The 12 Best Things to Do Along England's Jurassic Coast

visit britain jurassic coast

England’s Jurassic Coast is a 95-mile-long stretch of coastline that dates back hundreds of millions of years. It has some of theoldest rock features on Earth, including wave-beaten sea arches, fossilized forests, even dinosaur footprints. Beautiful as well as ancient, colossal cliffs rise from the sea, waves crash against vast columns of rock, and the water is an otherworldly turquoise blue. A magnet for walkers, adventurers, and nature lovers, the coastline can be explored on foot, by bus, car, boat or even kayak, while staying in thatch-roofed pubs and bed and breakfasts owned by welcoming locals.

Hunt for Fossils

Millions of years ago, the Jurassic Coast was a huge tropical sea teeming with marine life, and plenty of it remains today in the form of fossils, which can be found all over the beaches between Lyme Regis and Charmouth. Spend even a short time looking and you might come across a perfectly spiraling ammonite, or a rock full of pretty, star-shaped sea-lilies.

The Charmouth Heritage Coast Center organizes guided fossil walks year-round and has exhibitions and staff who can point out what to look for. The Lyme Regis Museum also runs fossil walks, as does local geologistChris Pamplin. If you’d rather venture out on your own, make sure to follow the Fossil Collecting Code of Conduct , and don’t stand or sit under cliffs as erosion can cause landslides.

Visit Lulworth Cove

Sheltered and picturesque, Lulworth Cove has been a tourist destination since Victorian times. It’s one of the best, and busiest places on the Jurassic Coast for a family day out. There’s plenty to do, whether you want to relax on the pretty beach, enjoy a pint in one of the old pubs or take the steep path from the car park for a bird’s eye view of the Durdle Door sea arch, half a mile west of the cove. The Lulworth Rangers run activities throughout the year, from coasteering to rock pooling and even bat safaris.

The visitor center has some informative displays about the cove’s geology, a shop selling gifts and foodie products, and a cafe. It’s also where to find out about the tide times, hiking trails, and wildlife that has been spotted recently in the area. For a less crowded experience, avoid weekends.

Have a Coastal Adventure

The Jurassic Coast is a superb destination for coastal activities. The rock-strewn coastline is full of ledges, caves and tunnels, making it one vast adventure playground. Many unique features can only be seen from the water—fossilized trees between the rocks at Stair Hole , ammonites half a meter wide at Lulworth.

Several companies organize outdoor activities in the area. One of the best is Jurassic Coast Activities , whose guides have plenty of local knowledge. As well as kayaking and coasteering trips (which require a minimum of two people), they offer windsurfing, kitesurfing, and paddleboard lessons, and have an equipment hire center at Bowleaze Cove.

Take a Look at the Cerne Giant

The Cerne Giant is a 60-meter-high chalk figure carved into the hillside above the Dorset village of Cerne Abbas. Naked (and with some very conspicuous anatomy), the famous landmark is thought by some to be a 2,000-year-old fertility symbol, while others believe it was created just a few hundred years ago. The mystery is set to be solved in 2020 when the giant is due to be carbon dated. For the best view, head to the viewing point and car park. There are lovely walks in the area, and the village of Cerne Abbas has several old pubs.

Look Around Lyme Regis

The most vibrant town on the Jurassic Coast is Lyme Regis . Charming and arty, it has indie shops and artisan cafes plus an excellent museum, where you can learn the story of Mary Anning , the intrepid fossil hunter who made astonishing finds in the area. The town beach is a sheltered spot for kayaking and paddle boarding. Walk along the Cobb, the 450-year-old harbor wall built to protect the town from raging winter storms, which is a great spot for taking photos.

Behind the seafront, the Town Mill is also worth a visit. Restored by residents, the 700-year-old watermill is now a working flour mill, offering tours, baking courses, and selling its own flour. Old buildings have been turned into shops, studios for a silversmith and potter, and there’s also a cafe and friendly micro-brewery .

Tour an Historic Brewery

Beer lovers visiting the Jurassic Coast have plenty to get excited about. The area boasts not one but two historic breweries, both of which open their doors to the public, offering tours, tastings, and more.

Founded in 1777, Hall and Woodhouse has been making their Dorset-inspired beers, which you can find in pubs all over the Jurassic Coast, for centuries. They run two-hour tours of their brewery in the village of Blandford St. Mary. Visitors get to see all aspects of the brewing process, and a complimentary beer at the end.

Palmers Brewery in Bridport has been operating from the same thatch-roofed building since 1794. If you're interested in the history of brewing, then their tour is a must—much of the original equipment is on display, and some of it, like the copper brew kettle, is still in use today. Tours run from April to October, and you'll need to book in advance.

Try the Local Seafood

Nearly 50 different types of fish and shellfish can be found in the waters off the Jurassic Coast, so it's no surprise that the area boasts some fabulous seafood restaurants.

The Crab House Café , a restaurant in an unassuming looking cabin that looks out on Chesil beach, has fans all over the world and has won a multitude of awards. The seafood is as fresh as it gets; the menu changes daily depending on what is brought in from local boats, and oysters are grown in the restaurant's own oyster farm.

One of a small chain of restaurants on the South coast, Rockfish , in Weymouth, is the brainchild of restaurateur and chef Mitch Tonks. Inspired by the local fish restaurants in Portugal and Italy, the affordable menu includes fish grilled on a Mediterranean plancha or cooked in their signature batter (of which there is a rare gluten-free version). 

High on a hill above Lyme Regis, the Hix Oyster and Fish House is blessed with stunning views of the harbor and the sea. According to chef and owner Mark Hix, the restaurant is all about fresh seafood caught locally and served simply. Choose from as many as ten different types of fish and shellfish on the menu, as you enjoy the view from the beautiful outdoor terrace.

Learn to Sail

Portland Harbor and Weymouth Bay are known as two of the best places in the U.K. for sailing and were the locations of the 2012 London Olympics sailing events. Weymouth Sailing offers lessons to everyone from beginners to experienced yachtspeople, as well as charter trips to Lulworth Cove, Portland Bill, and Chesil Beach. For a sailing trip with a difference, spend a few hours aboard the Moonfleet , a classic tall ship, owned by the inspiring Jeremy Hallett, who sails it every day—weather permitting—often anchoring in one of the bays east of Lulworth, so passengers can lunch and even have a swim. Those that want to can have a go at sailing and steering the ship themselves.

Wander Through Hardy Country

Thomas Hardy’s novels teem with references to places along the Jurassic Coast, from the bleak expanse of the ‘Great Heath’ to the town of Casterbridge (otherwise known as Dorchester). The writer lived and died in the area, in properties only a few miles apart. You can visit the humble thatched cottage where he was born near the village of Higher Bockhampton, which has been restored to how it would have looked during his lifetime. You can also visit Max Gate , the Victorian house where he enjoyed the fruits of his success as a novelist and poet—and where he died in 1928.

Explore Kimmeridge Bay

Around a 20-minute drive east of Lulworth Cove is Kimmeridge Bay, where flat rocky ledges which were part of the seabed 155 million years ago create the best rock pooling and snorkeling conditions on the Jurassic Coast. By the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay, the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Center is a small visitor center that runs events like beachcombing walks and a few years back, created a snorkeling trail, which guides you through forests of seaweed, as you spot unusual species of fish like Montagu’s Blennies. In the village of Kimmeridge, the Etches Collection is a fascinating small museum run by life-long fossil hunter Steve Etches, housing many of his rare finds from the area, including dinosaur skulls and ammonite eggs.

Discover Hidden Beaches

The Jurassic Coast is blessed with miles of sand, from the picturesque Lulworth Cove to the bare, windswept expanse of Chesil beach. But the real joy comes from finding secluded beauty spots—of which there are plenty. Here are three worth seeking out:

  • Church Ope Cove: On the east coast of the Isle of Portland, Church Ope Cove is a genuine hidden cove that was once a landing place for Vikings, smugglers, and even Russian spies. To reach it, take the path alongside Pennsylvania Castle, clamber through the ruined 12th-century churchyard, and then descend the hundred or so steps to the beach.
  • Mupe Bay: Walk east from Lulworth Cove through the Lulworth Ranges for two miles, and you’ll reach Mupe Bay, one of the most beautiful places on the entire Jurassic Coast. Yachts frequently anchor in the horseshoe-shaped bay, which has dramatic grey and white mottled cliffs and clear, blue-green water.
  • Ringstead Bay: Take the coast path from Osmington Mills to Ringstead Bay, a rocky beach where tiny fishing boats bob up and down, and locals take early-morning dips. This is a lovely place for a swim, but you’ll need water shoes as the pebbles are hard to walk on.

Walk the South West Coast Path

As long as you observe any warning signs and stay away from cliff edges, the South West Coast path is an absolute joy for walkers and runs the whole length of the Jurassic Coast from Exmouth to the Old Harry Rocks on the Isle of Purbeck. Here are three highlights:

  • Osmington Mills to Lulworth Cove: This strenuous but rewarding 11-mile hike takes you up and down steep hills with bird’s eye views of the chalk-white cliffs and crashing waves below. As you approach Lulworth, you’ll also get an Instagram-worthy shot of the famous Durdle Door sea arch.
  • Golden Cap: At 4.5 miles, this walk takes you from Seatown car park to the summit of Golden Cap, which has some of the best views anywhere along the Jurassic Coast, as well as through ancient woodland and a medieval hamlet.
  • Isle of Portland: There isn’t much to do on the Isle of Portland unless you’re a nature lover—in which case, it’s a fantastic walking destination. You can circumnavigate the ‘island’ (a 13-mile trip) in around four hours, looking for skuas, hoopoes, and puffins on the cliffs as well as bottlenose dolphins and seals in the sea.

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visit britain jurassic coast

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Portland's famous Pulpit Rock

© Paul Williams

Stunning winter sunrises

Durdle Door

Pliosaur fossil exhibition from 2nd January 2024

The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life

The Jurassic Coast Explore this famous World Heritage Site

The world renowned Jurassic Coast should definitely be one of the places to visit during your visit to Dorset.

It stretches for 95 miles between Old Harry Rocks at Studland Bay in Dorset to Exmouth in East Devon, and is a fantastic place to explore the geological features of this dramatic coastline - England’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The South West Coast Path walking trail runs along the length of the Jurassic Coast and is a great way to see the amazing landmarks and far reaching coastal views of this part of Dorset. Be sure to visit the pretty seaside towns of Swanage, Lyme Regis or West Bay for something to eat or a chance to rest your feet.

Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster

A new BBC documentary called Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster follows Dr. Steve Etches MBE and his team as they excavate the huge fossilised skull of a Pliosaur from the cliffs near Kimmeridge Bay on the Jurassic Coast. World famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough joins the team to see the skull up close and hear about its discovery.

The snout of the Pliosaur was first discovered by Philip Jacobs in April 2022. With the help of Steve Etches and others, the rest of the skull was located in the cliffs above, over 10 metres above ground level. A plan was made and permissions granted to extract the rest of the skull from the cliffs, which revealed a skull measuring over 6 feet in length.

As dinosaurs roamed the land, marine reptiles such as Pliosaurs swam in the oceans. With the huge size of some Pliosaurs, they were an apex predator of their day. The skull of this Pliosaur dates to around 150 million years old when sea levels were much higher than they are today and much of Dorset was covered by warm tropical seas. It is one of the most intact Pliosaur skulls ever to be found and is a very important discovery for scientists along the Jurassic Coast as well as all over the world as it might be a new species.

'Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster' airs on BBC One on 1st January 2024 (airing on PBS on 14th February 2024) and will be available on BBC iPlayer afterwards.

The fossilised skull will be available to view from 2nd January 2024 at The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Kimmeridge.

Millions of years of history

The Jurassic Coast was granted UNESCO status for its outstanding geology and reveals 185 million years of Earth's history along its 95 mile stretch of coastline. It is well known for being one of the richest heritage sites for prehistoric remains.

The rocks and fossils found along the Dorset stretch of the Jurassic Coast are from the Jurassic and Cretaceous time periods - between 65 and 200 million years ago. For this reason it is a hot bed for  fossil hunting , with hundreds of specimens having been discovered.

The Jurassic Coast sits on a world map of other natural World Heritage Sites including the Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef and Galapagos Islands.

At Kimmeridge, the  Museum of Jurassic Marine Life  is home to a collection of fossils all found and preserved by one man - Dr. Steve Etches MBE. He even discovered a new species! See the fossils, learn about how they were collected and if you're lucky you'll even see them being cleaned and conserved in the museum lab and workshop.

Dorset – the real ‘Jurassic Park’

You’ve seen the films, now visit Dorset for a Jurassic themed holiday!

There are many opportunities to take part in  fossil hunting  along the Jurassic Coast - you might even find your very own piece of history! Many guided walks are based around the beaches at  Lyme Regis  and Charmouth, which was the stomping ground of Mary Anning, one of the world's most famous fossil collectors. You can take part in a supervised fossil hunting guided walk and learn the skills that Mary developed over 200 years ago.

For families, the  Dinosaur Museum  in Dorchester will excite any young dinosaur fan with life sized replicas and lots of interactive fun! We can guarantee you’ll have a T-Rexiffic time!

Mary Anning - fossil hunter extraordinaire

Mary Anning was born in 1799 at Lyme Regis. Her father was an amateur fossil collector and by the age of 5 or 6, Mary would go out fossil collecting with him.

At the age of 12, Mary, along with her brother, discovered the first complete Ichthyosaur skeleton and another 12 years later was the first to discover a complete Plesiosaur. Her fossils were some of the most significant geological finds of the time and her Ichthyosaur, Plesiosaur and Pterosaur are showcased at London's Natural History Museum.

There's a statue of Mary Anning on Gun Cliff Walk at Lyme Regis which celebrates her life and the amazing discoveries she made. It makes for a great selfie with Mary and her dog Tray.

You can find out more about Mary at the  Lyme Regis Museum  which is built on the site of her home and fossil shop.

Looking to plan a visit to the Jurassic Coast?

If you think the Jurassic Coast is all about fossils, think again! With stunning sea views, gorgeous sandy beaches and miles of coastal walks, why not make a holiday of it?

There are lots of  things to do ,  events to see , and towns and villages to visit. The area has some of the best  beaches ,  gardens  and  golf courses  in the UK. Plus you'll find an amazing array of places to eat and drink such as  restaurants ,  cafes  and gastro  pubs , many with fantastic views of the coast.

If you are searching for  places to stay , you are in luck as the Jurassic Coast has accommodation perfect for any taste or budget. Whether you are looking for luxury hotels, quirky bed and breakfasts, exclusive holiday cottages or family friendly campsites, caravan parks and holiday parks - you will not be disappointed!

Important Information

It is vital you keep yourself and others safe while visiting the coast, please take a moment to read the information below.

  • The risk of landslides and rock falls increase following severe weather and sea conditions. Residents and visitors to the county are encouraged to follow safety advice along the coastline as landslides and rock falls can occur quickly and without warning. Tides have also re-shaped and stripped beaches around the coast meaning it is easier to be cut off by the incoming tides. More information about landslides and rock falls can be found on the  Jurassic Coast website .
  • Walking along coastal paths may be muddy and slippery in places - be sure to stay on official routes and follow warning signs at all times.
  • You can find more information on World Heritage Sites in South West England, including the Jurassic Coast, the City of Bath, Cornish Mining and Stonehenge and Avebury, as well as the North Devon Biosphere and English Riviera GeoPark UNESCO sites, by visiting the  Visit England website .
  • Why not view our stunning  video footage  of the Dorset Coastline, truly amazing! 
  • Explore the Jurassic Coast by bus! The hop-on hop-off  Jurassic Coaster bus is a perfect way to visit one of the Jurassic Coast attractions, walk a section of the South West Coast Path or just sit back and marvel at the views from the top deck.

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The ultimate guide to England’s Jurassic Coast

Emily Luxton

Aug 1, 2022 • 10 min read

girl walking along the Jurassic coast with a stick on a beautiful day

The gorgeous cliffs and rock formations of the Jurassic Coast were formed hundreds of millions of years ago © Cavan Images / Getty Images

Take a step back in time – some 185 million years back in time – along the wild and rugged Jurassic Coast in Southwest England .

England ’s only natural World Heritage Site, this 95-mile portion of the coast has a name that indicates its geological significance. Running from Exmouth in Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset , its unique rock formations and fossil-rich cliffs amaze visitors from all over the world. And if rocks aren’t your thing, the pristine beaches, charming seaside towns and wide-ranging adventure experiences appeal to just about every kind of traveler.

Here’s all you need to know about visiting the Jurassic Coast, and the best things to do on this beautiful stretch of sand and sea.

What is the Jurassic Coast?

To understand what makes the Jurassic Coast so special, we need to rewind a bit. Well, more than a bit: think 252 million years.

The rocks along this stretch offer an almost complete record of the Mesozoic Era (roughly 250 to 65 million years ago). They’re visible traces of the enormous environmental changes that played out over the millennia, starting with the Triassic Period (252 to 201 million years ago), when this part of Great Britain was a baking desert and the shifting of the earth’s crust deposited layers of sediment on top of each other. Moving west along the coast, you’ll find rocks formed during the Jurassic Period (201 to 145 million years ago), when the water rose to form a tropical sea.

