Jurassic Coast – All Highlights
Time travel is something we all wanted to do as kids. The idea of being able to see and experience what happened in the extreme past would always intrigue all of us. But those all seem to be fantasies. Howsoever, bending the time dimension might not be a thing right now, but talking about time, history has always been told, heard and loved.
One such history is connected to the Jurassic Coast in UK. Those who know about it would know what I am saying. Others who are new, will find out soon.
The planet earth has existed for 4.453 billion years now. For the most of its age, we hold no records. No signs. No clues at all. It’s all either assumptious knowledge or myth. Considering the amount of time, we can’t even get a hold of anything clearly. The Jurassic Coast in such situations seems like a lot.
The 95 mile long rocky coast has experienced the harsh and softs of the earth and its atmosphere for around 185 million years. That is something, right?
Well, for that something itself, the Jurassic Coast is a world heritage site. With exactly eighteen different gateways to the coast the stretch extends to 95 miles as mentioned above as well.
For all our interests and the history that it holds, keep reading to find out more about the Jurassic Coast. Below here are the highlights.
Jurassic Coast – All Highlights
As mentioned in the section above, the Jurassic Coast has a total of 18 gateways. This means that anyone wanting to visit the coast can go from any or all of these. It just depends on what you wish to see.
But how can one choose when they are unaware of what the options hold? Well, to solve the same, here is a list of all the gateways with a small description.
Situated at the east bank of the mouth of the River Exe, it’s around 12 miles from the South exeter. If you are staying here, the Town is the oldest holiday resort in Devon and has been there since the 18th century. It can be a good option.
And to get to Exmouth from exeter, you can either use the regular bus service or hire a taxi. Both ways, it would take around 20-25 minutes to reach. Talking about what you can do there, here is a list.
- Visit the Orcombe Point
- See the Stuart Line Cruises
- Red Rock leisure
- Budleigh Salterton
- Otterton Mill
Another pretty place around a Jurassic coast gateway is Sidmouth. The same is situated between Triassic red cliffs and the green hills of the Sid valley. There was a time when everything in and around the place was going down with no signs of any development.
It was around 18th and 19th century when the town started being populated and saw development of some kind.
To get to the Sidmouth gate of the Jurassic coast from Sidmouth you can simply take a bus. Regular bus services are available at several times of the day for that. On roads, A375 connects Sidmouth with the A3052 at Sidford.
Once you reach, there are a few things that you can do. Have a look at the list to know more.
- Interpretation Centre & Museum
- Taking a walk
- Go for a boat trip
- Visit the Donkey sanctuary
The third Jurassic coast gateway is Beer. One exciting fact about Beer is that it offers the last glance of chalk to anyone travelling west. The site of the sparkling white cliffs housed between the red rocks is something you can’t afford to miss.
The rocks here, at the Beer cliff are folded downwards. This has brought the white parts of the rocks up above other levels. The geological hollow made out of this lifting the white chalks up is called syncline.
To get to the Beer cliffs you need to take the road B3174 road from Seaton. The same road connects to Sidmouth as well. Also you can research a bit about the buses that go there.
To know what you can do when you reach there, read below.
- Go and see the Visitor Centre
- Beer Quarry Caves
- Take a walk
- Visit the Donkey Sanctuary
When you move towards the west of the Axe estuary, you will find one of the best resorts. It’s one of the most popular resorts of Seaton. It lies in one of the most beautiful and totally unspoilt parts of East Devon.
Also to add to the fun, the harbor of Axmouth a 10 minute walk to the east.
To get to the Seaton gateway of Jurassic coast, you can take a bus or hire a taxi. If you have your own vehicle, nothing can beat that. The gateway is just 7 miles North.
To find out what all you can do when you reach there, look at the list that follows.
- Go to the Seaton Jurassic
- See the Seaton Tramway
- Seaton Wetlands Nature Reserve
- Seaton Labyrinth
For those who don’t know, Charmouth is a seaside village which traces its history back to the iron age. Many buildings in this area date from the 18th and the 19th century. This is why travelers here can always feel connected to the history. It’s just as if the time stood still for the place.
Attractions apart from the gateway are Shingle beach and Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre.
To get to the coast gateway from Charmouth, you can use the bus service. As there is no direct bus to the gateway, you can use trains as well. The nearest railway station is at Axminster, which is 7 miles to the north-west. And if you are driving via roads, A35 will get you there.
Talking about what all can you do there, read below to find your options.
- Go and see the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre
- Visit the Stonebarrow
6. Lyme Regis
Another historic seaside area, Lyme Regis lies between the rugged West Dorset and East Devon coastlines. It is nothing less than the heart of the Jurassic Coast. This town has a great history which dates back to the 8th century.
