We are blessed here in Dorset with some of the finest coastlines in the world. Prooving especially popular at the moment is the Jurassic coast from the white of Old Harry Rocks to Exmouth where the rocks are 250 Million years old. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, the coastline joins celebrated global sites like Angkor Wat and the Taj Mahal. Stretching over 95 miles it is the only place on Earth where you can see 185 million years of geographical history that is exposed in the cliffs, bays, coves and beaches along its length.
The coast is named the "Jurassic Coast" because that is just one of the geological periods that can be discovered. You can also find fossils and rocks from the Triassic and Cretaceous periods. It is one of the few places on the planet where you can take a walk along the stunning beaches and discover a fossil at your feet. The coastline isn't just in Dorset but also covers East Devon down to Exmouth.
It is no wonder that so many of the great creative minds choose Dorset to inspire them. Famous Authors including Enid Blyton, Thomas Hardy and T.E. Lawrence have used the landscape to provide a backdrop for their work. This coastline is also probably the reason that more of the Captains from The Battle of Trafalgar came from Dorset than any other. Battling around this treacherous coast must have been educated enough for them. If you are going to take a tour of the coastline you could combine all of the above in your journey including:
Tour of the Jurrasic Coast Visitor Attractions:
- The Hardy Monument - Monument to Vice Admiral Hardy (kiss me Hardy)
- Seaton Jurassic Centre
- The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life - Kimmeridge, Dorset
- Hardy's Cottage - Birthplace of the other Dorset Hardy the author of Mayor of Casterbridge and more.
- The Beaches - Charmouth, Lyme Regis and Kimmeridge are a must to go Fossil Hunting.
- The Coves - Lulworth, Tyneham and Durdle Door.
Whatever you do, please be careful. The reason fossils can be found is because the weather and sea exposes them in extreme conditions, causing landslides and mud slips meaning the cliffs are dangerous. So if you do decide to go hunting then follow the advice and signs you see. Above all enjoy yourself and Dorset.