When the sea levels fell and then rose again during the Cretaceous Period (145 to 66 million years ago), the older rocks were buried beneath newer sandstone and chalk, preserving them until millennia of erosion carved this geological layer cake into the remarkable landscapes we can see today. Fossils of creatures long extinct have also been preserved among the cliffs’ many strata, with more continually being revealed as erosion from wind and waves continues to do its thing.

Children swim on a beach in front of Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast, Dorset, England, United Kingdom

The extraordinary geology is the main attraction of the Jurassic Coast

All along the coast, this incredible history takes shape – literally – in the form of unusual rock formations and beautiful bays. The best-known attraction is Durdle Door , a 200ft-tall limestone arch over the sea linking two remote beaches, and one of Devon’s most popular spots . It’s best viewed from the coast path as you walk over the cliffs from Lulworth Cove, a perfect semi-circle of sea enclosed within bright-white chalk cliffs.

Other geological highlights of the coastline include Old Harry Rocks, chalk stacks that line up with the Needles on the Isle of Wight ; the unusual rock layers of Kimmeridge Bay; and Chesil Beach, an 18-mile barrier beach linking the Isle of Portland with the mainland and forming a wildlife-rich brackish-water lagoon at the Fleet.

The towering golden cliffs at West Bay were used as a backdrop for the popular ITV series Broadchurch , while the picturesque harbor and quaint seaside town at Lyme Regis are the heart of Dorset’s fossil-hunting history.

In East Devon , don’t miss Orcombe Point Geoneedle in Exmouth, which marks the beginning of the World Heritage Site, or the distinctive red sandstone sea stacks in Ladram Bay.

Take a walk along the South West Coast Path

Running uninterrupted for 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset, the South West Coast Path is the UK’s longest National Trail , taking in the full 95 miles of the Jurassic Coast along the way.

Depending on your speed, you can walk the whole route in about 10 days, or choose one or two sections for a shorter coast walk. Try the Golden Cap circular walk to climb the highest point on the south coast of England; hit the wild and rugged cliff paths around Portland Bill; or wander the coastal paths around the Isle of Purbeck, where you can explore disused quarries and unique wild-swimming spots.

Rocks on a beach showing fossils on Ammonite rock, Jurassic Coast, Dorset, England, United Kingdom

Look for fossils at Lyme Regis and Charmouth

Lyme Regis became a world-famous fossil hunting destination when Mary Anning discovered a near-complete ichthyosaur, a large marine reptile, here around 1836. Today, it’s still a popular spot for fossil collectors, with new finds being discovered all the time. Look out for the “Ammonite Pavement” on Monmouth Beach, when low tide exposes a rock shelf containing hundreds of fossils.

Walk along the beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth to spot fossils lying among the shingle. Be careful, though: the beach can sometimes be cut off at high tide, and the cliffs are dangerous in places, especially after rain. Amateurs are advised to book a guided fossil-hunting tour rather than go it alone; these can be booked through the Lyme Regis Museum or the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre .

Make a splash at Kimmeridge Bay’s rock pools

The sweeping curve at Kimmeridge Bay is part of a Marine Special Area of Conservation, making it an excellent location for snorkeling and scuba diving. But you can also explore this rich marine life on the beach itself.

The bay’s distinctive geometric rock shelves and ledges are littered with rock pools at low tide. Don’t miss the Wild Seas Centre, a small, free museum on the slipway, to learn a little more about the local marine life.

Cool off with a spot of wild swimming

Along the Jurassic Coast, experienced wild swimmers will find a wealth of exciting pools and hidden coves to plunge into. Chapman’s Pool and Worbarrow Bay offer remote beaches that can only be reached by walking. For something a little different, head to the tidal pool at Dancing Ledge, a man-made swimming pool that was blasted into a natural rock shelf in the 19th century for the enjoyment of local schoolchildren.

Snorkel with seahorses in Studland Bay

Studland Bay, just beyond the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, is one of the only known breeding sites for both the spiny and short-snouted seahorse, making it one of the UK’s best snorkel sites. Since the tiny creatures are masters of disguise, patience is key and is often rewarded with sightings, particularly during summer. Approach slowly and take care not to disturb the seahorses or their habitat.

Passengers ride a historic tram on the track beside the Seaton wetlands, Seaton, Devon, England, United Kingdom

Hop aboard the historic Seaton Tramway

Take a ride back in time on board the Seaton Tramway, a network of narrow-gauge heritage trams running through the Axe Valley in East Devon. As well as a taste of history, these colorful open-top trams offer brilliant views of the River Axe estuary and Seaton Wetlands nature reserve. Keep an eye out for local birds and wildlife, including kingfishers, herons, foxes and little egrets.

Get the adrenaline pumping with a water-sports adventure

Boasting a mix of sheltered bays and more exposed beaches with great surf, the Jurassic Coast is the perfect destination for adventure. Thrill-seekers should try coasteering at Lulworth Cove for an adrenaline-pumping way to explore the cliffs and rocks. Or hop on a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) at Lyme Bay or Weymouth for a fast-paced tour of the seafront.

Old Harry Rocks, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are impressive backdrops for a spot of sea kayaking – though amateurs would be advised to book a guided tour as currents can be challenging. For a gentler ride, Weymouth Bay, Studland Bay and Portland Harbour are more sheltered spots – and ideal for paddleboarding.

You can also try your hand at kitesurfing, windsurfing or sailing lessons at locations along the coast (try Portland or Poole), or take a boat tour from any of the larger harbors for something less hands-on.

A seafood risotto at SEAFAST, The Dorset Seafood Festival, Jurassic Coast, England, United Kingdom

The best times to visit the Jurassic Coast

Summer offers the best chance of nice weather for beach days and water sports on the Jurassic Coast, as well as a busy program of festivals and events to entice tourists of all interests. Note that since this is the busy season, popular spots like Bournemouth Beach and Durdle Door can be very crowded, especially during the summer school holidays.

While summer can sometimes be too hot for hiking, the spring and autumn shoulder seasons are ideal for coastal walks. Spring is especially lovely, with an array of wildflowers scattered across the grassy headlands and in woodlands. These are also the best times of year to spot both wildlife and fossils.

Numerous food and seafood festivals run along the coast throughout spring and summer. One of the biggest is SEAFEAST, the Dorset Seafood Festival , held on Weymouth’s colorful harborside in September.

Winter is overlooked by most tourists, but if you brave the unpredictable British weather you’ll find there’s still plenty to do. Seals come ashore to breed during the autumn and early-winter months, so keep an eye out when walking (briskly) along the coastal paths.

How to get to the Jurassic Coast

The closest international airports are at Bournemouth, Exeter and Southampton, although most visitors from overseas will likely fly into one of the larger London airports.

If you’re renting a car on arrival, it takes about 2 hours to drive to Bournemouth or Poole. From either of these towns, it’s easy to start a road trip along the coast, calling at whichever villages and attractions take your fancy.

Taking public transport from London to the Jurassic Coast is easy

South Western Railway runs a service from London Waterloo to Weymouth that takes just under 3 hours. From Weymouth, you can use the X53 and X54 Jurassic Coaster buses from First Bus to travel to most towns between Poole and Axminster.

The train from London also stops at Bournemouth and Poole, which place you closer to the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast. From here, you can use the Purbeck Breezer services to reach Studland and the Isle of Purbeck.

The best way to explore the Jurassic Coast is by car

The easiest way to explore the Jurassic Coast is by car, but bear in mind that some of the more remote destinations are accessed by narrow country lanes and may have limited parking.

Many of the busier towns, such as Weymouth and Bournemouth, operate park-and-ride services during summer. Use these to avoid getting caught in seaside traffic in the town centers.

The Jurassic Coast also has an extensive public transport network for those who want to explore without a car. Bus services are fairly frequent and call at most of the major destinations. The Jurassic Coaster buses (First Bus X52, X53 and X54) run between Axminster and Poole, while the Purbeck Breezer (More Bus) services connect Bournemouth and Poole with Swanage, Wareham and the Isle of Purbeck.

There are many accommodation options on the Jurassic Coast

With 95 miles of coastline to explore, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a place to stay on the Jurassic Coast.

The largest town around, Weymouth is well connected to the delights of the coast in both directions, making it a good base for exploring the area. Numerous beachfront hotels are close to all the bars and restaurants of the lively town center, while families might want to consider the popular Waterside Holiday Park and Spa on the town outskirts. For those on a budget, the clifftop campsite at nearby Eweleaze Farm boasts some excellent views.

The quaint seaside town of Swanage is ideally poised for exploring Studland Bay and the entire Isle of Purbeck, with accommodation options ranging from a YHA hostel to cosy B&Bs. In nearby Studland, luxury boutique hotel The Pig on the Beach is known for its top-quality restaurant and dazzling sea views.

Towards the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis is another popular seaside town with a range of hotels and accommodation options, while Sidmouth offers up the grandeur of a Victorian seaside resort.

For something a little different, try glamping at Durdle Door or in a Lyme Regis beach hut . Fans of quirky history will likely enjoy the Smuggler’s Inn at Studland, a cosy boutique inn and pub which was once a hangout for an infamous local smuggling gang.

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Visiting the Jurassic Coast: full guide for 2024

Stretching 95 miles along the South coast of England, the Jurassic Coast winds through fossils and relics as it traverses 185 million years of history, from the 250 million-year-old Triassic rocks at Orcombe Point to the cliffs at Studland Bay (which are basically babies at only 65 million years old!). 

Charismatic seaside towns, some of the UK’s best beaches and plenty of points of interest dot the route, meaning that while the Jurassic Coast is a fantastic spot for geological history, it’s also a must-visit for hikers, beachgoers, watersports fans or cultural enthusiasts. 

It’s the only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site in the UK, a title awarded because of how it explores three distinctive Mezoic era records (Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic). 

So, if you’re here, I’m guessing you’re keen to learn a little more about this encapsulating coastline? 

You’re in luck – I live about a 20 minute walk from Orcombe Point, and I’ve spent many glorious days travelling all over the coast, in both Devon and Dorset. 

In fact, while about 2/3s of the coastline is in Dorset, many tourists forget that the oldest part actually lies in Devon! 

So this Jurassic Coast travel guide has all of my best tips for the coast along both counties, including where to visit, what to do, where to stay, and a comprehensive itinerary! 

Table of Contents

What is the Jurassic Coast? 

Jurassic Coast cliffs in Dorset

The Jurassic Coast unfolds over 95 miles on the south coast of England, its majestic sweep ranging from the rugged beauty of East Devon to the golden clifftops of East Dorset.

But the Jurassic Coast isn’t just a jaw-dropping fusion of scenic landscapes and coastal curiosities – it’s a walk through time itself!

As a natural UNESCO World Heritage site (the only of its kind in England!), it preserves 185 million years of Earth’s history in its rock formations – a powerful testament to aeons gone by.

Each cliff, pebble, and layer of sediment underfoot narrates an ancient tale, allowing us to glimpse epochs of the geological past, from the Triassic to the Jurassic and into the Cretaceous period.

Renowned as a fossil hunter’s paradise , the Jurassic Coast unlocks mysteries of a world long vanished, when dinosaurs roamed!

It’s been used by geologists and ancient historians to gain a full picture of what the ancient world looked like. In fact, it’s one of the most geologically important places in the world. 

But the Jurassic Coast isn’t just a relic of the past, and there’s plenty for every day tourists to enjoy.

The coast’s been moulded continuously by the hands of nature , as you can see in its pristine beaches and spectacular hiking trails.

Over time, small seaside towns and villages have been established along the Jurassic Coast.

Some retain their historic buildings and boast tales of smugglers and pirates once you scratch the surface.

Others have modern attractions that are suitable for all the family, including petting zoos and theme parks. 

The Jurassic Coast is where history meets beauty, where every rock holds a story, and where the sands of time are quite literally beneath your feet.

But its natural evolution has continued to create a prime UK holiday destination that any keen traveller should visit – it’s one of the best places to visit in Dorset and Devon !

History of the Jurassic Coast

Oldest sections of the Jurassic Coast

So, as I mentioned, the Jurassic Coast is up to 250 million years old , and it offers a walk-through time.

But what is the actual history of the Jurassic Coast?

Let me explain!

Triassic period

The story of the Jurassic Coast begins in the Triassic period , approximately 250 to 200 million years ago .

At this time, the region that is now Devon and Dorset was a vast desert environment , located near the equator.

This was because the continents all used to be one supercontinent called Pangea . 

Pangaea existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras and encompassed all of Earth’s continental landmasses in a singular entity (this was approximately 335 to 175 million years ago). 

Plate tectonics meant that the supercontinent eventually fragmented , and this resulted in the separate continents we recognize today, greatly influencing the climate, ocean circulation, and biodiversity of the planet.

As Pangaea was so large (it contained all of the earth’s landmass, after all!) its interior was very far from the moderating influence of the oceans.

In this desert landscape, streams formed temporary lakes and left behind sediment, including reddish sandstone and breccias, which is now visible in the red cliffs of East Devon.

Jurassic period

Moving into the Jurassic period , about 200 to 145 million years ago, plate tectonics caused significant changes.

Pangaea began to break apart, leading to the formation of shallow tropical seas over what is now Southern England.

These warm seas were rich in life , from tiny planktons to massive marine reptiles.

The prolific marine life and sediment from the sea floor led to the formation of limestone and mudstone, fossilizing many species within the layers.

The Jurassic Coast is particularly renowned for these well-preserved fossils , providing a significant record of marine life from this period; but this is why you’re most likely to find fossils in the Jurassic section (in the western and central part of Dorset). 

Cretaceous period

The final geological period represented along the Jurassic Coast is the Cretaceous , from 145 to 66 million years ago.

The continuing separation of continents and consequent rising sea levels resulted in chalk deposition, especially during the Late Cretaceous .

This was the same geological process that Kent’s White Cliffs of Dover were born from. 

Chalk is composed mainly of the microscopic shells of marine plankton that fell to the sea floor.

These organisms thrived in warm, nutrient-rich waters.

Over millions of years, the buildup of these tiny shells, combined with the weight of the water and additional sediment, compressed the remains into chalk.

Today, these deposits form the iconic white cliffs seen at locales such as Beer Head and Ballard Down, marking the most modern chapter in the Jurassic Coast’s ancient story.

Where is the Jurassic Coast? 

Headland by Branscombe in the Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast encompasses most of Dorset’s coastline , and some of South Devon’s . 

Commonly, media outlets focus only on the Dorset Jurassic Coast , leading many to believe that the coast is only in this county. 

This isn’t true – there’s around a 30 mile section in Devon as well (and it’s just as beautiful, and even more ancient!). 

Dorset and Devon are both counties in South West England , with Devon occupying the South West Peninsula that ultimately leads to Cornwall , and Dorset sitting to Devon’s east. 

How to visit the Jurassic Coast

There are a few ways to visit and explore the Jurassic Coast, and the most suitable for you will depend on your group’s interests and abilities. 

Here are a few options: 

  • Jurassic Coast road trip: Ideal if you want to see it all, are happy with long, busy days and are keen to stay somewhere different every night. 
  • Base in a main Jurassic Coast town: Perfect if you want to be in close proximity to a range of attractions and see a lot (but don’t mind not seeing it all) of the coast, and want to go back to the same place every night. The Jurassic Coast is even one of the best day trips from Bournemouth if you’d like to stay there.
  • Base in a remote village: Ideal if you want a relaxing break to enjoy scenery and don’t mind driving a little to see any other areas of the coast. 
  • Jurassic Coast day trip: This is possible from areas around London, Bristol , Plymouth or Birmingham, but will be a long day with lots of travel and you will only see a section of the coast.

Things to do on the Jurassic Coast

Fascinating Beer Quarry Caves on the Jurassic Coast

Tales of the natural history of the Jurassic Coast are certainly fascinating, but if you’re not a budding geologist – what is there to do on the coast? 

Turns out, a lot! 

Not only is it a geologically fascinating place to spend a few days, but it’s a stunning part of the world, with a lot of fantastic tourism infrastructure. 

Whether you’re a hiker, beachgoer or historian, there’s something for you on the Jurassic Coast. 

Here are a few ideas for things that you can do here. 

The Jurassic Coast Path is a section of the longer South West Coast Path which spans 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Start Haven Point in Studland (close to Old Harry Rocks at the end of the coastline). 

This coastal trail offers a range of paths with varying difficulties. 

I’ve completed most of the South West Coast Path in North Devon and Cornwall, and have done many short hikes in the Jurassic Coast section. 

I love the Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton walk (which is my local), or you could also take an easy stroll around Durdle Door or walk from Beer to Seaton in East Devon. 

Alternatively, take the fairly challenging route from Swanage to Old Harry Rocks or hike to Golden Cap , the highest point on the South England coastline. 

Watersports

Lapped by gentle waves (they’re usually not too big on this part of the coastline), Jurassic Coast beaches are a hot spot for watersports.

Devon’s prime surfing beaches are all in the north (head to Woolacombe or Westward Ho! ) – but Exmouth in particular is a top spot for watersports like stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and windsurfing . 