Also, it is known to attract many visitors for its natural beauty. Moving further, it is the birth town of Mary Anning. She is one of the greatest fossil collectors in the history of mankind.
The best way to get to the Lyme Regis gateway is on the roads. Just get your ride and drive to the on the A3052. But that’s when you own a vehicle. Otherwise, you can always take a bus to the place. The nearest railway station is Axminster.
Coming to what all can you do there, below here is a list to look at.
- Visit the Lyme Regis Museum
- See the Lyme Seafront
- The Cobb & Town: Cobb wall in Lyme Regis is very famous and dates back from the 13th century
7. Golden Cap
Looking at something that really interests you, gradually makes your pupil enlarge. That is just a stimulus of your body towards a site that you’ve just had. But when did you last feel that way?
Taking a look at the Jurassic Coast from 191 metres (627 feet) above sea level might make that happen. The Golden Cap is the gateway which lets you do that. It offers stunningly brilliant panoramic views from all angles. SIGH! What else can one even ask for?
If you are hitting the road to get there, A35 is your way. Otherwise, you can also use a bus service from any place nearby. The nearest village to the Golden Cap gateway is the Seatown. And to one’s surprise, the Golden Cap is at a distance of a few minutes of walk from here.
Now, if you are thinking what all you can do here, there isn’t much apart from site seeing and taking a decent walk.
8. West Bay
One of the most beautiful gateways to the Jurassic Coast, the West Bay is covered with golden sand cliffs. Having witnessed the sea levels fall constantly for the last 175 million years, these cliffs reveal a major part of the geographical history of our planet.
The Chesil Beach was formed after the last ice age, which occured around 20,000 years ago. The total length of this beach is 18 miles.
To get to the Gateway from around West bay, you will need to either take a bus or use your own vehicle. The later one is obviously going to be more convenient. Looking for a bus, you can always check with the local bus services in and around Bridport and West Bay.
To know what all you can do there, refer to the list below.
- Visit the West Bay Seafront
- East Cliff from the West Bay
- Visit the West Bay Discovery Centre
- Take a walk around the West Bay
- Picnic at the beach
- Bridport Market and Museum
The old village of Abbotsbury resides behind the bank of chesil. The history of this place dates back to around 6,000 years ago. The place seems to have been influenced by men from the Neolithic age and Iron age.
From this place you can get an amazing view of the Chesil Beach. Also, above the village on the hills there is one really old St. Catherine’s Chapel, which is said to have been built in the 14th century.
To get there via road, the route to pick is the B3157 coastal road. Apart from that, if you are looking for ways of public transport, the nearest railway station is Weymouth. It is around nine miles from the place. Also, if you want buses, you can generally ask around for a local bus service which can get you there.
Still curious to know what all you can do? Read below.
- Go and see the Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Garden
- Visit the Abbotsbury Swannery
10. Chesil Beach
The world has seen poets quote about the very beautiful Chesil Beach. The depth of sea and the truth of this planet, the Chesil beach has been witnessing it all for billions of years now. When you stand with your eyes closed and your heart calm, you might get an experience of a lifetime.
To get to the Chesil beach, you can either take the road B3157 or simply use a local bus service. The areas around the beach are Abbotsbury and Weymouth.
Now, trying to find out what all you can do here, you can read the same for Weymouth and Abbotsbury. Apart from that, a decent simple walk or meditation around the seashore will be exceptionally refreshing.
Just attached to the sweeping end of the Chesil Beach, Portland’s isle is Jurassic Coast’s most southerly point. The fact that it is almost completely isolated from other areas and then the beautiful view make it an explorer’s heaven.
The best way to explore the island is by walking on foot. That is the only way which you can take note of all the details in. Also, there are many specific locations on the island which have been marked as sites of specific scientific interests by researchers.
Also, the place is home to 300 species of bird, over 30 species of butterfly and 720 species of moth. This makes it natural miracle in itself.
To get there, you can take a bus (as always, obviously) from Weymouth to Portland. Also, if you are looking for railway options, the nearest railway station is Weymouth and is around 4 miles north. Considering you own a personal vehicle, the A354 which runs south from Dorchester will get you here.
Moving further, all that you can do here is listed below.
- Visit the Chesil Beach Centre
- Take a walk around and observe everything around (getting into details will be a joyride here)
It has been one of the most popular resorts of Britain for a while now. Tourist guides and travel planners have been flocking this place for around 200 years now. That’s when King George III used to visit the place almost everyday.
The beach is ideal for bathing. Water here at the shores isn’t deep at all. Also, there is enough shade around, so sun isn’t generally a problem.
To get to Weymouth you can use a car, a bus or simply a train that goes here. The best thing is that Weymouth is directly connected to the London Waterloo through railways. And then there are buses from Dorchester.
