The Jurassic Coast is the popular (and now official) name given to a 95 mile (155 km) long stretch of coastline in southern England, incorporating parts of the east Devon and Dorset coasts.
The Jurassic Coast was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 2001 on account of its importance to geology, palaeontology and the sheer beauty of its landscape. The area attracts hundreds of thousands of fossil hunters, hikers, campers and beach-goers each year.
- — village in West Dorset near West Bay
Many of the earliest recognised scientific dinosaur discoveries were made along the Jurassic Coast in the early 19th century, promoting the rise of the science of paleontology. Pioneering fossil hunters like Mary Anning took advantage of the coast's highly fossiliferous cliffs.
There is a South Western Railways service from London Waterloo to Poole and Exeter.
The Jurassic Coast X53 bus service from Exeter to Poole via Sidford, Beer, Seaton, Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Bridport, West Bay, Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Wool and Wareham can be used by walkers who wish to do a linear walk along the coast.
The attractions of the Jurassic Coast are many. Not to be missed, however, are:
- Lulworth Cove at Lulworth
- Durdle Door, within easy hiking / kayaking distance west of Lulworth
- Chesil Beach, the longest example of a tombolo in the UK
- Golden Cap near Charmouth, the highest point on the south coast of Britain at 191 metres (627 ft).
- Hunt for fossils
- Relax on a beach
- Walk the South West Coast Path
- Being on the coast, fresh fish & chips is widely available.
Cliffs can be prone to rockfalls, so avoid walking directly beneath them. This is not an abstract risk: people are killed this way with regrettable frequency.