I’ve always seen stand up paddleboarders in Seaton and Beer too, which looks incredibly scenic. 

And into Dorset, there are plenty of watersports opportunities in the busier towns of Lyme Regis and Weymouth; or, if you journey as far as Swanage, the clear water makes it a popular spot for scuba diving! 

Exmouth boat trips

The best vantage point of the Jurassic Coast? The water, of course!

Sailing along the Jurassic Coast is a remarkable way to explore 185 million years of Earth’s history .

There are several boat trips that you can take from many of the main towns along the coast. 

Stuart Line Cruises are popular in Exmouth; they offer Jurassic Coast tours that lead along to Ladram Bay, focusing on the oldest part of the coastline. 

Poole boat trips

If you’re staying at the other end of the coast, check out this boat tour from Poole to Swanage , which sails past Old Harry Rocks. 

Starting from the bustling Poole Harbour , embark on an open-deck boat, gliding past striking chalk formations and the golden beaches of Sandbanks , while immersing yourself in the fascinating commentary.

Witness the picturesque view of Round Island and the notorious Old Harry Rocks before heading to Swanage . 

You can book this boat trip by clicking here!

Fossil hunting

Potentially the best thing to do on the Jurassic Coast, if you’re at all interested in the ancient history and rocks surrounding the coast, is fossil hunting . 

Certain areas of the coastline are prime for looking for Jurassic Coast fossils ; my local East Devon part isn’t amazing, but Charmouth (near Lyme Regis) and Chesil Beach are especially well-known for their abundance of fossils. 

Take a look at fossil hunting walks in Charmouth by clicking here.

Specific attractions

Beer Quarry Caves on the Jurassic Coastline

Coastal and non-coastal, there’s a plethora of incredible attractions along the Jurassic Coast. 

Most of these are family-friendly, so you can intersperse your day at the beach with unique, interesting and fun things to do! 

They include: 

  • World of Country Life, Exmouth : A family-friendly venue with interactive farm experiences, vintage exhibits, and indoor/outdoor play areas for a wholesome country experience.
  • Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary : This sanctuary provides a haven for rescued donkeys, offering visitors the chance to learn about and interact with these endearing animals in a peaceful rural setting.
  • Beer Quarry Caves : A large man-made complex of underground caves in Beer, renowned for its historic role as a source of high-quality limestone since Roman times.
  • Seaton Tramway : Enjoy picturesque journeys through the Axe Valley aboard heritage trams, offering unique views of the local countryside and the River Axe estuary.
  • Abbotsbury Swannery : The only place globally where you can walk amidst a colony of nesting Mute Swans, delivering a unique wildlife experience.
  • Lulworth Castle : A 17th-century castle originally built as a hunting lodge, featuring attractive grounds, fascinating historical exhibits, and stunning tower views.
  • Corfe Castle : Standing as an emblem of a thousand years of history, the dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle offer breathtaking views over the Purbeck countryside. 

Learning about culture and history

Detailing smugglers on an Exmouth walking tour

The Jurassic Coast isn’t an urban place, but small towns and villages have grown along the coastline throughout the centuries, and there are plenty of fascinating stories from smugglers, pirates and tourists throughout! 

I’ve recently started walking tours in Exmouth to showcase the history of my hometown, where I delve into the fascinating history of this coastal town – I tell tourists about its links to Lady Byron and Nelson, why George III’s personal physician recommended a visit and show the exact smuggling route that was taken in the 18th centuries! 

There are also walking tours in Sidmouth which focus on its status as a regency town and a range of fascinating museums along the coastline, including Exmouth Museum , Sidmouth Museum and Lyme Regis Museum . 

Top places to visit on a Jurassic Coast road trip itinerary

The best places to visit on your Jurassic Coast road trip itinerary include clifftops like Old Harry Rocks and Durdle Door (the official end of the coast), historic sites like Corfe Castle and Lulworth Castle, villages like Charmouth and Abbotsbury, epic beaches and bustling towns such as Exmouth, Sidmouth and Lyme Regis.

1. Old Harry Rocks 

Beautiful chalk pillar of Old Harry Rocks

Often the first stop on a Jurassic Coast road trip itinerary, the chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks date back to the Late Cretaceous period. 

The brilliant ghost white of the stacks contrasts with the waters of Studland Bay to the north and Swanage Bay to the south. 

Owned by the National Trust , this stop on a Jurassic Coast drive may be the youngest ( at 65 million years, it’s an infant compared to East Devon’s 250 million-year-old Triassic Cliffs! ), but it’s a fascinating way to see this part of geological history right before you. 

Stop for photos, admire the view, or take a walk around the area. 

It’s around an hour’s walk to Swanage, the next stop on your Jurassic Coast trip – or you could drive (10 minutes) or take the Breezer 50 open-topped bus from nearby Studland. 

2. Swanage 

The rippling waters at Swanage Bay shimmer on a summers day

Swanage is a chilled-out beach town with eateries lining the sands and a historic pier . 

It’s famous for its heritage steam railway and proximity to other attractions on the Isle of Purbeck . 

But it’s just as popular for lazing on the beach , snorkelling in the waters or even going scuba diving – it’s one of the most popular places for diving in the UK. 

3. Corfe Castle 

Corfe castle ruins and hills in Dorset, England

Inland slightly from the coastline – but well worth a stop on any Jurassic Coast itinerary – the imposing Corfe Castle dates back to just after the Norman Conquest in 1066 – it was founded by William the Conqueror who saw it as a military significant location. 

Over the years, it’s been the setting for Medieval royal murders, as a political prison and sieges during the English Civil War. 

Nowadays, it stands in a semi-ruinous state, but remains an arresting site at the top of a hill in the village of Corfe Castle. 

It’s owned and managed by the National Trust .

National Trust members can access it for free ( read my full National Trust membership review to decide if it’s right for you !) or non-members can pay for entry. 

4. West Lulworth and Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove, Dorset; England; UK

Tourists often head straight to Lulworth Cove , a near-circular beach that, along with nearby Durdle Door, often makes its way onto Jurassic Coast marketing material. 

The cove is often photographed from above, the almost geometric shape, carved over millions of years by the sea, making it into countless holidaymakers’ photo albums! 

Due to its circular nature, it’s possible to walk around the circumference, enjoying the view from multiple angles. 

Ultimately, you can descend onto the sand , where the sea makes a calm swimming spot – although do be careful if you swim here, as there’s no lifeguard coverage. 

The village of West Lulworth , a 15-minute walk inland, is worth a stop off too.

Small and quiet it may be, but it’s lined with charming thatched-roof houses (quintessential of the English countryside!), one of which is the Castle Inn Pub , a country inn that dates back to 1660. 

5. Durdle Door

Durdle Door

A quick drive or 30-minute walk along the coastline takes you to Durdle Door, possibly the most famous part of the Jurassic Coast!

Durdle Door is a rocky archway stretching out from the cliffs into the sea. 

The arch itself dates back around 10,000 years – when the sea eroded the centre to create the structure that stands today. 

Nowadays, it frames one end of the beach and tends to be the iconic image that most associate with the coastline! 

There’s a caravan park right above Durdle Door – staying here means you can be the first person at the arch in the morning – or you can enjoy coast path walks and head down to either Durdle Door or neighbouring Man O’ War Beach . 

Swimming at Durdle Door isn’t recommended due to currents and lack of lifeguard coverage. 

6. Weymouth

Dorset weymouth harbour at sunset, England, UK

Pastel-coloured terraced houses lining a historic harbour, with beaches a stone’s throw away, Weymouth is the embodiment of a quintessential British seaside town . 

Being one of the larger towns on the Jurassic Coast, Weymouth’s a fantastic hub – you could stay here and go on day trips around the area and spend a few days soaking in the vibe of Weymouth itself. 

The best attractions in town include the historic Nothe Fort which dates back to the end of the 19th century and SandWorld which exhibits a range of atwork, with a difference – they’re all made out of sand! 

Of course, Weymouth Beach can’t be missed, and neither can traditional fish and chips sitting by the harbour – this is what the British coastline is all about! 

7. Isle of Portland

The Isle of Portland is what is known as a “tied island”; an island connected to the mainland only by a bar of sand, otherwise known as a “tombolo”. 

In this case, it is the 18-mile-long Chesil Beach , which we’ll cover in a moment! 

The Isle of Portland is possibly mostly renowned for Portland Stone , which is sturdy yet carvable and has been used in many British landmark buildings (including St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey) and has even been transported overseas to be used in places like the United Nations Headquarters in New York City!

The South West Coast Path loops around the entire island (it’s generally completed by hikers in a day) and here, you can go rock climbing or try out numerous watersports.

In fact, the National Sailing Academy is right on Portland – which was used in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics!

Most tourists to the island visit the Portland Bill Lighthouse and visitor centre, where you can ascend 153 steps to catch an extraordinary view from the top and learn about the significance of the lighthouse on Dorset’s southernmost point. 

8. Abbotsbury

DORSET, ABBOTSBURY, UK - AUGUST 15, 2017: Flock of swans during feeding time at Abbotsbury swannery in Dorset, United Kingdom.

With an extraordinary history dating back a whopping six millenia, Abbotsbury has Neolithic, stone age, bronze age and Roman history; and was officially settled when it became residence for Saxon pirates!

The Abbey was founded in the 11th century during the reign of King Cnut, and the ruins are still visitable today. 

Nowadays, the town’s most famous for its Abbotsbury Swannery ; the only managed colony of nesting mute swans in the world.

The Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens are also worth a visit; the village sits within its own microclimate thanks to its sheltered surroundings. 

Plus, it’s a stone’s throw from the almighty Chesil Beach , a must stop on any Jurassic Coast itinerary! 

9. Chesil Beach

Aerial view on Chesil Beach on Isle of Portland, UK. Horizontal crop, high horizon in sunny summer day, blue sky and azure sea.

Undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Dorset, Chesil Beach is a vast 18 mile stretch that’s been moulded by the elements over the years. 

It’s a barrier beach that stands between the sea and Fleet Lagoon , England’s largest lagoon and an SSSI (Site of Specific Scientific Interest). 

Along with the Abbotsbury Swannery , here you can expect to see birds like little egrets, dark bellier brent geese and common greenshanks. If you want to get up really close and personal with the Fleet Lagoon’s wildlife , boat trips operate on the Fleet Explorer . 

The lagoon was also one of the locations where the Bouncing Bomb (immortalised in the film The Dam Busters) was tested during World War II. 

You can still see evidence of Chesil’s defending role in the war in the shape of old anti-tank blocks and concrete pillbox remains.

Chesil Beach Visitor Centre explains the geology of this unique stretch of sand. 

But of course, the best way to soak it all in is to head to the beach itself.

Go fishing, walk along the sand or simply relax and do nothing – that’s what Great British holidays are all about, right?

10. Bridport and West Bay

Situated slightly inland, Bridport’s a bustling market town that was once the regional centre of ropemaking (to this day, it’s still known as “Rope Town”!). 

A lovely town to potter around in, perhaps on a day when the weather’s a little gloomy, Bridport’s home to 13th-century buildings The Chantry and St Mary’s Church and an imposing Town Hall that dates back to the late 18th century. 

The Bridport Museum showcases an array of local artwork and displays about its history, and the River Brit spans the town. 

West Bay is a mere two miles away – in fact, the harbour at West Bay is called Bridport Harbour. 

If you’re a fan of TV show Broadchurch , you’ll recognise West Bay – much of the show was shot in the area. 

Tucked in between cliffs, it’s an unassuming yet spectacular village. 

One of the most popular things to do here is to hike to Golden Cap , which is the highest point of the Jurassic Coast (although not the highest on the South West Coast Path – that’s Hangman Point in Exmoor!). 

11. Charmouth

Beach Huts, Charmouth Beach, Dorset, England, UK.

Charmouth – it’s charm ing !

A short distance from Lyme Regis, Charmouth is mostly renowned for its fossils , making exploring the beach like walking around a living museum. 

The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre explains why the village’s beach is so fossil-rich and organises regular expeditions to find fossils. 

The village boasts St Andrew’s Church , which was rebuilt in the late 19th century and is made from stone and flint. 

There are also some excellent pubs in town, including the Royal Oak Inn and The George . 

12. Lyme Regis

Views from Langmoor and Lister Gardens Lyme Regis Dorset England UK Europe

The last town in West Dorset, Lyme Regis is a genteel settlement in the heart of the dinosaur coast!

 Often called the “ Pearl of Dorset ”, Lyme Regis was granted a royal charter in the 13th century (which is where the “Regis” part of its name comes from!). 

The home of celebrated fossil collector Mary Anning – who found some extraordinary fossils in the 19th century, although sadly never got the recognition she deserved while she was still alive due to her lower class – Lyme Regis hosts an annual fossil festival each year. 

There are four beaches in town – Front Beach is sand and shingle, whereas Monmouth Beach is pebbly – and it’s a popular spot for watersports or enjoying fish and chips or an ice cream while looking over the water! 

Seaton Beach in East Devon

Seaton’s a small town in the Easternmost part of Devon, home to a pebbly beach, laid-back town centre, striking cliffs and the Seaton Tramway, a network of vintage double-decker trams. 

The Seaton Tramway leads up through the Axe Estuary , terminating at the pretty market town of Colyton. 

On the way, you’ll pass through the Seaton Wetlands where you can watch out for birdlife and the small village of Colyford. 

I recently went on the Seaton Tramway for the first time in a few years, and it was even better than I remembered – it’s a completely unique way to see this part of East Devon! 

Boats on the pebbles of Beer Beach in East Devon.

The quaint village of Beer has nothing to do with the alcoholic drink, but it’s renowned for its striking chalk cliffs and famous caves. 

The shingle beach is tucked in between cliffs – the pebbles don’t entice sunbathing or picnicking, but you can rent out a deckchair for the day – or head to the viewpoint near the RNLI shop for one of the best views in town. 

Have a beer in Beer at the Anchor Inn or aptly-named Barrel of Beer , or head on a longer walk to Seaton or Branscombe via Beer Head . 

Don’t miss the Beer Quarry Caves – vast man-made limestone caverns that have been used as a source of high-quality stone since Roman times. 

You can take a guided tour around the caves, where you’ll learn about their history and geological significance. 

15. Branscombe

Peaceful streets in Branscombe

One of my favourite Jurassic Coast villages in Devon, Branscombe is tiny – although it does earn the reputation of being the longest village in the UK, due to the fact that pretty much the entire village is placed along one, very long, road!

The village itself is dotted with thatched-roof cottages and a friendly pub, The Masons Arms (which dates back to the 14th century) serves slap-up hearty meals. 

The pebbled beach is usually peaceful, and there’s a short-but-sweet summit where you can take above-neighbouring cliffs to take in a view of the surroundings. 

The only downside is that driving to Branscombe can be hair-raising to say the least – it’s a voyage off the main roads and down twisting country lanes! 

Check out my full guide to Branscombe by clicking here.

16. Sidmouth 

Sidmouth beach

Historically one of the favourite tourist towns in Devon – Queen Victoria herself lived here – Sidmouth is tucked away between Jurassic Coast cliffs , and is renowned for its array of hotels, beautiful gardens and, of course, walks along the South West Coastal Path. 

A relatively sizeable town (although not as big as nearby Exmouth), there’s a handful of pubs and restaurants here, along with a sand and shingle beach and the famous Jacob’s Ladder , a series of steps leading above the beach to Connaught Gardens . 

Here’s my list of the best things to do in Sidmouth.

17. Ladram Bay

Ladram Bay in East Devon though, cliff stacks out to sea and colourful boats on the pebbled beach.

Ladram Bay’s one of my favourite beaches to really feel like you’re in the thick of the Jurassic Coast. 

Red Triassic rocks loom on either side, and there’s a stump in the middle of the beach. 

This beach is private and attached to Ladram Bay caravan park; driving here isn’t permitted in the summer season, although it’s open to all in the winter. 

If you’re visiting in the summer, I recommend taking a Jurassic Coast Stuart Line Cruise in Exmouth .

I did this last summer, and it involved sailing towards Ladram Bay and moving close towards the rocky outcrops. 

With a full commentary, you’ll learn plenty about the Jurassic Coast and see some mesmerising shots of the shoreline as you go. 

I also love the village of Otterton , which is located just inalnd of Ladram Bay.

18. Budleigh Salterton

A photograph of Budleigh Salterton Beach in Devon

The last “official” town on the Jurassic Coast, Budleigh Salterton is a relaxed place, with an expansive pebbled beach (which means that it never gets quite as busy as neighbouring Exmouth) and a genteel high street. 

Its eastern end sits at the mouth of the River Otter , somewhere that, despite the name, is actually the home of a group of beavers! 

You can walk along the River Otter to Otterton (famous for its historic water mill), although the beavers are most active at dawn. 

I love coming here on walks from Exmouth, but Exmouth Beach has much more on offer in terms of activities. 

19. Orcombe Point

Orcombe Point Near Exmouth in Devon

The official end of your Jurassic Coast trip (although I’d recommend extending to Exmouth – it’s the only logical place to go from Budleigh Salterton!), Orcombe Point is a rocky outcrop sitting at the furthest end of the coastline. 

It’s home to the Geoneedle , a manmade obelisk that marks the official start of the coastal path. 

