Nowadays, not really. But there might have been some millions of years ago, along with other creatures whose fossilized remains tell the story of about 185 million years of geological history encompassed in this 145 km stretch of coast. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, it offers some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in England. A proper must-see for any reputable traveler!
How to get there
I’ve decided to visit the Jurassic Coast just a day before the Purbeck Breezer (a bus that would have taken me there directly from Bournemouth) would start its service, so my only option was to take the train to Wool and then the bus to Lulworth Cove. You’ll understand later on why, but I’d recommend going straight to Durdle Door, walking back to Lulworth Cove and taking the bus back from there.
Walking around Wool
I had an hour to kill in Wool before my bus to the coast, so I thought I’d roam around the village a bit. I had no high expectations as it seemed like just a plain little village. But, as the English countryside never disappoints, I’ve discovered the most beautiful thatched houses, a beautiful medieval church and apparently, if I’d gone just a bit out of the village, I would have found Woolbridge Manor House, which was featured in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Luckily for me, none of the other tourist had done their research and as such prefered to wait at the station or the pub next to it, so I pretty much had the village all to myself. An hour seemed to go by in a minute when surrounded which such beauty, so it was time to head back to the train station.
The bus finally arrived after a bit of a delay and after a short ride we arrived at Lulworth Cove. On our way there we passed through the village of Lulworth, which seemed even more beautiful than Wool, but unfortunately I wouldn’t have had time to include that in my trip as well. I guess this is a journey best done by car, so you can actually enjoy every bit of it.
As I got of the bus at Lulworth Cove I was greeted by the hordes of tourists and the appetizing smell of fish and chips. I gave in and pigged out, I admit. However, I surely melted all of that off on my hike to Durdle Door. But more on that in a bit.
Once I was full and ready to battle the hundreds of tourists (it was the only thing I didn’t like about this place), I made my way up on the cliff right behind the Visitors Centre for a stunning bird’s eye view on the Cove and Stair Hole. I’m not gonna bore you with all the technical details, there’s Wikipedia for that, but seriously, just take a moment to imagine that all of this was created by nature alone!
It was very hard to pull myself away from there, I could’ve stayed there and gazed forever, but I knew I still had to make it to Durdle Door. I followed the path just above the beach right down to the village (which is not really a village, just a few restaurants, cafes and hotels for the tourists), where of course I found some more quaint houses. Just as a side note, I would like to point out that there was doggie ice cream sold at every cafe. Yup, my people right there!
Now for the hardest part of the trip: in order to get to Durdle Door, I had to hike across the steepest hill I’ve ever seen in my life. I swear at times I felt I was just going vertically. The pavement was as slippery as can be, with the occasional shingle every now and then, just for a bit of an added kick. Also, I was wearing these beautiful and completely inappropriate golden sandals. A girl’s gotta be fashionable at all times, ok? But seriously, if you ever go there, do wear hiking shoes, as some people did actually fall.
Luckily, I made it to the top of the hill in one piece and I was rewarded with the most scenic sights of the coast and Lulworth Cove. On the other side of the hill the slope is a lot more gradual, that’s why I said in the beginning that it’s advisable to go from Durdle Door towards Lulworth Cove rather than the other way around.
Once I got to Durdle Door, I tried to get away from all the noisy tourists and found a perfect spot just higher up the coast, with the most perfect view of the arch. I must’ve sat there for about an hour, in complete awe, the sun gently shining down on me and the breeze bringing in the salty smell of the sea. What a perfect moment it was!
I left Durdle Door once again stunned by the grandeur of our beautiful Mother Earth. What a cruel destiny to know that someday we’ll say Goodbye to it all, and yet how blessed to be able to witness it all!