From visiting a Pirates Graveyard to the county’s annual Nob Festival, Dorset is full of weird and wonderful things...
For now, we’ll provide you with some fascinating facts about the Jurassic Coast that will surely tempt you for a visit!
The Jurassic Coastline is a famous part of Dorset. It is England’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans all the way from Orcombe Point near Exmouth in Devon to Old Harry Rocks at Studland Bay in Dorset, over an approximate total distance of 95 miles! The Jurassic Coast ranks among the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon as one of the natural wonders of the world.
UNESCO stands for “United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization” and works for peace over the nations. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage in order to protect sites of, what they regard to be, outstanding universal value.
As well as being a beautiful area of the country for walking, taking photos and appreciating what the South West of England really has to offer, there are a number of museums along the coastline that explain why each location is a World Heritage Site, as well as breath-taking views and fantastic Gateway towns.
An adventurous way to see the Jurassic Coast is by Jurassic Jet Ski Tour from Weymouth Harbour. This fascinating activity is an ideal way to see beautiful rock formations, like Durdle Door, up close and will have you exploring inlets and caves in the crystal clear water.
Go sea kayaking with Fore Adventure, based in Studland or if you’d rather stay on-land, book a foraging adventure with the team.
At Bridport Museum, you’ll discover local fossils (found just a few miles from the museum!) that prove the sheer amount of fossils you could find along the Jurassic Coastline, including ammonites, starfish and even a plesiosaur (a historic large marine reptile). The museum is free to enter.
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is run by Dorset Wildlife Trust and aims to connect people with nature. It is run by knowledgeable local volunteers and is open 7 days a week from 10 am until 5 pm (from Easter until end of September).
Portland Museum contains many artifacts associated with the history and culture of Portland Island, as well as the Royal Manor of Portland. The museum also tells the story of local industry, the Sea, the Prisons and the People.
Bridport, West Bay, Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester, West Lulworth, Kimmeridge, Swanage, Langton Matravers, Studland and Corfe Castle are all Gateway Towns to the Jurassic Coastline. They each offer their own cultural attractions and individual character, so there is plenty of choice regarding what city to visit alongside your trip to the beautiful rocky coastline.
There are over 185 million years of the Earth’s history to explore along the Jurassic Coast and a walk all the way along the Jurassic Coastline offers a rare geological spectacle. This is because the rocks of the World Heritage Site are laid out from the oldest, in the west to youngest, in the east.