It was unveiled in 2002 by the then Prince Charles and is made out of seven rocks that can all be found along the coastline. 

There’s a hopscotch leading toward the stone, with each square defining a moment of Jurassic Coast history; so you can hop towards the Geoneedle and hop through time!

Orcombe Point is about 500 metres from the path that descends down to Exmouth Beach. 

20. Exmouth

Lovely sunset at a sandy Exmouth beach, Devon

As your journey along the Jurassic Coast nears its end, Exmouth, in the southwest corner of East Devon , offers the perfect finale.

I live in the town, so I’m a little biased, but I believe that Exmouth is a fitting tribute to the stunning natural beauty and rich history encapsulated in this UNESCO World Heritage Site .

The town’s most arresting feature is its majestic red sandstone cliffs, which lead up to Orcombe Point – the official beginning of the Jurassic Coast. 

On clear, sunny days, Exmouth Beach teems with activity, as locals and visitors alike take pleasure in the seaside’s gentle charm.

In contrast, the Exe Estuary , teeming with birdlife, provides a lively spectacle for nature enthusiasts. This isn’t technically a part of the Jurassic Coast, but it’s at the other end of the beach! 

There’s plenty more to do in Exmouth, renowned as Devon’s oldest coastal resort and its fifth-largest town. 

For starters, you could take a walking tour (with me!) to learn about the town’s heritage and culture.

Check out my walking tour website by clicking here.

Take a Stuart Line Cruise back along the coastline or embark on a trip along the estuary.

Alternatively, feel the adrenaline surge of watersports against the backdrop of the ancient coastline.

Above the town sits the peculiar 16-sided house, A La Ronde , which is a testament to architectural curiosity.

Significantly, Exmouth serves as the gateway to the Jurassic Coast , and as such, it carries an air of importance in the region’s geological narrative.

As I live in the town, I’ve wrote a few guides to Exmouth! Here’s my full list, all full of local tips:

  • Best things to do in Exmouth
  • Best restaurants in Exmouth
  • Holidays in Exmouth travel guide
  • Best places to stay in Exmouth
  • Top beaches in Exmouth
  • Incredible walks in Emxouth

Jurassic Coast itinerary

Your Jurassic Coast itinerary begins at Old Harry Rocks and terminates at the wonderful Exmouth Beach!

This itinerary takes five days, but you could extend it if you’d like to spend more time in any of the locations.

Day 1: Old Harry Rocks, Swanage, and Corfe Castle

Clifftops at Old Harry Rocks, white chalk cliff in the background

Start your Jurassic Coast road trip at Old Harry Rocks .

Take an invigorating morning walk to see these striking chalk formations.

Afterwards, head south (10-minute drive) to the coastal town of Swanage .

Here, you can explore the Victorian Pier , visit the Swanage Railway , or just bask on the beach – it’s a sheltered bay, making it a popular spot for swimming! 

Wrap up your day with a short drive to the historic Corfe Castle (15-minute drive), enjoying its stunning ruins and charming village.

Stay overnight at the Morton’s House Hotel , a 16th-century manor house hotel in the village of Corfe Castle. Click here to read more about the hotel.

Day 2: West Lulworth, Durdle Door, and Weymouth

Durdle Door in Dorset

After breakfast, head to the picturesque village of West Lulworth (20-minute drive).

Hike out to Lulworth Cove , and then follow the coast path to Durdle Door (around one hour). 

Take a dip in Lulworth Cove if you fancy – swimming at Durdle Door isn’t recommended. 

You can either hike back or take the 30 or X50 bus back to West Lulworth. 

After lunch, continue to Weymouth (30-minute drive).

Explore the historic harbourside, see sand sculptures at Sand Life , and visit the Sea Life Centre .

Stay overnight at the boutique Gloucester House , situated on the seafront in Weymouth. Click here to read more about this hotel.

Day 3: Isle of Portland and Abbotsbury

Start your day with a trip to the Isle of Portland (20-minute drive).

Explore the historic Portland Bill Lighthous e, and grab some lunch with a view at Heights Hotel . After a local seafood lunch, head to Abbotsbury (30-minute drive).

Here, spend your afternoon visiting the renowned Abbotsbury Swannery and exploring its subtropical gardens. Make your way to the historic market town of Bridport (15 minutes away) for the night.

Relax and refresh at The Bull Hotel , an elegantly refurbished 16th-century boutique inn in the heart of Bridport. Click here to read more a b out it.

Day 4: Bridport, Charmouth, and Lyme Regis

Start your day in Bridport , browsing its local artists’ studios and craft workshops, or head down to West Bay, a filming location for Broadchurch . 

Next, set your sights on Charmouth (30-minute drive), a gateway to the Jurassic Coast .

Here, you can join a guided fossil hunting walk or explore the beach at your own pace. 

In the afternoon, travel to Lyme Regis (10-minute drive), a historic town known for its fascinating Fossil Museum .

Later that day, unwind at the stylish Lyme Townhouse , offering modern, refurbished rooms. Click here to read more about it.

Day 5: Seaton, Beer, Branscombe, Sidmouth, and Exmouth

Pebbly Beer Beach in East Devon

Head to Seaton to ride on the Tramway if you fancy, and then venture to the charming fishing village of Beer.

Explore its limestone caves or take a relaxing walk along the beach.

Then, head to picturesque Branscombe (10-minute drive), famous for its thatched cottages and ancient forge.

In Sidmouth (20-minute drive), enjoy the town’s regency architecture and beautiful public gardens.

Finally, make your way to Exmouth (30-minute drive), where you can admire its striking red cliffs and lively estuary, marking the end of the Jurassic Coast .

Spend the night at the Royal Beacon Hotel in Exmouth , where you can enjoy panoramic views over the renowned Exmouth Beach.  Click here to read more about it and to book.

Why is the Jurassic Coast so famous?

The Jurassic Coast is famous for its geological significance and stunning natural beauty.

Located on the southern coast of England , it stretches for 96 miles and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The coast is renowned for its rich fossil record, which spans 185 million years of Earth’s history.

The rocks and cliffs along the coast provide a unique window into the past, showcasing the remains of ancient marine creatures and plants.

Additionally, the Jurassic Coast boasts picturesque beaches, dramatic cliffs, and scenic landscapes, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Why is it called Jurassic Coast? 

One of the oldest sections of the Jurassic Coast

The “Jurassic Coast” is named after the Jurassic period, which is one of the three geological time periods (Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous) represented in the area’s rock formations.

The coastline is particularly renowned for its extensive and well-preserved Jurassic period fossils.

The Jurassic Coast name stuck (I guess it sounds catchier than Mesozoic Coast!) but it’s often used as an umbrella term for these Mesozoic eras. 

But the Jurassic Coast is much more than Jurassic – it actually tells a more comprehensive story of geological progression, with rocks from the older Triassic period and younger Cretaceous period also present.

So while the name’s not entirely accurate, it’s quite catchy and memorable (thanks to Jurassic Park if anything!) and it does represent part of the coastline! 

Where does the Jurassic Coast start and finish? 

Orcombe Point

The Jurassic Coast starts at Orcombe Point near Exmouth and ends at Old Harry Rocks which is on Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck, at the end of Studland Bay. 

Many people claim that Old Harry Rocks is the beginning of the Jurassic Coast and Orcombe Point is the end – but as an Exmouth local (and tour guide!) I tend to dispute this by arguing that East Devon is the start – as it was here where it all began. 

Did dinosaurs live on the Jurassic Coast? 

Yes, dinosaurs lived on what is now the Jurassic Coast – although, at the time, the landscape looked a lot different! You can discover the dinos that populated the coastline through its fossils, many of which are in display in the region’s many museums (Charmouth and Lyme Regis have the most fossil-focused museums). 

Who found the Jurassic Coast? 

Nobody really “found” the Jurassic Coas t – it’s been sitting, along the southern border of Devon and Dorset, long before humans populated the world. 

Locals would have known that the heritage coast was there. But one of the most famous early fossil collectors was Lyme Regis resident Mary Anning , who was sadly only really celebrated posthumously. 

Her work, and that of subsequent geologists, would cause the Jurassic Coast to be compiled and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 . 

Why is the Jurassic Coast red? 

Jurassic Rocks at Orcombe Point, Exmouth, Devon

The Devon Jurassic Coast is red due to the fact that the cliffs used to be an inland desert. 

They were on the latitude of where the Sahara is these days; and they’ve still retained their rich rust-coloured sandstone that you might expect to see many degrees further south! 

What city is near the Jurassic Coast? 

As the Jurassic Coast is 95 miles long , it depends on which part you’re looking at. 

Exeter is the closest city to any point on the Jurassic Coast – it’s just 12 miles from Orcombe Point . 

South West England’s not renowned for its cities , but Bournemouth is a large town that’s close to the other end of the Jurassic Coast, at Old Harry Rocks.

The closest city to Old Harry Rocks is Southampton (although it’s still 40 miles away). 

Dorchester is the county town of Dorset and sits inland but close to many attractions on the Dorset Jurassic Coast. 

Bristol isn’t close to the Jurassic Coast, but it does have direct trains to Weymouth (taking 2 hours 22 minutes) which is right in the heart of the coastline. 

What rock is the Jurassic Coast made of?

The Jurassic Coast is primarily made up of sedimentary rocks , specifically limestone and clay.

These rocks were formed over millions of years during the Mesozoic era, approximately 252-66 million years ago. 

The limestone found along the coast is known for its fossil-rich nature, with numerous marine fossils preserved within its layers.

The clay formations, on the other hand, provide a geological record of the ancient landscape and environmental conditions.

The combination of these rocks has created a stunning coastline that attracts millions of visitors each year!

Are you ready to visit the Jurassic Coast?

Whether you’re a geology buff or a beach hopper, there’s something for you on this gorgeous slice of English coastline. 

From cliffs to unique beaches to fascinating towns and villages, England’s only natural UNESCO site beckons travellers with its allures. 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my Devon and Dorset posts if you’re planning your trip to the south-west, and feel free to reach out to me on Instagram if you have any questions – as mentioned, I live on the coastline and am always happy to help! 

Whew! That was a long post – if it’s helped and you’d like to make a contribution to keep this site running, you can buy me a coffee by clicking here. 

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DORSET , ENGLAND , UNITED KINGDOM · September 26, 2022 Last Updated on December 23, 2023

9 PLACES TO VISIT ON THE JURASSIC COAST, DORSET

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The Jurassic Coast is one of England’s most beautiful coastlines that stretches 95miles from Dorset to Devon. It is England’s only UNESCO World Heritage site and over 12 million people per year travel to the South Coast to visit parts of it. 

This area is especially popular in the summer months, when locals flock from cities across the UK to the white sand beaches of Bournemouth and Poole, and it’s not just locals, a day or multi day trip to the coast is on many tourist itineraries. 

I have spent lots of time on the South Coast of England, and while I recommend spending a few days here to see it all at a leisurely pace you can also see a lot in just one day on Jurassic Coast roadtrip!

In this guide I share 9 spots you must visit along the Jurassic Coast, as well as a one-day itinerary and a three-day itinerary to help you plan your getaway. 

1) Bournemouth Beaches

Every summer the beaches of Bournemouth are jam packed with locals and tourists who want to enjoy the white sand beach, pleasant water and British summertime.

The coastline stretches for 9.5miles from Sandbanks via Boscombe and Bournemouth, and if you want to enjoy a quieter area then I recommend stopping at Hengistbury Head Beach which sits at the most eastern end of the beach. Here you can take in the stunning views on an easy 20-minute hike along the rugged clifftop. 

While in the Bournemouth area you should also make a stop at Bournemouth Pier, where the beach is lined with colorful beach huts. 

My favorite spots for lunch on the beach is Branksome Beach restaurant , which is midway between Bournemouth Pier and Sandbanks, it is possible to walk but I recommend driving and parking behind the restaurant. Another popular beach front spot is Vesuvio , an Italian restaurant at Alum Chine. 

2) Sandbanks 

Sandbanks is perhaps one of the most popular areas to visit in Dorset, and it is famous for being one of the most expensive areas to buy property in the world! 

You can couple a visit to Sandbanks beach with a trip to see Poole Harbour. There is street parking available for free alongside the harbor or you can park in the visitor parking which gives easy access to both the beach and the harbor.

Typically, the beach is a little quieter at Sandbanks than at Bournemouth and tends to attract more locals from the area. 

3) Poole Harbour

Poole Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world attracting thousands of visitors every year who want to enjoy watersports and boating activities. The most popular activities are wind surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding and kite surfing. 

You can bring your own equipment and hop in the water or rent from one of the many watersport’s shops. The Watersports Academy offers courses and training, as well as equipment rental if you want to go out on your own. 

Poole Harbor is also great area to stop for lunch, I recommend Rick Stein which has views over the harbour, Oriel or the Haven Hotel where you can enjoy lunch or afternoon tea. 

To get views from the water of the harbour you can take the Poole Harbor and Islands Cruise. This 70-minute harbor cruise starts at Poole Quay, a charming area with old buildings and buzzing atmosphere. From here the cruise goes past Brownsea Island, home to wildlife and picturesque Brownsea Castle and then onto the Sandbanks Peninsula and the luxurious houses of the ‘Golden Mile’. The cruise continues on to tour other islands: Green, Furzey, Long and Round. 

4) Studland Bay 

Studland is a village on the Isle of Purbeck and can be reached either by road or by chain link ferry from Sandbanks.

The ferry starts operating at 7am and runs at 20 and 40 minutes after the hour. The ferry ride is less than 5 minutes, but in the summer months you may be waiting in a queue for some time. If the queue is too long, reset your navigation and drive there instead which will take about 30 minutes. 

Once on the Isle of Purbeck you will pay a National Trust entrance fee and then you can drive and park at any section of the stunning beach. South Beach is the smallest of the beach areas and is very popular with locals. Middle Beach is sheltered by low cliffs, and while Knoll Beach, backed by a wilderness of dunes. This area also has a 1km designated naturist area .

Studland is another popular watersport area, and there are also lots of beautiful walks and hikes that take you along the dunes, to Old Harry Rock and Fort Henry. For a full list of the walks in this area go to the National Trust site . 

If you have plenty of time in Studland, then make sure to stop at the popular Pig On The Beach restaurant and if you are planning an overnight visit there is also a charming hotel that the restaurant is attached to. 

5) Swanage 

Swanage is at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck and just a couple of miles from Studland, making it an easy stop during your visit to the area. 

Swanage is another coastal town overlooking the ocean and represents a great place to base yourself from to see the surrounding areas, visit Old Harry Rock and Studland. But if you are just passing through then a main attraction in the town is the railway station where you can watch heritage steam trains leave the station throughout the day.

For an extra special experience, you can book a journey on the train and enjoy lunch or an evening bistro. 

6) Corfe and Corfe Castle

The village of Corfe is most popular for its castle ruins which attract visitors year-round. 

The village itself is picturesque, and a charming example of traditional English villages and architecture. While the castle is a must visit, I also recommend wandering around the village, stopping at Corfe Castle Village Bakery, the sweet shop, Corfe Castle Model Village and the pretty railway station. In fact, Corfe is on the same line as Swanage so you could travel by train from Swanage to the Corfe on one of the steam trains. 

There are plenty of vacation rentals in Corfe, or you can stay at The Banks Arms Hotel or Mortons Manor . 

7) Durlston Castle And Country Park

Durlston Castle and Country Park is another great spot along the Jurassic Coast. Nestled atop of the cliff edge you get excellent views from the castle, and from the trails around the castle.

The castle itself has a cafe, gallery and shop but the surrounding nature trails that meander through the 320 acres of countryside are arguably the main attraction! Here you can see the historic Great Globe, coastal limestone and walk out to the lighthouse.

8) Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove (and Durdle Door) is arguably the most famous and most visited part of the Jurassic Coast. 

The cove was formed by the combined forces of the sea and a river that was swollen by melting ice at the end of the last Ice Age. The area is world famous for its unique geology and landforms, these include the Lulworth Crumple and Stair Hole.

Many visitors come to marvel at these spots, and others come in search of the turquoise blue sea and typical English fishing village feel. 

Visiting Lulworth Cove is typically done in conjunction with a visit to Durdle Door, the two are right next to one another so make for a great day out. 

You can park at Lulworth Cove or Durdle Door, I recommend parking at Lulworth Cove exploring the village and then hiking up over to Durdle Door. This is an uphill hike so make sure to wear appropriate shoes. 

During your time in Lulworth make sure to visit The Dolls House which is a charming tiny cottage turned into a sweet shop and get lunch at The Lulworth Cove Inn which is also a hotel. And if you are planning to stay in the area there are a couple of other hotel options The Limestone Hotel , Lulworth Lodge and Bijou B&B .

Durdle Door

Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch that can be viewed from the cliff top coastline, or down at the beach. To visit there is a car park area just 900 meters from Durdle Door that you can park at for £10 for the day. 

From here it is a fairly gravelly walk downhill to the beach, so pack some good shoes for the walk. As mentioned under Lulworth Cove you can also walk over to Lulworth from Durdle Door which is all downhill, but you will have to make the uphill walk on the way back. 

