Golden beaches and fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset

With the golden beaches of Devon and the surf of Cornwall not far away, Dorset’s coastline can often be overlooked by those planning a beach holiday – but the Jurassic Coast is actually home to some of the world’s most significant sites and discoveries. The striking red cliffs that line the coast of Dorset and East Devon aren’t just a beautiful sight, they date back as far as 185 million years in places – making the area a truly unique place to visit.

Cliffs and beaches on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset

Cliffs and beaches on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset

The Jurassic Coast stretches for an impressive 95 miles, and Dorset is home to several Gateway Towns that make convenient bases for those determined to explore the areas once roamed by dinosaurs! Lyme Regis is one of the most famous Jurassic towns, and if you fancy trying your hand at a spot of fossil hunting this is probably the best place to start. Right in the heart of the Jurassic Coast, this pretty town was home to a landmark discovery more than two centuries ago. 12 year old fossil hunter Mary Anning found her way into the history books when she unearthed a fossilised dinosaur skull measuring 2m and she dedicated her life to searching for fossils.

Fossils on the Jurassic coast in Dorset

Fossils on the Jurassic coast in Dorset

There’s no guarantee you’ll make the discoveries that Mary did all those years ago, but fossil hunting remains one of the most popular Dorset beach attractions! If you’re not sure where to start you’ll find local tours run throughout the year to point out the key points of the World Heritage Site to make sure you don’t miss anything. Lyme Regis is also a popular resort with Jane Austen fans as she set her novel Persuasion in the town and holidayed there at least twice. There are also tours of Jane Austen’s Lyme Regis, so the town is perfect for anybody who loves history.

Fossil hunting on the beaches of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset

Fossil hunting on the beaches of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset

Fossils aside, the beaches of Dorset have plenty to offer families and those who just fancy lying back on the sand. If you’ve never been to Durdle Door you’ll be sure to have seen pictures of it, and it’s well worth the stroll from Lulworth Cove to this shingle beach and the striking rock arch that juts into the sea. Chesil Beach is another Dorset spot that shouldn’t be missed, and it rolls on for an amazing 18 miles. This World Heritage Site makes a great place for a wander and showcases the Jurassic Coast’s rugged beauty to perfection.

This article was brought to you by Blue Chip Holidays providing luxury holiday cottages and holiday apartments across Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

More things to enjoy in the south of England

On the trail of Jane Austen in Winchester
Brighton – A very British Town
Cliff Walks and Country Houses in Devon (and a bit of Cornwall)

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  • Reply
    Barbara Weibel
    October 25, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I’m a rockhound from way back, so this is now on my list of :must dos” when I come to the UK next year.
    Barbara Weibel´s last blog post ..PHOTO: Goat Cheese with Fresh Fig Slices, One of the Appetizers in our Cooking Class in Girona, Spain

  • Reply
    Stuart Wooster
    October 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I love the Dorset coast, there is so much to see there. Along with all the beautiful coast line there is also places like Weymouth to drop by and if you are in a easterly direction you can drop in to tourist attractions such as the infamous Monkey World.

  • Reply
    Dorset holiday cottages
    November 8, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Jurassic Coast in Dorset is a lovely place and I’m amazed with it’s breathtaking views.I’m glad that it is now in the ten natural wonders of the world.If you will visit UK be sure to include Dorset in your list.

  • Reply
    A Local’s Guide for Visitors Drinking in Brighton | Heather on her travels
    December 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    […]  Brighton – a very British seaside town Golden beaches and fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast […]

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