I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a more rugged coastline than in the south of England. The Jurassic Coast, which stretches over 95 miles between East Devon and my new home county of Dorset, is characterised by it’s grassy cliff tops, sheer drops of jagged white rock cliff sides and spectacular geology.
I first walked along the Jurassic coast when I was much younger. Back then, I was enchanted by Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door because they were just how I imagined many places from fantasy novels to be. All those memories washed over me again when I recently hiked along the coastline.
Even after travelling across different continents, I still think that the short two and a half mile walk between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door is one of the most beautiful walks in the world.
Lulworth Cove from Below
Lulworth Cove may look like a hidden gem, and although it definitely is a geographical gem, it certainly isn’t hidden. Walkers, hikers, travellers and day-trippers come from miles around to see Lulworth and follow the coastal path over to Durdle Door. The cove is attached to the small village of West Lulworth which is bustling with families licking ice creams, inviting B&Bs and fish mongers in the summer and seemingly abandoned in the winter. The cove itself is a grey pebble beach and from it you can watch small wooden fishing boats that bob on the aquamarine water.
Lulworth Cove from Above
After relaxing on the cove’s pebble beach, we strapped our hiking boots back on and headed up the hillside to look down at the cove from above. From the tip of the headland, you can see Lulworth Cove’s magnificent scallop shape and look down on the boats passing through the small entrance to the cove.
Walking to Durdle Door
The most beautiful walk in the whole of England – from what I’ve seen anyway – is the walk from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door. When you’ve climbed the wide stairs and reached the cliff top, it’s not hard see why the Jurassic Coast was named England’s first natural World Heritage Site. The path is a popular one for travellers, families and dog walkers alike and isn’t too strenuous, especially not if you’ve got a good pair of walking boots for the gravel path. Durdle Door itself is a natural limestone arch which reaches out into the sea from the shingle beach.
Can you think of a better way to spend a summer’s day than walking from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door and picnicing on the beach? Yeah, me neither. I’ve been to Lulworth Cove during a winter storm before, and although it’s certainly atmospheric, the wind is biting and so strong that it makes walking along the headlands much more of a challenge. Nothing can beat a good, British summer time walk.
Hiking Boots | Courtesy of Karrimor