One of my favorite activities in Durdle Door is to kayak from Lulworth Cove, along the coastline to Durdle Door. The kayak takes you through the natural arch and ends on the beach at Durdle Door where you can swim and relax before making your way back round to Lulworth Cove. 

Day Trip Itinerary

Visiting the highlights of the Jurassic Coast can be done in a day because many of the attractions are so close together. 

You have the option of travelling down to Dorset from London which is about 2hrs by train from London Waterloo to Bournemouth or staying overnight in Bournemouth, Poole, Swanage, Corfe or Lulworth Cove. To fit everything in one day, staying overnight is probably recommended. 

  • Start the day in Bournemouth visiting the pier and the colorful beach huts 
  • Drive from here to Poole Harbor (about 15 minutes) where you can view the harbor and Sandbanks beach 
  • After stopping at Poole Harbor go to the chain link ferry and cross over to Studland (only about 5 minutes for the ferry, but you may have to queue depending on the time of year)
  • At Studland enjoy a leisurely walk on the beach, take pictures of Old Harry Rock and grab a bite for breakfast
  • From Studland head onward to Swanage where the main attraction is to stop and watch the steam train leave the station
  • After visiting the town of Swanage venture on to Durlston Castle and Country Park where you can spend about an hour walking the cliff side trails and visiting the castle
  • From Durlston head to the village of Corfe to see the castle ruins
  • Leaving Corfe you will drive onto Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door where you will end the day. Leave yourself at least 3-4hrs (the afternoon) to fully explore this area, relax at the beaches and enjoy some seafood. You can park at either site and walk between the two, or park at one then drive round to the other if you do not want to do the uphill walk

Tour: Jurassic Coast and Isle Of Purbeck Day Tour

The best way to see the Jurassic Coast in just one day is to take a guided tour. This tour takes you to all the places I have recommended with an experienced guide who can tell you about the history of area.

  • Experienced Guide
  • Comfortable bus and small group
  • Pick up in Poole or Bournemouth

BOOK THIS TOUR

3 Day Itinerary 

If you have more time to visit the Jurassic Coast, then I would recommend spending 3 days and nights to explore these areas. 

Day 1 / Night 1 

Visit Bournemouth, Poole Quay, Poole Harbour and Sandbanks staying in Poole or Bournemouth.

Day 2 / Night 2

Book a hotel in Swanage (or Corfe) and spend the day visiting the town, seeing Studland, going to Durlston Castle and to Corfe Castle. With more time you could book the steam train and enjoy lunch on board between Swanage and Corfe. 

Day 3 / Night 3

Leave a full day and night to visit Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. This will give you more time to explore the area and take part in activities such as kayaking, coasteering, hiking and sailing.

Jurassic Coast Guided Tours

Exploring the Jurassic Coast in your own vehicle is very easy as everything is close together and easy to reach, but if you are looking for a guided tour option here are some well rated tours taking you to the Jurassic Coast and surrounding areas.

I have taken the Jurassic Coast & Isle of Purbeck Day Tour  which was a great way to see everything in one day. 

  • From Poole: 2-Hour Jurassic Coastal Cruise
  • From Bournemouth: Jurassic Coast & Isle of Purbeck Day Tour
  • From Bournemouth: Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door Trip

Best Time Of Year To Visit

The best time to visit Dorset is over summer June – August when the weather is best, and you will get the prettiest views of the coastline. However, since this is the best time to visit it can be extremely crowded with locals and people coming down from London so a visit in the shoulder months May or September may be better. 

But this area can be visited year-round, and there is no bad time to visit the Jurassic Coast!

Jurassic Coast Wrap Up

I hope this guide inspired you to visit the Jurassic Coast in England. This area is one of the most beautiful coastlines in England and should be added to your itinerary when visiting the country!

  • South Wales: An Adventure Guide
  • The 5 Best Winter Getaways In England
  • The 4 Best Things To Do In Devon, England
  • Ultimate City Guide To Bath, England
  • 10 Of The Best Day Trips from London
  • An Adventure Guide To Cornwall, England

We Are Travel Girls Founder Becky van Dijk of  BeckyvanDijk.com Connect with Becky  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  YouTube

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Anonymous says

August 21, 2023 at 4:18 am

I can’t believe there was not one mention of the fossils!

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7 Beautiful Stops to Make Along England’s Jurassic Coast

Durdle Door

Freelance Travel and Music Writer

England’s Jurassic Coast is one of the finest stretches of coastline in Europe, connecting the picturesque port town of Exmouth, East Devon, to the seaside resort of Studland Bay, Dorset. Between these two counties are a series of breathtaking beaches, coastal villages and natural rock formations well worth visiting.

Durdle door.

Behold the wonders of Durdle Door ! Those familiar with England’s south-west coastline will have undoubtedly seen a photograph of this iconic landmark at some point; we’re pleased to say it doesn’t disappoint in person.

Grandiose in structure and arguably the most famous stone arch in the world, Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch which gets its look thanks to the Dorset coast ’s powerful waves that, around 140 million years ago, eroded the rocks and drilled a hole through the middle. Durdle Door, which gets its name from the old English word ‘thirl’, which means to ‘pierce’ or ‘drill’, was designated England’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2001, along with the rest of the Jurassic Coast, and sits in the prestigious company of the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu and Venice. Steps leading down to Durdle Door’s beach can be quite rocky, so it’s wise to bring suitable footwear and take your time!

visit britain jurassic coast

Man O’War Beach

For unrivalled views of this part of the stunning Jurassic Coast , head just east of Durdle Door to Man O’War Beach. It’s here where you’ll find some of the clearest waters this side of the Atlantic, with views for miles across the coast and limestone rocks. For the more adventurous visitors, why not indulge in an official Jurassic Coast kayak tour ?

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Due to erosion, the recommended route down to the beach is currently closed, so we do not recommend attempting to scale the steps. However, Man O’War Beach is still worth a stop-off thanks to its idyllic scenery and proximity to Durdle Door.

Man O’War Beach

South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is the longest walking route in Britain, racking in an impressive 630 miles (1,013 kilometres) of gorgeous south-west coastline to explore! Taking in the entire 95 miles (152 kilometres) of the Jurassic Coast, keen ramblers and hikers can follow a number of official walking routes along the path with just the fresh sea air and changing landscape for company.

Experienced walkers could take the full 95-mile route across multiple days, but for a gentle amble, we’d recommend one of the shorter routes between 5–15 miles (8–24 kilometres). Whichever trail you decide to take, exploring the 185 million years of geological history is an incredible experience!

South West Coast Path

Lulworth Cove

Another of the must-do stops on the Jurassic Coast is Lulworth Cove , with its white pebbled beaches, easy access and turquoise waters making it a popular choice for families in the summer months. Renowned as one of the best landforms in the world, Lulworth Cove sees over half a million tourists flock to its coastal curve all year round, sampling some of the best views the country has to offer.

Lulworth Cove can get particularly busy during peak times (May–September), but the boat trips, available throughout summer, are worth the visit alone. Feeling lavish? Bishops B&B is a four-star boutique hotel with an outdoor pool that overlooks the Cove (pictured below, top left). Go on, treat yourselves.

Lulworth Cove

Kimmeridge Bay

Explorers and adventurers, continue reading! Kimmeridge Bay might just be for you. Housed within the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve , this popular bay is Dorset’s best site for activities such as rock pooling and snorkelling! Kimmeridge Bay’s stretches of black clay are thought to record marine life as far back as 150 million years and are still a source of natural oil to this day. The keen-eyed out there will spot the ‘nodding donkey’ on the opposite side of the bay, which is actually an active oil well.

Much prefer the calmer side of life? Make your way up to the impressive Clavell Tower for fantastic views of the bay and beyond.

Kimmeridge Bay

Quintessentially English, Seatown is a coastal hamlet town just one mile (1.6 kilometres) from Golden Cap , the highest point on England’s south coast. Visitors to Seatown will find a mixed pebble/shingle beach backed with steep cliff edges, a quaint pub and some fantastic fossils, as the eroding cliffs yield a plentiful supply over the winter months. When you’re all done fossil hunting, we’d suggest a walk up Langdon Hill to admire the view ahead of you.

Please note: Fossil hunters are allowed to collect any that are loose but are not permitted to hammer directly into the cliff or foreshore.

Seatown

Last but not least is Stair Hole, one of the most impressive natural rock formations in the country. The finest example of coastal erosion along the Exmouth-Dorset coastline, Stair Hole showcases natural caves, arches, blowholes and more. Visitors should also note Lulworth Crumple to the side, which shows once sedimentary twisted and tilted rocks, known as limestone folding, caused by tectonic plate movement millions of years ago.

Stair Hole suggests what Lulworth Cove would have looked like several hundred thousands of years ago, though it is now thought to be eroding incredibly fast!

Stair Hole

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Helen on her Holidays

11 amazing places you must see on the Jurassic Coast, Dorset

The best places to visit on the Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast in Dorset is a perfect place for an action-packed holiday. This part of South West England is packed with fantastic things to do, fascinating, family-friendly attractions and beautiful scenery. If you choose the Dorset Coast for a break, you’ll find there’s plenty to keep you busy on the Dorset stretch of the Jurassic Coast.

We spent a week near Swanage, and during that time we found lots of great things to do on the Jurassic Coast. In this post, I’ll tell you about my favourite places to visit on the Isle of Purbeck and Jurassic Coast in Dorset. I hope you love this beautiful part of England as much as I do!

Alt Text!

Where is the Jurassic Coast?

The Jurassic Coast starts at Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in East Dorset and stretches for 96 miles along the south west coast of England to Orcombe Point in East Devon. It takes in part of two English counties, Dorset and Devon. The Jurassic Coast is one of the most beautiful parts of England and has been popular with visitors since Victorian times.

This part of the Dorset and Devon coasts is called the Jurassic Coast because of its amazing geology. The cliffs, stone stacks and beaches in this area date from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. If you’re lucky enough to see the Jurassic Coast from the sea, you’ll be able to see the different layers of stone – 185 million years of history right there in front of you!

The other reason for the name is that the Jurassic Coast is famous for its fossils. The cliffs along the coast are full of fossils, particularly in the area of the Dorset coast around Lyme Regis. Fossil hunting on Lyme Regis or Charmouth beach is still one of the best things to do on the Dorset Coast.

Things to do on the Jurassic Coast

Here are my favourite things to do in and around the Isle of Purbeck and the Jurassic Coast.

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1. Corfe Castle

This little village a few miles inland from Swanage is just perfection. Quaint stone buildings around a gorgeous marketplace, a picturesquely ruined castle and a steam train running through it all.

Corfe Castle station on the preserved Swanage Railway

2. Tyneham abandoned village

In 1943 the 225 residents of Tyneham were forced to leave their homes when the whole village was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence. Most of the buildings are ruins but the church and schoolhouse are still standing. You can visit the abandoned village most weekends and at bank holidays.

The ruined post office at Tyneham ghost village

3. Lulworth Cove

One of the main sights of the Jurassic Coast and a true wonder of nature. Lulworth Cove is an almost-circular bay with just a small opening to the sea. There’s a car park and visitor centre in the village and it’s just a short walk to the beach.

Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast

4. West Bay

AKA Broadchurch. The cliff at West Bay has had a starring role in the TV drama Broadchurch since 2013 and attracts droves of David Tennant-seeking fans. The cliff rears up from the sand dunes and is a truly awesome sight.

The cliff at West Bay, Dorsete

5. Monkey World

Monkey World is an ape rescue centre not far from Wareham. There are a lot of sad stories here about the residents’ previous lives and how they’ve been mistreated but the keepers obviously care deeply about the animals and their talks are both moving and informative.

A lemur at Monkey World

6. Sandbanks

AKA Dorset’s millionaires’ playground. This small peninsula and spit of land boast some of the UK’s most expensive land and property prices. It’s also got a beautiful beach. To get there from the Isle of Purbeck, take the ferry from Studland across the mouth of Poole Harbour.

Beach huts on Sandbanks

7. Portland Bill lighthouse

Portland Bill lighthouse was built in 1906 and is still in operation today, protecting ships from the rocky shores of the Isle of Portland and the Jurassic Coast. You can go inside the lighthouse on a tour, and there’s a visitor centre in the lighthouse keeper’s cottage next door.

It unfortunately rained the entire time we were there but it looks like it would be a cool place to go on a drier day.

Portland Bill lighthouse... maybe next time

8. Chesil Beach

We’d planned to go to Chesil Beach the same day as we went to Portland Bill so we didn’t get to see it close up, but we did see it from above on our way back from Lyme Regis. Chesil Beach is an 18 mile long and 15 metre high shingle beach, connected to the mainland at each end with water in between. It’s all-natural and an amazing sight.

Chesil Beach on the Dorset coast

9. Lyme Regis

A gorgeous traditional seaside resort, famous for the fossils that have been found in the cliffs around the town for hundreds of years, and also for the Cobb (the wall which protects the harbour). The Cobb features in Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion and in John Fowle’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman. I was particularly interested in the story of Mary Anning, a cabinet maker’s daughter from the town who became one of the world’s leading authorities on fossils during the 1800s.

Lyme Regis harbour and the Cobb

10. Studland Beach

As well as being stunning and full of nature, Studland Beach on the Isle of Purbeck has an interesting history. During World War II it was chosen to be used for D-Day rehearsals because of its similarity to the beaches of Northern France. The troops performed exercises using live ammunition and a new type of tank in front of VIPs including the King, who were safely hidden in a huge concrete bunker named Fort Henry. Today you can still see pillboxes on the beach and visit Fort Henry.

Beach huts at Studland

11. Durdle Door

Getting to Durdle Door is a bit odd because the car park is in a caravan site, so it definitely feels like you’ve taken a wrong turn. Once you’re parked up on top of the cliff, take the path down towards the edge, and there it is; a magnificent limestone arch standing proudly above its own sandy beach.

The Durdle Door arch (with a person for scale)

Which is the best part of the Jurassic Coast?

The Jurassic Coast area is mostly very rural and getting around can be slow. Rather than trying to take in all 96 miles of it in a week, I’d recommend picking either the eastern section, in Dorset, or the western section in Devon. Personally, I really like the Dorset coast section, as that’s where you’ll find some of the best things to do on the Jurassic Coast, like Corfe Castle, Durdle Door, West Bay and Lyme Regis.

Where to stay on the Jurassic Coast

All the attractions above are easy to visit in a week-long trip to the Dorset part of the Jurassic Coast, and I recommend staying either near Swanage or Corfe Castle on the Isle of Purbeck. or in Weymouth .

The roads around here are narrow and winding (although very scenic); wherever you stay it’s going to take you a while to get around, so it’s worth picking somewhere you’ll enjoy coming back to, and somewhere that has the facilities you’re looking for in the evenings.

Swanage is a small seaside town with a good mix of restaurants, pubs, takeaways and shops. There’s a sandy beach and a pier, and you’re right on the Purbeck Heritage Coast with lots of nice coastal and countryside walks easily accessible from the town. I stayed in a static caravan but there are lots of hotels, B&Bs and holiday rentals in the town.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle is a gorgeous little village just inland from Swanage on the Isle of Purbeck. Even if you don’t stay there, you should definitely visit.

Corfe Castle has a couple of pubs which are open in the evening but you’ll need to go to Wareham or Swanage to pick up some groceries. The pubs have accommodation and there are a few B&Bs and guest houses, while every other house seems to be a holiday cottage – which could account for the lack of shops. There are stunning countryside walks all around Corfe Castle.

Weymouth is further west than Swanage, and sits at the entrance to both the Isle of Portland and Chesil Beach. It’s a much bigger seaside resort than Swanage, and has lots more facilities, including a train station, loads of pubs and restaurants and even a Sea Life Centre. There’s a great beach and all kinds of amusements.

Because Weymouth is a bigger place, it’s a bit harder to get into the countryside or wilder parts of the coast, but there’s plenty to keep you busy in Weymouth itself. I tend to prefer somewhere a bit quieter (more like Whitby compared to Blackpool, for example) so it’s not for me, but Weymouth is a really popular place to stay on the Jurassic Coast.

Have you visited the Jurassic Coast and the Isle of Purbeck?

18 thoughts on “11 amazing places you must see on the jurassic coast, dorset”.

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Nice round up of places to visit Helen. We recently moved from London to Dorset, for obvious reasons having a growing family and wanted a less stressful life. Also I’m a photographer and it’s just such a beautiful place to be and photograph. I thoroughly recommend Tyneham village, similar to Imber village on Salisbury Plain https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imber Except this is loads better because it’s by the sea. Just a short walk to Worbarrow Bay which is stunning. Parking is donation in Tyneham and if your expecting a coffee or an Ice cream then go some where else. This is a haven for wildlife and not commerciality. This is top my list from your 11 places to visit in Dorset.

I agree, Tyneham was top of my list when we went to Dorset. You live in a beautiful part of the world, I hope you’re enjoying your new life!

Hi, thanks for a brilliant guide to places to visit. I am 67 (nearly 68) and partially disabled – I walk with two sticks. My husband is 72 and beginning to struggle with lots of steps- How feasible is it to visit some of these places? I really want to visit Portland Bill and see the lighthouse and see the Durdle Door Arch, and visit Lyme Regis. We are going for three nights and 4 days from 4th June to 7th June, staying at the Travel lodge. Any advice gratefully received. Thank You.

