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Jurassic Coast
Durdle Door on The Jurassic Coast in Dorset

No. of Days 

No. of miles

Ascent

Price from

No. of Days 

80

12,782 ft

££££

Starting price is based on two people sharing and  includes accommodation at a comfortable inn, breakfast, picnic lunch and transfers.  We can also arrange transfers from airports and stations if required.

The Jurassic Coast stretches for 95 miles from Old Harry Rocks at Studland, all the way to Exmouth in East Devon. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 for its outstanding geology and is one of the most famous palaeontological sites in the world. The South-West Coast Path follows the length of the Jurassic Coast and on this walk, you will be exploring the Dorset section of the route, taking in magnificent views, world-famous landmarks and a wonderful variety of scenery. There are plenty of opportunities for swimming along the way, with sandy beaches, pebbled coves and rocky ledges to explore.

GALLERY

ITINERARY

Day 1 - The Jurassic Coast starts at Studland Bay where the golden sands stretch for over a mile and this is where you set off on your coastal adventure, first to Old Harry and his wife standing off Handfast Point and then climbing Ballard Down to drop down to the seaside town of Swanage. From here you walk one of the most beautiful stretches of the Isle of Purbeck, passing the wonderfully named Dancing Ledge (look out for Puffins in the early summer) and on to Worth Matravers to finish with a reviving drink at the famous Square and Compass pub.


Day 2 - Back down to the coastpath this morning to explore the caves at Winspit before heading for the chapel at St. Aldhelm’s Head, passing Chapman’s Pool to reach Kimmeridge. A Clavell tower overlooks the bay which is a marine wildlife reserve with the best rock-pooling and snorkelling in Dorset. There may not be any sand but you can swim off the ledges and it is a fascinating bay.


Day 3 - From Kimmeridge you set off towards Warbarrow, passing the evocatively-named Brandy Bay and then take a detour to visit Tyneham, a village frozen in time from when it was requisitioned during the second world war. Wander the abandoned streets and visit the restored village school and church to learn about life in the village before the residents left forever. From here you walk on to Lulworth Cove, stopping to explore the Fossil Forest on the way.


Day 4 - Today you visit possibly the most photographed and famous site in Dorset, Durdle Door with its huge limestone arch. Expect crowds! However, you soon leave them behind as you walk on along one of the hilliest stretches of the whole walk before dropping down to the pretty, pebbled cove at Ringstead with its quiet beach, ideal for a quick dip. From here you follow the coast to Weymouth, a town of two parts – the kiss-me-quick sea front (with its beautiful Georgian architecture) and the ancient harbour, lined with colourful houses and busy with fishing boats and yachts.


Day 5 - Today’s walk is circular, following the coast path around the atmospheric island of   Portland, unlike anywhere else in the county. For centuries stone has been quarried here for some of the country’s most notable buildings (e.g. Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral) which gives the landscape a slightly surreal atmosphere at times. There is much to see en-route, with castles, hidden coves, churches, Portland Bill with it soaring lighthouse and a fascinating sculpture park with over sixty sculptures, including ones by Anthony Gormley. The views along the Chesil Bank are magnificent and look out for rare migratory birds. Portland is the first landfall for many of them and is also home to over half of Britain’s 57 species of butterfly.


Day 6 - From today, the coast changes from the limestone of the Purbecks to the long shingle bank which is Chesil Beach. First you pass behind The Fleet lagoon which is now a nature reserve with an interesting population of wading birds before rising to the village of Abbotsbury with its medieval abbey remains and streets of pretty thatched cottages. If time permits, call in at the 600 year-old swannery to see the world’s only managed colony of free-flying mute swans.


Day 7 - You start today by climbing to St. Catherine’s Chapel to take in views along the Chesil before dropping down to start an almost entirely level walk for the day. You pass West Bexington and Burton Bradstock before reaching the busy harbour at West Bay which was the location for the cliff scenes in Broadchurch. Here you can watch the boats come and go with an ice cream or head up into the vibrant market town of Bridport with its community of artists and lively Saturday market.


Day 8 - The final stretch of your walk takes you to Charmouth via Golden Cap, the highest point on the Dorset coast for some magnificent views, with beaches at Eype and Seatown along the way.  From Charmouth,   we will transfer you to Lyme Regis by car as the last part of the coast path has been lost to land slips. Lyme Regis is famous for its fossil hunters and the Cobb which protects the pretty harbour from Atlantic gales. A beautiful end to an amazing walking holiday.

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