdle Dor (Or The Durdle Door)
This stupendous piece of Nature’s artwork is one of the most photographed objects along the Dorset Jurassic Coast. The giant limestone arches straddle the sea at the eastern end of the Durdle Dor Cove. Years of carving by the relentless and pounding waves have eroded away the softer rock leaving behind only the imposing and resistant Portland stone arches standing firm. This rugged beauty is a sight to behold! During sunset the sun shines right through the arch and illuminates its walls from within while reflecting like diamonds upon the blue of the great sea. The word ‘Durdle’ is derived from the Old English world of ‘thirl’ meaning ‘to pierce’ or ‘to have a hole’ while the term Dor (or Door) reflects its uncanny resemblance to a door. Being one of nature’s most beautiful handicrafts, one must visit the Durdle Dor. It makes for a wonderful and romantic evening out by the gentle sea.
The Chesil Beach
This remarkable shingle barrier ridge shelters some of the most spectacular lagoons stretching on for 29 kilometres from Birdport Harbour (West Bay) to Chesil Bay in the Isle of Portland. The Chesil beach is surprisingly one of the most studied beaches in the world for the size, grading and volume of the pebbles that adorn its shores like its armour. At Portland the pebbles are roughly the size of a hen’s eggs and at the West Bay they are almost the size of small peas. The steady decrease in size from one end of the stretch to the other is so perfect and uniform that at night the fishermen are able to tell where they have landed just by simply feeling the pebbles beneath their feet! The Chesil Beach makes for an excellent day outing with your family. The cool sea breeze and the summer sun are wonderful to relax and enjoy some quality time with your family in this serene surroundings.
The Jurassic Coast
After a young 12 year old girl named Mary Anning discovered an unusual fossil skeleton which turned out to be the first complete skeleton of an ichthyosaur(a giant marine reptile that looked a little like a dolphin), the coast came to be known as the Jurassic Coast. Since then, a wide variety of internationally important fossils have been found from these coasts. Stretching for a distance of one hundred and fifty five kilometres, this coast is the only place in the world that displays unbroken evidence of 185 million years of Earth’s history. The great cliffs provide us with an almost continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations along the coast. This palaeontology hot spot is also a major tourist attraction with its long stretch of beaches, beautiful scenery, rich history and breath taking views overlooking the sea. The Jurassic Coast in 2005 was also voted as the fifth greatest natural wonder in Britain, in a poll conducted by ‘Radio Times’
The Old Harry Rocks
Marking the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast, the Old Harry Rocks is a group of three chalk formations at Handfast Point, on the Isle of Purbeck at Dorset. A product of erosion over the course of many thousands of years, the area features beautiful promontories, sea stacks and natural arches. There are two very fascinating legends behind the naming of the Old Harry Rocks. The most popular one says that the Devil (known as Old Harry) had slept on these rocks. One can take a pleasant cliff-top walk from the village of Studland to the Old Harry Rocks or during the low tide one can easily walk along the foot of the cliff to the Rocks. This mystical place is most definitely worth a visit.