Hi Judy, thanks for commenting. Will you be driving? Portland Bill will be absolutely fine for you both, there’s a car park right by the lighthouse and it appeared to be an easy, level walk from the car park to the lighthouse itself. Lyme Regis should also be ok as long as you can get parked close to the beach as the town is on a hill. It’s a relatively gentle slope though, not a Hovis-ad type hill! Durdle Door might be a bit more challenging I’m afraid. Access from the road is via a caravan site, you can drive through the caravan site then there’s a car park close to the sea. From there it’s a grassy downhill sloped path to the top of the cliff where you can see the Durdle Door arch. It was about 10 minutes’ walk for me. It’s not terribly steep but it’s a long slope. I hope that helps and that you have a fabulous holiday!

What a lovely list! Thank you for the photos and sharing. We’re off to Lyme Regis in a couple of days so looking forward to checking out a couple of the places on your list now that you’ve inspired me. Happy travels and look forward to reading more of your lists! 🙏🏼😃

Ah thank you for your lovely comment! Hope you have a great time in Dorset/Devon 🙂

Wow! I’d never really considered visiting Dorset until recently but I’d only seen photos around the Durdle Door. Your other photos are amazing, I’m sold!

Thanks! Dorset’s a lovely part of the UK 🙂

wow, thanks for this list. it has covered so many amazing places. I would love to visit this place someday and spend a great day with my family. It looks so much fun. what’s the best time of a year to visit it?

I’ve never visited this place, but your photos kind of want me to visit tho! Those doors look awesome and it seems so peaceful!

I’ve never visited! You saved the best for last, Durdle door looked awesome. Also, LOL @ the picture you included of the long day of rain.

I actually live in Poole and I have go regularly on the Jurassic Coast to hike or to cycle. It’s such a beautiful part of England, with so many natural wonders, like Durdle Door and Old Harry Rocks.

Really got a feel for these parts and it’s beautiful. The arch in particular. But i have bias for BEACHES and if they are NEARLY EMPTY even better, all for me!

The coastline looks gorgeous! I love those small villages and beach huts, very pretty!

Your photographs are really gorgeous. I think the lighthouse would be my preferential pick. Somehow a cold rainy day and the lighthouse seem to ignite the poetic side of me.

What a great list to see! My favorite has to be the Durdle door.. I love a good natural wonder. Thanks for sharing!

I’m from the UK and didn’t know about so many of these places! The Durdle Door is just wonderful…and as soon as you mentioned the Famous Five, well! I think a trip might have to be planned in the near future!

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21 Incredible Places to See on the Jurassic Coast + free map included!

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The Jurassic Coast is an incredibly beautiful part of England , full of natural wonders.

If you’re looking for places to see on the Jurassic Coast, this is the perfect article for you.

Keep reading to discover 21 amazing places to see on the Jurassic Coast!

21 incredible places to see on the jurassic coast pinterest

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England

21 amazing places to see on the jurassic coast, 1- durdle door, 2- lulworth cove, 3- worbarrow bay, 4 – tyneham village, 5- lulworth castle, 6- pulpit rock, 7- cheddar gorge, 8- corfe castle, 9- corfe train station, 10- saint catherine’s chapel, 11- castles on the isle of portland, 12- kimmeridge bay and clavell tower, 13- studland beach, 14- dorchester quaint streets, 15- portland bill lighthouse, 16- old harry rocks, 17- sandbanks, 18- chesil beach, 19- chapman’s pool, 20- winspit quarry, 21- the blue pool.

The Jurassic Coast is located in the area of Dorset, the south coast of England, 2 hours south from Bristol , as you can see on the map below:

All the way East from Orcombe Point, Exmouth to Studland Bay in the West, the Jurassic Coast is 100 miles (160km) of incredible beauty. The coast of Dorset is 185 million years old, and it’s pretty crazy to think that the beautiful cliffs and rock formations you see took millions of years to be what they are now.

In 2001, the Jurassic Coast was listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and after road-tripping along the Dorset coast, it’s easy to see why. All along the coast you can find magnificent things to see: cliffs, rock formations, churches, castles, lighthouses, beaches, … Definitely something to add to your England itinerary !

The 21 places to see on the Jurassic Coast are not ranked: they are all equally beautiful, and it comes down to personal preferences to decide which ones to visit first.

(not a fan of written words? Explore the Jurassic Coast with these 72 photos )

If you need to plan your trip, you can download my FREE private map of all these places right below:

free map jurassic coast

Get your FREE Private Map

Explore the breathtaking Jurassic Coast like never before thanks to my personal map gathering the most incredible sights the region has to offer, iconic landmarks and hidden gems included. Get it straight to your inbox now!

Ok, enough talking. Let’s dive right into the 21 amazing places to see on the Jurassic Coast.

  • Durdle Door
  • Lulworth Cove
  • Worbarrow Bay
  • Tyneham Village
  • Lulworth Castle
  • Pulpit Rock
  • Cheddar Gorge
  • Corfe Castle
  • Corfe train station
  • Saint Catherine’s Chapel
  • Castles on the Isle of Portland
  • Kimmeridge Bay and Clavell Tower
  • Studland Beach
  • Dorchester quaint streets
  • Portland Bill Lighthouse
  • Old Harry Rocks
  • Chesil Beach
  • Chapman’s Pool
  • Winspit Quarry
  • The Blue Pool

As you can see above, there are a lot of places to see on the Jurassic Coast, and some definitely rank in the most beautiful places in Britain. This guide is not exhaustive, as there are plenty of other places to see on the Jurassic Coast, and you can definitely spend a lot of the time exploring the whole coast.

The places I’ve listed are either places I’ve personally visited during my 3 days road trip in Dorset or that I planned to visit but couldn’t due to a lack of time. Either way, there are all worth seeing, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me once you actually get there on location. 

And if you need extra help planning your trip, check out this local guide to Dorset .

Durdle Door is the most famous place to see on the Jurassic Coast. The idea of going to explore Dorset actually stemmed from seeing Durdle Door photos on Instagram, and then researching more about the location.

durdle door on the jurassic coast

The place is grand. All the words I would use to describe it would not do it justice, but maybe the picture above can help you visualize how beautiful Durdle Door really is. The rock formation, arching over the sea, is even more impressive when you’re standing right in front of it, and you fully take in its size.

When you get to Durdle Door, you can either get down to the beach via stairs, and then chill on the sand and pebbles beach, or you can go for a stroll along the top of the cliffs, with a sublime view of the place from above.

Read more here:  How to discover Durdle Door .

Lulworth Cove is close to Durdle Door (45 minutes walk), and you can explore both locations at the same time, by hiking from Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove

lulworth cove on the jurassic coast

What really makes Lulworth Cove unique is the particular shape of the bay, with the beach going in a U-shape, with cliffs around on the eastern and western parts. It’s a pretty popular place in the area, and it can get pretty crowded during summer, with locals coming down to the beach to swim and relax. It’s also the perfect place for outdoor activities, such as snorkeling, diving, or kayaking.

East of Lulworth Cove lies Worbarrow Bay, a large bay with a long shingle beach. You’ll find the best view of the place from up the hill, in Flower’s Barrow.

worbarrow bay from flower's barrow

To get to the top of the hill, you’ll need about 1 hour. Be warned though, it’s a very steep hike to the top. If you’re going after it has rained, you might want to wear boots as the hiking trail turns into mud in some places.

The place is now managed by the Ministry of Defence, and you thus can’t access it at all times. It’s open on the weekends and during school holidays. You can find the opening times here: Worbarrow Bay opening times

Read more here: Worbarrow Bay

On your way to Worbarrow Bay, you will most likely pass by a ghost village: Tyneham Village.

tyneham village in dorset

Image by David Packman 

In 1943, inhabitants of Tyneham Village were given 28 days by the British government to leave, in order to let space for D-Day preparations. No one lived in the village ever since.

If you’re interested in more history about this place, check out this nice detailed guide about Tyneham Village in Dorset .

Lulworth Castle is a beautiful 17th-century castle, built in 1609. It was in ruins since 1929 and got completely restored in 1998. From then, you can visit the castle and its park all year-round.

lulworth castle in dorset

CC BY-SA 4.0 

The castle is located really close to Worbarrow Bay, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, and it can be a good idea to add it as a quick stop to enjoy its architecture.

Pulpit Rock is another impressive rock formation on the Jurassic Coast, part of all the recommended places to see on the Jurassic Coast. At the southern point of the Jurassic Coast is where you can gaze upon this massive pile of rocks.

pulpit rock on the isle of portland

Image by Nikolay Dimitrov 

Due to the weather and tides in the United Kingdom, this place is often very impressive to see, standing against crashing waves and ominous weather. It’s also a popular spot for cliff jumping, although I would definitely not recommend it given how dangerous the water is down there.

Cheddar Gorge is a place that I had never heard about before actually going in Dorset and exploring the area. I was initially planning to go around Weymouth, but I was short on time and couldn’t quite make it.

I met with local photographer Arran Witheford for a café, and he suggested I stop in Cheddar Gorge on my way back to Bristol (where I was catching my plane back to Paris).

cheddar gorge in dorset

After seeing Arran’s photos of the place, I was hooked: my girlfriend and I drove straight to the location. On the way, as we were approaching, all the land was flat, and I remember telling myself « where is this place? Everything here is flat, is it going to appear out of nowhere? »

And indeed it almost appeared out of nowhere; you soon find yourself driving on a tiny road, in between massive cliffs. There are parking spots to park at different points in the Gorge, so you can leave your car and go for a walk around, or even try to climb the Gorge!

Read more here: Cheddar Gorge Guide

Corfe Castle is another epic castle, built in the 11th century, nestled on top of a hill, that you don’t want to miss when you explore Dorset!

corfe castle in dorset

You can see Corfe Castle from pretty much everywhere in the area, from the town and from the hills around. You can also go inside the castle and visit the ruins. Find all the info about times and prices here .

Corfe is most famous for its castle, but that’s not all there is to it. The town of Corfe is also a charming city, and meandering in its streets transports you back in time. To complete the immersion into another century, make sure to visit Corfe train station.

corfe train station

Corfe train station still has an old feel to it; that feel is made even stronger by the fact that there are old steam strains still circulating on the tracks. The Swanage railway trains stop in Corfe train station in average every 1h20. Plan your visit according to the train times , come early and enjoy stepping back in time for a few minutes as the steam train enters the station. You can also hop in the Swanage train to explore more places to see on the Jurassic Coast.

Read more here: Step back in time in Corfe Castle

Located in Abbotsbury, Dorset, Saint Catherine’s Chapel is a graceful chapel, positioned right on top of a hill, with nothing else around.

saint catherine's chapel in abbotsbury

Image by Graham Hunt Photography

You can admire the chapel from down the hill, and you can also go for a walk up to the hill to visit the chapel, which is open to the public, free of charge. The walk takes you through fields where you will probably see a lot of sheep, adding to the charm of the place.

On the Isle of Portland, there are many castles and forts that you can visit, or simply go see.

Here are the different castles and forts that you can see:

Blacknor Fort

blacknor fort

  © Copyright  Tony Atkin  and licensed for  reuse  under this  Creative Commons Licence .

Blacknor Fort, also called West Weares Battery, was built in the 20th century. It is situated on Blacknor Point, above the cliffs.

Portland Castle

portland castle

Image by  Willhsmit

Portland Castle is way older than Blacknor Fort, as it was built around 1540 by Henri VIII to fend off French and Spanish invaders.

Rufus Castle

rufus castle on the isle of portland

[Rufus Castle, II., Portland, England] [graphic]. [between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900]

Rufus Castle is even older than Portland Castle; sitting on top of a cliff, it dates from around the 11th century.

Kimmeridge Bay is another stunning seascape location of the Jurassic Coast. There are many reasons why I recommend visiting Kimmeridge Bay.

It has a very special geological shape, with layers of thin rock going in the water. You can even walk on them and feel like you’re walking on water (be careful though, it’s very slippery!)

kimmeridge bay

Image by Diego Torres under  CC0 Creative Commons

There is also a waterfall on the beach, how awesome is that?

In addition to these, you can also find the Clavell Tower in Kimmeridge Bay: the Clavell Tower   is a marvelous tower overlooking the Jurassic Coast, and you can even spend a few nights in it! (well I’ve heard that it’s booked until 2020 but hey, maybe after :D)

clavell tower in kimmeridge bay

© Copyright  Rob Noble  and licensed for  reuse  under this  Creative Commons Licence .

Studland Beach is a beautiful sand beach that stretches for 4 miles (6,5km) on the Dorset coast.

studland beach on the jurassic coast

The place is often designated as the best beach in England; if you need even more reasons to visit, there’s also a classic red phone booth on the beach ?

If you want to know more about Studland Beach, and all the activities you can do in the area, click here: what to do in Studland Bay

Dorchester is the main city of Dorset, England, and I think the best way to truly discover the heart of Dorset is to visit Dorchester, even if only for a short time.

quaint streets of dorchester

© Copyright  Gary Rogers  and licensed for  reuse  under this  Creative Commons Licence .

The quaint streets of Dorchester looked to me as I had always pictured classic British villages in my mind, and it really added to the overall experience of discovering Dorset and the places to see on the Jurassic Coast. You’ll also get a feel of how people live in this part of the world, which I believe is an important part of travelling and discovering new places.

And yet another reason to visit the Isle of Portland: the Portland Bill Lighthouse.

portland bill lighthouse on the jurassic coast

Image by Steve Bryant under CC0 Public Domain

The Portland Bill Lighthouse is a sightly 141 feet (43 meters) tall lighthouse, that is fully functional. With its red and white colors, it looks really good, and is to me the perfect representation of a classic lighthouse. You can also go up the lighthouse if you want to explore it from inside, and you’ll have a fantastic view of the Isle of Portland. Find out the fees here: Portland Bill fees

Old Harry Rocks is, with Durdle Door, one of the most famous places to see on the Jurassic Coast. The chalk cliffs and rock formations standing proudly in the sea are really a sight to behold during your trip to the Jurassic Coast

old harry rocks on the jurassic coast

Formed about 65 million years ago, Old Harry Rocks is a pretty singular place. The rock formation is nothing like I’ve seen before, and it’s even more impressive when seen from the air. To get to Old Harry Rocks, it’s an easy 40 minutes walk from Studland, on mostly flat terrain.

On the way to Old Harry, make sure you stop at Studland Viewpoint for another grand view of the area.

Read more here: Discover Old Harry Rocks

Sandbanks is technically not part of the Jurassic Coast, but it’s so close to Studland and Old Harry Rocks that if you visit Old Harry, you might as well just swing by

sandbanks from the air

Photo by Victor Ochieng under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sandbanks is the rich part of Dorset; the land value by area in Sandbanks is the 4th highest in the world. You can visit the island and Sandbanks beach (« Britain’s Palm Beach ») by taking the ferry. Ferry timetable

Chesil Beach is an absolutely stunning beach with a unique shape, starting from the Isle of Portland and going all the way to Abbotsbury (where lies Saint Catherine’s Chapel, where you can also see Chesil Beach from)

chesil beach dorset

Image by Jim Linwood under CC BY 2.0

The beach is a 18 miles (29km) long thin piece of land that seems to stretch forever into the horizon. One of the best views of Chesil Beach is from the Isle of Portland (check the free private map for the exact spot!)

You were fascinated by Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, but you could do with less people? Well then look no further, Chapman’s Pool is the perfect place for you!

chapman's pool on the jurassic coast

Image by Tanya Hart under CC BY-SA 2.0

Chapman’s Pool is a bit more difficult to reach than the other places to see on the Jurassic Coast; you’ll have to walk a good 45 minutes to reach it. Going down to the beach is tough as the path is pretty steep, with rocks sticking out. Take your time to go down and watch your step.

One of the best viewpoint in the area is Houns Toot. From upthere, you’ll have a nice vantage point to gaze upon the raw unspoilt beauty of Chapman’s Pool on one side, and Egmont Bight on the other side.  

Winspit Quarry is one of these unusual locations that are so fun to explore. It’s an old, abandoned quarry situated near Worth Matravers, that was used before World War II to produce stone.

winspit quarry on the jurassic coast

© Copyright  Jim Champion  and licensed for  reuse  under this  Creative Commons Licence .

The interesting thing about this quarry is that it’s located on the edge of the cliffs of Dorset, and it’s a really cool place to explore. Also, you can go in the underground galleries, and it just makes the whole experience better!

The last location on this list of 21 amazing places to see on the Jurassic Coast is the Blue Pool. The Blue Pool is a place where an interesting natural phenomenon appears: the color of the water changes all the time due to clay in the water.

the blue pool in dorset

Image by Alwyn Ladell under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

You can go on a nice afternoon stroll around the lake, watching the water change color as time passes. There are benches along the banks of the Blue Pool where you can sit down to relax and take in the view. For more info about the Blue Pool, including times and fees, check here: The Blue Pool infos

So there you have them, the 21 amazing places to see on the Jurassic Coast! As I stated before, there are way more interesting places to discover in Dorset, but I had to make a choice and list what I believe are the best ones among all, and that you will enjoy exploring.