Talking about which roads to pick, A354 to south from Dorchester is the one. Apart from that A353 connects Weymouth to villages in the east.
Moving further, you can refer to the list below to find out what all you can do here.
- Visit the Georgian Esplanade. It gives an amazing view with a long arc of sand from the Weymouth beach.
- Go to the Jurassic Skyline Tower
- Go Sailing
With all of the roman culture kept pure in the Dorset, Dorchester is a true jewel. The place holds a very rich heritage and its connection with ancient times are clearly visible.
The shopping streets, the roads and the way the place is built, all of it clearly depicts a touch of Rome. If the ancient Roman history and its various parts intrigue you, Dorchester is the Jurassic Coast gateway that you must visit.
To get there, take a bus. If in case you prefer travelling with your own vehicle, road number A35 which runs through west Dorset is a great way to reach the Jurassic Coast’s Dorchester Gateway.
To know what you can do here, read below.
- See the Dorset County Museum
- Take a walk to experience the beauty of the place. That’s how you can feel most connected to the Roman history of Dorchester.
14. Durdle Door
Now this is one most iconic Jurassic Coast gateways. The unique thing about this one is that it is a natural arch formed above the sea level from layers of hard limestone.
The best routes for visiting the Durdle Door are accessible with a car. If in case you prefer public transport, the X55 bus from Weymouth, Bovington Tank Museum and Wool train station will take you to the Durdle Door.
The major attractions at this place are as follows.
- Go to the Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre
- Outdoor activities such as mountain biking and coasteering can be taken part in just around the gateway
- Family picnic
- School trips
- Walks on the beach
15. Lulworth Cove
Looking for a place to go for a picnic to? Well, you finally found it. Lulworth Cove is just at the shore of the sea and is a great place for a family or friendly picnic.
The credit for the birth of such a fun place goes to the tectonic collisions which took place 25 million years ago and created Alps along with miraculous site-worthy places like Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.
To best way to travel to the Lulworth Cove is by a car. Otherwise you can simply take an X55 bus from Weymouth, Bovington Tank Museum or the Wool train station.
The fun menu for the place includes the following.
- Lulworth Visitor Centre
- Family picnic
- School groups’ trip
- Fun outdoor activities like mountain biking, scuba diving and coasteering
The Jurassic Coast gateway of Kimmeridge is around half a mile south-west of the village of Kimmeridge. When geology and Jurassic Coast is under consideration, Kimmeridge gateway has some of the most important geology anywhere on any other gateways.
Apart from this, the shallow water here is perfect for diving and swimming with friends and family. The whole place is quiet and peaceful unless one explicitly creates chaos.
To get to Kimmeridge, simply take B3075 through Wareham and just follow the signs. Apart from that, you can also take a train. The nearest railway stations for the same are Wareham, Wool and Swanage.
The major attractions around here are as follows.
The most easterly town on the Jurassic Coast is Swanage. This town of Swanage makes the Jurassic Coast’s experience amazing. The reason is that even being just 6 miles away from the main city, it feels like an entirely different world.
On the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, there are these iconic chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks. All of it combines along with the flora and fauna to make this place worth every visit.
Talking of the commute, buses connect Swanage with Wareham. Also, the Wareham railway station provides direct trains to London, Dorchester and Weymouth. A35 running through Wareham and Corfe Castle can easily get you here.
Looking for what all you can do, here is a list of activities.
- Walking around the place
- Visit the Durlston Country Park
- Keates Quarry
18. Old Harry Rocks
The extreme east end of the Jurassic Coast has these white chalk rocks. Looking at these Old Harry Rocks, it looks like somebody crafted on purpose. The truth is entirely different, as these too have been formed naturally over a period of millions of years.
Standing at this place knowing the fact that this is the ending chapter of the story of Jurassic Coast, there are a number of feelings one can experience.
One great news for travellers coming from Studland or Swanage is that they can simply walk to the Old Harry Rocks. Apart from that, the nearest railway station is Wareham.
For those looking up to the options for what all can be done here, the list that follows can help.
- Walking around the place: For travellers looking forward to clicking pictures walking around is always a good idea
- You can also consider going for Boat Trips around here
- Just around the Old Harry Rocks, there is this Knoll Beach Cafe at the Studland bay. You can use it for snacks with your friends.
For the love of travel and of history the tourists love to explore and keep exploring. Jurassic Coast is one such destination which any tourist would feel delighted to be at.
With a stretch of 95 miles, spread along 18 gateways, Jurassic Coast is a great tourist destination. And then the value that it holds in the history of this planet, no wonder it has been declared as a World heritage site by UNESCO.
Every gateway for the Jurassic Coast is a whole story in itself. The fact that its history dates back to 185 million years is enough to bring in chills.
Simply speaking, history can’t get any better.