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Lulworth & Durdle sounds like a law firm. Commissioners for oaths; adversarial specialists; incompetence guaranteed – that sort of thing. I have known at least four firms that should have been called Bungle, Overcharge & Obfuscate.
Anyway, close by the Dorset village of West Lulworth on England’s Jurassic south coast is Lulworth Cove. This is a well-known beauty spot. The cove is a perfect horseshoe shape, formed by an ancient river wearing away a path through harder rocks to the sea, allowing the tides to then gradually encroach upon and erode softer rocks behind. There’s another cove, Stair Hole, in the process of being formed nearby to the west; one day, the two coves will join up. The layers of sedimentary rock, folded at the time the Alps were formed 30-40 million years ago (or thereabouts), are almost vertical.
There’s not much to Lulworth Cove itself – a couple of pubs/restaurants, a shop of some sort (you can certainly buy ice creams) and a large car park for the seafarers, sightseers and other visitors. I don’t think Lulworth Cove is a particularly great beach for bathing, unless you’re an enthusiast – it’s a bit rocky for me – but it’s a fine place to sit and the view is quite lovely. The little stream that bubbles into the cove had some ducklings bobbing along on it when we were last there.
A short walk away along the South West Coastal Path is Durdle Door, a natural limestone arch. It is almost impossible to take a really bad photo of Durdle Door – though there’s a guy called Matthew Lambley on Google+ who takes some really good ones. The whole area is an extraordinary, and beautiful, place – as well as being a kind of Mecca for photographers, geographers, geologists, walkers, nature-lovers and school parties.
Indeed, it would be interesting to know how many people reading this visited Lulworth as part of their geography field studies at school, how they managed to smuggle cider onto the coach for the journey home and whether they’d like an account of what happened on the back seat to be published? I hope everyone handed in their homework?
The South West Coastal Path begins (or ends) nearby in Poole Harbour and runs 630 miles between there, around the entire south west peninsula, to (or from) Minehead in Somerset.
The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site. It stretches 95 miles between Devon and Dorset, and provides an insight into 185 million years of geological history. Parts of the coast are rich in fossil remains. When I last visited Lulworth & Durdle, the cliff tops were covered in a mass of brightly-coloured wild flowers. Fabulous.