To help better prepare for your trip to Dorset and the Jurassic Coast, I’m giving away for free my private map of the area, which I use during my road trip . You can use it to easily navigate around Dorset and find the best places to see on the Jurassic Coast.

If you want to learn more about specific places on the Jurassic Coast, you can check these other articles:

Discovering Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove

Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove photo series to inspire adventures

Most beautiful places to see in the UK

What are your favorite places to see on the Jurassic Coast? Is there any place worth mentioning that I forgot in this list? Either way, let me know in the comments below!

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The Jurassic Coast is an incredibly beautiful part of England, full of natural wonders. If you’re looking for places to see on the Jurassic Coast, this is the perfect article for you! Keep reading to discover 21 amazing places to see on the Jurassic Coast. jurassic coast england | Where to go in England | Hiking in England | What to see in England | Best things to do in the Jurassic Coast | England travel ideas | What to do in England | How to get to Durdle Door | Cool things to do in Dorset | Best places in UK | Day trip from London

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Hey, I'm Kevin

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I'm a professional photographer, with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. I worked with countless travel brands, and my travel advice has been featured in major publications such as CNN, Forbes & the New York Magazine. But the best travel advice is definitely found here on my website! I'm all about adventure travel, hiking and exploring the outdoors - even if I often find myself exploring cities with my wife Nesrine. If you have any questions, leave a comment on this post or reach out by email at: [email protected]

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13 Comments

visit britain jurassic coast

We were traveling to London, but wanted to see the country side as well. Came across your post about the Jurassic Coast and fell in love with it! We came over the weekend and saw a few of the spots on the list. Breathtaking!! Thanks for sharing!

visit britain jurassic coast

So pleased you came Priscilla and enjoyed this special part of the UK. You can see why we love it so much. Hope you enjoyed your visit to the UK.

It must have been really hard to narrow down the list to just 21 places, the Jurassic Coast is just spectacular isn’t it. I grew up in Poole, right on the edge of Sandbanks. We even had a beach hut there, close to the ferry. Never realised quite how lucky I was at the time. It’s still one of my most favourite places and I just love Corfe Castle with it’s spectacular views.

visit britain jurassic coast

Hello Tony, it was definitely hard indeed! A beach hut you say? This sounds pretty awesome not gonna lie. Hikes along the coast on the high cliffs were my favorite, do you go back often?

I haven’t been back for 4 years, even though we only live 30 miles away. Mostly because we have been busy but also because of Covid as well. Last summer we hardly went anywhere and poor old Dorset, especially the coast was swamped with people.

Hoping to get back if only for a day later this year. Dorset is one of the most beautiful counties in the UK.

visit britain jurassic coast

We are new to England and plan to visit Durdle Door soon. So glad I came across your blog, thanks for sharing.

visit britain jurassic coast

I’m glad you enjoyed the blog Esme, hope you’ll have fun in Durdle Door!

visit britain jurassic coast

I’m ready to go! Gorgeous pictures. Love the steam engine picture – looks like an old-time photograph! Beautiful scenery and looks like it was a wonderful trip. Good luck on your blog gig. Looks like you are well on your way, but if you get to travel in your day job while you are getting it off the ground, sounds like you have the best of both worlds!

Hey J H, are you going to visit the Jurassic Coast? Yeah the steam train in Corfe Castle is definitely pretty cool, didn’t get to ride it but I guess it would be a nice adventure to ride the train for a bit between the villages. Thanks for the kind word on the blog, have a great day!

visit britain jurassic coast

Great information! Love your photos.

Hey thank you so much Tabitha!

Amazing photography!

Thank you so much Anna, glad you enjoyed the photos 🙂

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There is so much to discover on the Jurassic Coast. Begin planning your journey to this UNESCO World Heritage Site by browsing some of our iconic Towns & Villages , home to historic stories and heroes and still buzzing with excitement and adventure today.

Our Beaches guide gives you all the information you need to plan your perfect day out amongst the sand and shingle of our renowned coastline, and can particularly help if you’re looking for somewhere sandy to bring your four-legged companion .

Kaiah the golden retriever on Swanage Beach

Geology takes centre stage with our carefully curated selection of Jurassic Coast Landmarks , featuring some of the most famous locations on the coast, including Durdle Door , Old Harry Rocks and Golden Cap .

What is the Jurassic Coast gives the lowdown on why this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the spectacular science that helps explain why it is so frequently listed amongst the best places to visit in the UK and worldwide.

Portland Bill Lighthouse

From Fossils to Fish & Chips

The Jurassic Coast offers a plethora of Activities and Attractions to keep you entertained and informed no matter who you are travelling with, how long you’re visiting for, or what your interests are.

Our coastline is famous for Fossil Hunting , and our comprehensive guide will have you picking your ammonites from your belemnites in no time.

If all that fossil hunting’s made you peckish, be sure to browse our selection of local Food and Drink outlets, featuring superb local establishments, all with a colourful history of their own.

Fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast

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See Where to Stay  for a comprehensive selection of accommodation providers in Dorset, Devon and the wider region. All businesses featured on our website are Jurassic Coast Business Partners , whose support helps the Jurassic Coast Trust to protect and conserve our beautiful coast for everyone to enjoy.

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The best seaside towns to visit on the Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic coast is a phenomenon of nature. This spectacular coastline has literally been 185 million years in the making.

One noticeable aspect of the Jurassic coast is that its beaches tend to be a pebble. However littered amongst the many wonderfully coloured and shaped stones, are fossils from bygone days of the dinosaurs.

If you’re staying in a  lodge in Devon  or Dorset, you’ll have countless options for days out and places to visit. We’ve put together our list of favourite seaside towns on the Jurassic coast.

Image of a map showing the best seaside towns on the Jurassic Coast

The top 5 days out on the beautiful Jurassic coast of Devon and Dorset

Why are these the best seaside towns on the Jurassic coast? The reason we’ve chosen these locations is that they all offer something unique. If you’re looking for a quiet beach to soak up the scenery or if you’re in search of a more traditional British seaside town, that’s bustling with plenty to see and do then you’ll find it on our list.

Yes there is a small seaside town in Devon called Beer. Located about 15 miles east of Exeter on the Jurassic coast, Beer is a fantastic place. There seems to be a real calmness about Beer, compared to other towns in the region. Perhaps because there isn’t much of a high street. Visitors will find some small boutique shops, a few restaurants and 3 pubs. The fish and chip shop is also well worth a visit and a really good thing to do is take your meal down to the beach and enjoy the sea views.

Beer has a spectacular beach surrounded by cliffs. It almost feels like a cove. The local fishermen can often be seen heading out or returning with their catch. The beach has a couple of small cafe-type eateries, with plenty of tables and benches. When the sun is shining, Beer is a hard place to beat. If it’s kiss me quick hats and donkey rides you’re after then you’ll be disappointed. Beer is the total opposite. The town is a small, quaint and peaceful location and well worth a visit.

For a busier seaside town in Devon, Exmouth just about tops the bill. Strangely the beach is sand, unlike many others in the area.

One of the best times to visit Exmouth is early in the morning in the height of summer; just as the shops and cafes are about to open. The water is still and glistens under the sunshine and feels like pure tranquillity. Exmouth enjoys stunning views across. The water that looks out to Starcross and Dawlish.

The cafes, ice cream parlours, bars and shops soon spring into life and the town can become very busy.

Water sports fans can windsurf, paddleboard, kayak and swim, whilst beach lovers can enjoy the 2-mile stretch of sand, to top up the suntan.

Exmouth is a short 5-minute walk. The town square known as The Strand is surrounded by bars and cafes and the marina is a nice peaceful stroll away.

Be sure to visit Krispies fish and chip shop. Perhaps the only chippy that serves battered chips!

Image of exmouth seafront

#3 Branscombe

The smallest place on our list of best seaside towns to visit on the Jurassic coast, Branscombe has a tiny population of just over 500 people, which actually makes it a village. Branscombe however is a beautiful place to visit and boasts an idyllic coastline.

The pebbled beach sits beneath rolling hills and cliffs. The Jurassic coastal path is easy to access from the seafront.

Driving down to the beach, visitors will find a car park, with ample space. Be sure to get a ticket as the car park is monitored by cameras.

The beach is long and children will love exploring the rock pools and dipping their toes into the water.

Sat overlooking the beach is a fantastic cafe called  The Sea Shanty . With cakes, teas, coffee and meals as well as beers and wines, the Sea Shanty is the perfect spot for relaxing on a stunning beach front.

Branscombe also has a lovely country pub called The Masons arms. This 14th Century traditional bar has a quaint thatched roof and serves modern British food. They often have a good selection of ales and wines. The Masons arms is a short stroll from the beach and it also has its own parking.

image of the Sea Shanty cafe in Branscombe

#4 Sidmouth

Often referred to as the gateway to the Jurassic coast, Sidmouth Town would make an excellent day out for those staying in a lodge nearby. This regency town has a lovely pebbled beach with plenty of things to do. You’ll often find people swimming in the sea or paddle boarding near the shoreline. The raised esplanade runs alongside the beach and is a safe walking area for those with young children.

Sidmouth has charming boutique shops and independent cafes. There is somewhat of a slow pace to life in Sidmouth and a nice glass of wine on the seafront is the perfect way to spend a summer holiday.

The town has a few shops and places to buy ice cream, one of which is a parlour called Taste which often has long queues for their ice cream, but it’s well worth the wait.

Sidmouth also has access to the Jurrasic coastal walk and for those who don’t mind a hilly climb, the views from Peak hill that overlook the town and coast are simply spectacular. Sidmouth has a small museum and Connaught Gardens is a lovely area with flowers and pathways that again overlook the coast. The garden also has a small cafe to keep refreshed in the warm sunshine.

In August Sidmouth plays host to its famous Folk Festival. A week’s entertainment of live music, street shows and stalls. During this week the town can get quite busy however the atmosphere is always good and everyone seems to have a nice time.

image of the Sidmouth folk festival

#5 Lyme Regis

Just heading over the Devon and Dorset border is the town of Lyme Regis. For dinosaur lovers and fossil hunters, Lyme Regis is the perfect place to visit. The town has a dinosaur museum, showcasing some incredible finds and children can spend hours searching the pebbled beach. 

The beach on Lyme Regis is both pebble and sand so there is something for everyone. The esplanade can get busy during the peak months as there are numerous bars, restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlours as you would expect from a seaside town on the Jurassic coast.

At the end of the esplanade is the famous Lyme Regis cobb. A stunning harbour wall dating back to the 1300s. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the Cobb and take in the stunning views of the seafront.

The grassed hill overlooking the beach has a crazy golf course and this seaside town on the Jurassic coast has museums and small independent shops to leisurely saunter around.

image of fossils from the Jurassic Coast

Visiting the Jurassic Coast FAQs

The coastline is nearly 100 miles long, stretching from Devon into Dorset.

Visitors travelling in by road from the north can access the South West on the M5 Motorway. Once at Exeter there are clear signs to the various towns along the coast. During the peak holiday season, the smaller roads can become busy. 

Holidaymakers arriving from the East have the option of the M4, A303 or A35. The A35 hugs part of the coastline and has some wonderful views of the cliffs and sea.

Absolutely yes! There are paths along the the route. There are numerous cliffs so be prepared for some steep climbs. Nevertheless once at the top the views will be worth the effort. There are plenty of opportunity for refreshments along the way.

Yes. You’ll often find people sea fishing, stood from the esplanades during quieter times. Its not uncommon to see people fishing stood on the beach in Branscombe. For something a little different, why not book yourself onto a Mackerel fishing trip and sail out on a boat to find your catch. These excursions are available in Exmouth.

The annual festival is usually held in August. There are numerous camping spots around the town and local lodges, cabins and other accommodation quickly get booked up during this busy week.

Nothing to do with the alcoholic drink. The word Beer originates from a traditional word Beare meaning woodland, which surrounded the town.

Fossils that are found on the beach are generally fine to keep. If fossils are taken from private land this could become a problem. When searching for fossils try and stay clear of the cliff face. Its best to leave these ones to the professionals.

About the author:

Author Matt has been visiting Devon for years and is the go-to guy for Devon information. At times it seems like he’s been to every fish and chip shop and ice cream shop along the coast with his in-depth knowledge of the area.

You can read Matts’s guide to the best lodge breaks in Devon here if you are looking for a luxury break. 

Holkham Hall on a busy day from across the cricket pitch

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Jurassic Coast

Hiking in Jurassic Coast

Fancy hiking amongst dinosaurs? Then pick one of the many walks along the Jurassic Coast because prehistoric creatures weren’t just here millions of years ago, they’re still here today. This coastline is a UNESCO World Heritage site and stretches for around 100 miles (160 km) from East Devon to West Dorset. Overlooking the gorgeous English Channel, the cliffs form a natural timeline stretching back 185 million years, allowing you to find fossils from the Triassic, Jurassic and later periods. 

You can enjoy the micro and the macro on Jurassic Coast hikes thanks to shoreline trails, clifftop viewpoints and stunning beachside towns. Stretch your legs high above the sea before descending to a cove to inspect the rocks and overturn ancient fossils. Thanks to the ease of fossil hunting, the Jurassic Coast is a fantastic place to walk with curious children, where every step is a treasure hunt.

Top 10 best walks and hikes in Jurassic Coast

A loop of portland from chesil beach, chesil beach & fleet lagoon loop from portland harbour — jurasic coast, sign up to discover places like this.

Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

Burton Bradstock coastal walk from Hive Beach

Portland bill & the old higher lighthouse loop, golden cap & langdon hill loop from seatown — dorset aonb, thorncombe beacon, colmer's hill & chideock loop from seatown — dorset aonb, charmouth beach – golden cap loop from chideock, chesil beach – amazing views loop from west bexington, west cliff – church ope cove loop from fortuneswell, burton bradstock clifftop – west bay cliffs loop from burton bradstock, more information.

Geological marvels

Walks along the Jurassic Coast are geology lessons provided by nature herself. In the fossil forest to the east of Lulworth Cove, you can walk amongst 145-million-year-old fossilised tree trunks. The Cove itself is picture-perfect, a sea-carved semi-circle with clear water and moored fishing boats. To the west lies Durdle Door, one of the area’s most famous geological marvels – a natural rock arch. 

Some of the best hiking trails on the Jurassic Coast start in Lyme Regis, a seaside town famous for fossils. The beaches here are littered with rocks embedded with prehistoric animals and the town is filled with cafes, restaurants and fossil shops. You can walk east along the cliffs to the highest point on England’s south coast: Golden Cap. Or head west, through the nature reserve to the quiet town of Seaton. 

Walks for everyone at any time

Short, long, steep or flat, there are hikes on the Jurassic Coast for everyone. With long seafronts at Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Lyme Regis, Weymouth and Swanage, there are lots of mostly flat walks with pretty views. The Isle of Portland, an incredible natural peninsula joined to the mainland by a narrow strip, has gentle walks with easy-going surfaces too. 

The western half of the coastline is undulating, with some considerable hills that rise up from beachside towns to the towering cliffs that bookend them. As a result, you’re never short of challenging hikes and phenomenal views. The eastern half is lower in places, although you can still find plenty of glorious clifftops and extraordinary sights, such as the Old Harry Rocks sea stacks at the far eastern extent of the Jurassic Coast. Around the midpoint of the area lies Chesil Beach, the vast shingle barrier stretching between the mainland and Portland. 

Warmer than much of the country, you can walk the Jurassic Coast at any time of year. It’s well worth noting that the cliffs are prone to erosion which both reveals fossils and creates hazards. As a result, always follow signage and stay away from cliff edges as landslides are not uncommon.

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Top 10 Moscow Attractions – Things To Do In Moscow

1. all around the kremlin.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

Start from the Alexandrovsky Sad (Alexander Garden), a highlight of Moscow center. The garden is famous for its architectural monuments, incredibly beautiful flowerbeds and history. The Eternal Flame in the memory of the fallen heroes in the World War II glows in front of the Kremlin Kutafya Tower. Alexandrovsky Sad is a place that is impossible to miss, if you are going to the Kremlin , a symbol of the Russian State, one of the greatest architectural ensembles in the world, a treasury of amazing relics and monuments of art. The famous  Armory Chamber and the Diamond Fund are real treasure houses. The Kremlin is the official President’s residence and remains a gorgeous political landmark. On the way from the Kremlin to the Red Square , you will find the State History Muzeum , with a wonderful collection of artworks, depicting Russian history. Red Square remains, as it has been for centuries, the heart and soul of Russia. Few places in the world bear the weight of history to the extent that Moscow’s central square does. From the 16th Century St. Basil’s Cathedral – one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world – to the constructivist pyramid of  Lenin’s Mausoleum , Red Square is rich in symbols of Russia’s turbulent and intriguing past. Right at the Square there is one of the oldest and most remarkable shopping centers in Moscow – the GUM . Just several trading passages in Russia were created over a century ago and successfully operate until nowadays. GUM always was, and remains the greatest country’s store. To have some rest you can go to recently opened Zaryadye Park and enjoy breathtaking views of The Moscow Kremlin from the floating bridge, listen to some classic concerts or try local food from different regions of Russia.

