Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door
Lulworth Cove is part of the Jurassic Coast, England's first natural World Heritage Site. Apart from demonstrating the effect underlying rocks have had on the development of the coastline, the Cove is dramatically picturesque. It was formed approximately 10,000 years ago by the powers of a river and the sea. The sea has broken through a hard, narrow, Portland Stone entrance and carved out the softer Purbeck, Wealden, Greensand and Chalk rocks behind, to form a sheltered cove with a pebble beach, encircled by steep cliffs. The beach is an ideal place to look for fossils. Steps at the eastern end lead to a fossil forest of fossilised tree stumps. West Lulworth, is a small village stretching along the road down to the Cove. There is a visitor centre, hotels and various places to obtain refreshment.
The Lulworth coastal footpath stretches for five miles along the cliffs, providing fantastic views of St. Oswald's Bay and the Jurassic Coast, backed by untarnished sweeps of chalk downland, unique to Dorset. Stair Hole displays spectacularly contorted rock strata, where the waves shoot spouts of water through the hole.
Durdle Door, a short but strenuous walk over the cliffs from Lulworth, is a chalk headland, out of which the great 'door' has been cut by the sea. This arch divides two beaches in front of vertical chalk cliffs. The beaches, which provide safe bathing in shallow water, are accessible by descending 150 steps. East of Durdle Door, the reef, known as The Man O' War, shelters this popular beach of sand and fine pebbles.