2. NEAR THE BOLSHOI THEATRE

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-> Read our main article about Moscow theatres

Not far from the Kremlin and the main street of Moscow – Tverskaya street you will find the Theater Square. The square is situated over the river Neglinka that was enclosed in an underground pipe in 1819. Now it is a green square with two beautiful fountains. The area owes its name because of t three theaters located there: a world-famous Bolshoi Theatre , Maly Theatre and Russian Academic Youth Theatre (RAMT). The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages. Visit the theatre to watch the magnificent Russian operas and ballets. Despite high ticket’s price, you will never be disappointed; it is a real pearl of the world’s theatrical life. The TsUM is a luxurious shopping mall with recognizable designer labels and expensive goods is also located at the Theatre Square. A good place to visit in this area is a place called «Denis Simachev Bar», a two-story house in Stoleshnikov Lane. The music and menu are diverse, as well as the audience. A special drink of the bar is cider «Sidor Simachev».

3. AROUND CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE SAVIOUR

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Start from Ostozhenka St. , and lanes around it, to see the charming old Moscow. Despite that Ostozhenka became one of the most expensive streets in the world, with lots of new houses, it preserved unique examples of the 18 and 19 centuries architecture, which you may find in the numerous bystreets. Moreover, Multimedia Art Museum , one of the most interesting art spots in Moscow is located at Ostozhenka, 16. Follow the street to the city center and you will see the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour . It is one of the largest Orthodox church in the world. The building is magnificent, but not as old as it looks, it was rebuilt in 2000 (the original was demolished by the order of Stalin). One of the highlights of the Cathedral is the panoramic view from the 40-meter-high observation platform. Use the footbridge from Christ the Savior Cathedral to get to the former area of confectionary factory Krasniy Octyabr (the Red October) with lots of stores, bars and cultural spots. The Strelka Bar is a good place to have some rest. It is a comfortable urban space for informal and having a cocktail. In summertime, the bar opens a terrace overlooking the Moscow River.

4. THE GORKY PARK

Gorky Park

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After visiting the previous attraction, you can follow the footbridge and enter the long pedestrian zone at the borders of the Moskva River. At first, the Krimskaya embankment will lead you to the Museon Art Park , that has a unique collection of 700 sculptures. Nowadays Museon, together with the Gorky Park and Neskuchniy Sad are much reconstructed. The space of the Museon Park of Arts is perfectly landscaped for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Follow the River Bank and you will come to the main leisure and cultural spot of nowadays Moscow – the  Gorky Park . It opened in 1928. In 2011, Gorky Park underwent a major restructuring and now has a fresh, vibrant appearance. The park’s recently upgraded design makes it one of the most interesting places to spend your leisure time. About 20,000 visitors visit the 109-hectare park each day. The park features bike rental stations, a comfortable business area with Wi-Fi, an outdoor movie theatre and a greenhouse where you can buy fresh greens such as basil and lettuce, numerous open-air cafes, yoga classes, film festivals in the summer cinema and classical music concerts. To contemplate the sky and the stars, you can go to the observatory and look through the telescope while listening to fascinating stories from astronomers. You can enjoy many sports in the park such as volleyball, handball, football or a peaceful jog around the beautiful surroundings If you go further by the riverbank you will reach Neskuchniy Sad , a wonderful place in the Moscow center, one of Moscow’s oldest parks, highly renovated for the past few years. Once an area filled with the summer palaces of Moscow’s wealthiest nobles, it is now a charming slice of wildlife with many activities and places of rest.

5. THE METRO

Komsomolskaya Metro Station

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The Moscow Metro has its own unforgettable charm. It was opened in 1935 and became one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects. That is why most of the central underground stations look like a museum. Every station has its own mood, different decorations and fascinating story. Take a journey in Moscow underground to get an unforgettable impression of the city.

6. THE NOVODEVICHY CONVENT

The Novodevichy Convent

The Novodevichy Convent , built in the 16th and 17th centuries in the so-called Moscow Baroque style, was part of a chain of monastic ensembles that were integrated into the defence system of the city. The convent was directly associated with the political, cultural and religious history of Russia, and closely linked to the Moscow Kremlin. It was used by women of the Tsar’s family and the aristocracy. Members of the Tsar’s family and entourage were also buried in its cemetery. The convent provides an example of the highest accomplishments of Russian architecture with rich interiors and an important collection of paintings and artefacts. The convent was closed in 1917, and in 1926, it became a branch of the State Historical Museum. The museum`s collection now consist of about 12,000 items, including old Russian paintings, fabrics from the 16th—20th centuries, items from precious metals and stones, liturgical items, and vestments, made by the best artists, jewelers and embroiderers. The necropolis is one of the convent`s special attractions. The Novodevichy cemetery is divided into «new» and «old» sections. The old cemetery lies within the convent’s walls, and since the early 18th century it was the burial place for eminent and rich people, above all, the tsar’s family. In the 19th century, many prominent Russians were laid to rest here. The new cemetery was had been used from 1898 to 1904. During the Soviet era, the Novodevichy cemetery was second in prestige only to the Kremlin wall necropolis.

7. ZOO AND PLANETARIUM

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The Moscow Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Europe. Its first name has been Zoological Park and it was opened in 1864. Through 140 years of its history, during times of peace, war, revolution the Zoo was open. Nowadays it is located right in the middle of the big city. The main entrance to the zoo, built in 1997, stands opposite Krasnopresnenskaya metro station. It looks like a fairytale castle with towers and a waterfall. This enter leads to the old part of the zoo, where the highlights include the big cats, a neat underground viewing space below the penguin pool, a dolphinarium, as well as the sea lion enclosure that lets you watch them swim from below. A pedestrian bridge takes you across the street to the New Territory, the most interesting parts of which are probably the primate house and fun children’s zoo. Near the second enter to the Zoo at the Garden ring The Moscow Planetarium is located. It was first opened on November 5, 1929. After a global reconstruction, it was reopened in 2011. Now it is a multifunctional complex that combines scientific and educational resources: the interactive museum «Lunarium», the Museum of Urania, the Big Star Hall and the Sky Park, family recreation center that is focused on different age groups. The Moscow Planetarium is one of the biggest planetariums in the world.

9. THE VDNKH AND MUSEUM OF COSMONAUTICS

Rotonda near Uzbekistan Pavillon at VDNKh

-> We also have great  SOVIET MOSCOW TOUR , available for you

The VDNKh – the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements – and it remains a fascinating monument to Russia’s transitional period, a mixture of faded Soviet pomp and unregulated capitalism. Its story began in 1939 as the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition, a monumental paean to the achievements of collectivization. Nowadays the VDNKh is a bizarre juxtaposition: part agricultural fair, part trade expo, part shopping center and part street market, with amusements as diverse as paint-balling and camel rides. The park itself is an intriguing example of 20th century landscaping. The VDNKh buildings, still preposterously magnificent are wonderful example of Soviet architecture. The VDNKh is truly unique, and worth visiting, especially as there is much more to be seen nearby, including the wonderful Cosmonautics Museum . It was opened in 1981, to the 20th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin space flight. The idea of creating this museum belongs to famous Russian scientist S.P. Korolev, one of the major figures in rocketry and space ship building of the XX century. Nowadays a large exposition demonstrates a full-size rocket and space technology. You can try interactive exhibits, such as the one, identical to the Cosmonaut Training Center simulator, virtual international space station and more.

10. KOLOMENSKOE MUSEUM-RESERVE

Kolomenskoe Museum-Reserve

A unique historic place – Kolomenskoe – is situated in the picturesque surrounding over the Moscow River banks. These lands are full of legends. Archeological discoveries state that the first settlements appeared here in the 8th century. It is an ancient and uniquely formed place. Today this is an exceptional complex of cultural monuments of a great historical value. The chief attraction of the park is undoubtedly the stone Church of the Ascension of the Lord . It was constructed in 1529-1532 by order of Tsar Vasily III to commemorate the birth of his son and heir, Ivan the Terrible. However, there is a lot more to see in the park: the pretty Church of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan – with its bright azure domes and plenty of gold. Further into the park there is a charming Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist , built by Ivan the Terrible to mark his coronation. If you visit this place, you can fully enjoy nature, picturesque views over the Moskva River and learn about Russian medieval architecture. Moreover, many cultural events are held here.

PLAN YOUR TRIP WITH US

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Happy to help you with everything, from general plan of your visit to plane tickets or hotel stay. We may also support your Russian Visa request with a letter of invitation if you need so.

SEE OUR TOURS

Tverskaya Street in Moscow

We host around 60 tours every month in English, Russian, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and other languages. All of our tours =>

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IMAGES

  1. Best time for Jurassic Coast in England 2024

    visit britain jurassic coast

  2. Durdle Door Jurassic Coast Dorset England English Channel coast rock

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  3. The 12 Best Things to Do Along England's Jurassic Coast

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  4. Britain's dinosaur country: the Jurassic Coast in 360

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  5. Dorset Jurassic Coast Highlights: 19 Must-Visit Coastal Spots

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  6. Best time for Jurassic Coast in England 2024

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COMMENTS

  1. Jurassic Coast Attractions & Places to Visit

    England / Jurassic Coast Things to do Places to stay Travel Why we love the Jurassic Coast Welcome to dinosaur territory. Over 200 million years old, the Jurassic Coast's beaches and rocks are strewn with ancient fossils and footprints - yours to discover on walks, bike rides and picnics.

  2. Welcome to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site

    The Jurassic Coast is a 95-mile long stretch of coastline in southern England, situated within the counties of Dorset and Devon. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognised for its outstanding rocks, fossils and landforms.

  3. The 12 Best Things to Do Along England's Jurassic Coast

    England's Jurassic Coast is a 95-mile-long stretch of coastline that dates back hundreds of millions of years. It has some of theoldest rock features on Earth, including wave-beaten sea arches, fossilized forests, even dinosaur footprints.

  4. Jurassic Coast Dorset

    Visit Dorset's stunning Jurassic Coast, England's first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy a walk through time and perhaps find your own fossil along the way! The rocks and fossils along the Jurassic Coast tell a story through 185 years of the Earth's history from the Triassic to the Cretaceous. Iconic landmarks along the Jurassic Coast include Old Harry Rocks, Lulworth Cove, Stair ...

  5. The ultimate guide to the Jurassic Coast

    The ultimate guide to England's Jurassic Coast Emily Luxton Aug 1, 2022 • 10 min read The gorgeous cliffs and rock formations of the Jurassic Coast were formed hundreds of millions of years ago © Cavan Images / Getty Images

  6. Visiting the Jurassic Coast: full guide for 2024

    Stretching 95 miles along the South coast of England, the Jurassic Coast winds through fossils and relics as it traverses 185 million years of history, from the 250 million-year-old Triassic rocks at Orcombe Point to the cliffs at Studland Bay (which are basically babies at only 65 million years old!).

  7. 12 Unmissable Things To Do On The Jurassic Coast (+ Map & Tips)

    The towering cliffs of the Jurassic Coast are the iconic symbol of coastal Great Britain. This UNESCO World Heritage Site with breathtaking scenery, enchanting seaside culture, and blissful beaches is one of our favourite places to visit in the UK.. Explore rock pools in tiny coves, laze on sweeping golden beaches, explore decaying castles, and hunt for dinosaur fossils.

  8. Guide to Visiting the Jurassic Coast (England)

    England's Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to some of England's most beautiful landscapes. The area stretches for 95 miles from Old Harry Rocks (near Swanage and Bournemouth) to Exmouth along the south coast of England. Here you'll find both sand and pebble beaches, rock formations, wonderful views and cute villages ...

  9. 9 Places to Visit on The Jurassic Coast, Dorset

    The Jurassic Coast is one of England's most beautiful coastlines that stretches 95miles from Dorset to Devon. It is England's only UNESCO World Heritage site and over 12 million people per year travel to the South Coast to visit parts of it.

  10. Jurassic Coast Visitor Information

    Visitor Information Planning a visit to the Jurassic Coast? Here's the key things you need to consider before you travel. Which section are you interested in seeing? The Jurassic Coast is 95 miles long and covers two counties - most of Dorset's coastline and a 30-mile chunk of Devon's.

  11. 7 Beautiful Stops To Make Along Englands Jurassic Coast

    England's Jurassic Coast is one of the finest stretches of coastline in Europe, connecting the picturesque port town of Exmouth, East Devon, to the seaside resort of Studland Bay, Dorset. Between these two counties are a series of breathtaking beaches, coastal villages and natural rock formations well worth visiting. Durdle Door

  12. 11 amazing places you must see on the Jurassic Coast, Dorset

    The Jurassic Coast is one of the most beautiful parts of England and has been popular with visitors since Victorian times. This part of the Dorset and Devon coasts is called the Jurassic Coast because of its amazing geology. The cliffs, stone stacks and beaches in this area date from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

  13. Jurassic Coast

    Coordinates: 50°42′20″N 2°59′24″W The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of southern England. It stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset, a distance of about 96 miles (154 km), and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in mid-December 2001. [1]

  14. 21 Incredible Places to See on the Jurassic Coast

    21- The Blue Pool. The last location on this list of 21 amazing places to see on the Jurassic Coast is the Blue Pool. The Blue Pool is a place where an interesting natural phenomenon appears: the color of the water changes all the time due to clay in the water. Image by Alwyn Ladell under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

  15. Explore the Jurassic Coast

    Area: Keyword: Explore There is so much to discover on the Jurassic Coast. Begin planning your journey to this UNESCO World Heritage Site by browsing some of our iconic Towns & Villages, home to historic stories and heroes and still buzzing with excitement and adventure today.

  16. The best seaside towns to visit on the Jurassic Coast

    Yes there is a small seaside town in Devon called Beer. Located about 15 miles east of Exeter on the Jurassic coast, Beer is a fantastic place. There seems to be a real calmness about Beer, compared to other towns in the region. Perhaps because there isn't much of a high street. Visitors will find some small boutique shops, a few restaurants ...

  17. Top 10 Hikes and Walks in Jurassic Coast

    Fancy hiking amongst dinosaurs? Then pick one of the many walks along the Jurassic Coast because prehistoric creatures weren't just here millions of years ago, they're still here today. This coastline is a UNESCO World Heritage site and stretches for around 100 miles (160 km) from East Devon to West Dorset. Overlooking the gorgeous English Channel, the cliffs form a natural timeline ...

  18. Jurassic Coast

    An der Jurassic Coast finden abenteuerlustige Reisende bestimmt etwas Passendes für sich: In Weymouth und Portland kann man zu Schiffswracks tauchen und die versteckten Buchten entlang der Küste sind ideal zum Windsurfen, Paddleboarden und Kajakfahren. Wer trittsicher und schwindelfrei ist, kann auf der Purbeck-Halbinsel Abseilen und ...

  19. West Bay: Three rockfalls on Dorset's Jurassic Coast block beach

    30th January 2024, 02:02 PST. West Bay Photography captured the scene on Monday afternoon. A series of three rockfalls have blocked a stretch of beach on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. Aerial ...

  20. The Official Website For UK Tourism

    Your trip to England is just around the corner. Discover the land of Big Ben, Banksy and bangers and mash. From its bustling cities to its blooming beautiful gardens, it doesn't disappoint. Let VisitBritain provide you with fresh perspectives of the UK's diverse cities, modern twists, historic icons, and green spaces full of unexpected gems.

  21. Moscow, Idaho

    First United Methodist Church (1904), S. Adams at E. 3rd St. Moscow (/ ˈ m ɒ s k oʊ / MOS-koh) is a city and the county seat of Latah County, Idaho.Located in the North Central region of the state along the border with Washington, it had a population of 25,435 at the 2020 census. Moscow is the home of the University of Idaho, the state's land-grant institution and primary research university.

  22. Moscow parks

    Losiny Ostrov. Losiny Ostrov (Elk Island Park) Losiny Ostrov (Elk Island Park) is located at the north of Moscow. It covers 22 km from the west to the east and 10 km from the north to the south and it's one of the most beautiful national parks in Moscow. Two rivers, Yausa and Pechorka begin here.

  23. West Bay: Three rockfalls on Dorset's Jurassic Coast block beach

    30th January 2024, 02:02 PST. West Bay Photography captured the scene on Monday afternoon. A series of three rockfalls have blocked a stretch of beach on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. Aerial ...

  24. Visit Moscow

    We suggest exploring them all. 1. MOSCOW ARCHITECTURE. Saint Basil's Cathedral. In Moscow you can travel through ages just walking through the streets. Diversified architectural styles wait for you at every turn. To see the beauty of ancient Russian architecture, visit the Kremlin or Kolomenskoe Museum.

  25. Top 10 attractions

    Take a journey in Moscow underground to get an unforgettable impression of the city. 6. THE NOVODEVICHY CONVENT. The Novodevichy Convent, built in the 16th and 17th centuries in the so-called Moscow Baroque style, was part of a chain of monastic ensembles that were integrated into the defence system of the city.

  26. Afcon 2023: Ivory Coast 'not getting excited' after knocking out ...

    Ivory Coast caretaker boss Emerse Fae says his side will not dwell on their win over Senegal and can lift the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations trophy. ... Journey to the Jurassic.