Shifting Rocks and the Sea

If you were to look at the main picture above, could you hazard a guess as to where my travels took me to this past month?  Would you believe it if I told you this was in the county of Dorset in England?  I had to pinch myself to believe it as I first caught a  glimpse of the stunningly blue waters and the formation of the natural limestone arch.  This could easily have been somewhere in the Caribbean.

My family live in England, so every year when I visit, I try to see parts of England that I have never seen before.  Stonehenge was on last year’s list, so this year it was the Dorset coastline with its fine white cliffs.  Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove owe their existence to the collision of continents and the birth of the Alps.  Further research taught me that around 25 million years ago, the African tectonic plate collided with the European plate.  The huge pressures generated, heaved and folded rocks to create the mountain chain we know as the Alps.  Ripples from that collision spread north through the earth’s crust and gently folded the rocks here on the Jurassic coast in Dorset.  Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove lie in the heart of one of these folds where the rock layers have been tilted steeply.  As the sea broke through the hard limestone, it washed away the softer rocks behind creating the arch, the cove and the beautiful coastline where Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are both found.

We set out to capture this beautiful terrain on a rather windy day, picnic basket in tow.  The one and half hour drive did not disappoint.  Narrow winding lanes hugging the countryside, gorgeous thatched roof houses and sheep grazing along the hillsides made for a most picturesque journey.  The hike itself from Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove is about 2 miles long.  I’d say definitely wear comfortable shoes as the trek at times proved to be quite steep.  We stayed on the  main path to reach Durdle Door where you can descend to the sloping, shingled beach to get a better view of the rock arch.  The rugged coastline, the jagged white rock cliff sides and the aquamarine waters had my camera on overdrive.

Totally lost in my thoughts, this walk was energizing and clearly stimulated one’s senses.

The scalloped shaped shore with the sloping, shingle beach.

A hidden gem, Lulworth Cove is attached to the small village of west Lulworth.  Walkers, hikers, families and pets follow the coastal path from Durdle Door (arch) to Lulworth Cove or vice versa.  The cove itself is a grey pebble beach.  You can see small fishing boats dotting the sea.

After the day’s invigorating hike and breathing the fresh sea air, what could be better than an English cuppa and a scone.  This was definitely a great way to end the day.  Thank you to my nieces who helped organize this trip for me.  🙂

36 comments

  1. Breathtaking photos Loretta. I have a dear friend in Dorset whom I have visited but somehow missed this stunning area. She is soon moving. Must get back. I remember trying to find ‘Afternoon Tea”, the fancy kind, all around Dorset, only to be served a cuppa and a scone. They consider the formal tea a touristy thing.
    Did you see beautiful gardens while there? (Still can’t “like” any posts in wordpress. Anything you can think of that might be wrong?)

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    1. Thanks Johanne. Too bad you’re friend is moving, or you could have made one last visit and seen this spectacular scenery. And to think of how all this was formed is mind blowing. I’d love to go back and do some more coastal walks around the area. Afternoon tea can be found at hotels and upscale establishments. But for me just serving tea in a pot and a cup/saucer was just tickety-boo, and of course not forgetting the scone and jam and clotted cream. 🙂 I’m not sure about the “like” feature. Is it just on mine that you aren’t able to like, or is that with everyone? There are some help buttons on WP where you can reach a Happiness Engineer directly. Otherwise I cannot think of anything at this end, as I still get all the likes from others.

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    2. Ahh yes Johanne, we did visit Exbury Gardens in the New Forest too. Beautiful gardens where the rhodies and azaleas were tumbling all over the place, definitely a sight to see. Have you ever been to the New Forest in the southern part of England, that is a must see too. Wild ponies are all over the place, in fact they have the right of way, it’s literally a forest with little villages and pubs of course. My fav 🙂

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  2. Absolutely stunning, Loretta! The amazing blues, greens, and the beautiful rock formations take my breath away. Thank you so much for taking us along! I must save this post in my folder of wonderful places to discover in England! ♡

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    1. Thanks Sonal. Indeed quite a trip it was. So much to learn from all those rock formations too which I was not aware of, I’m so glad I got to see it all. I’d love to take some more hikes along the coastal paths.

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  3. Beautiful photos – we love Dorset – next time pop over the water and visit the Isle of Wight i.e. The bit that broke off the south coast, known as Dinosaur Isle 😊

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    1. Thanks so much. Actually I did visit the Isle of Wight when I lived in England with my family. We used to live in Gosport and work in Portsmouth. My folks have since moved to Southampton. It’s quite fascinating to learn about those rock formations and how rocks and shorelines divided and broke off. I didn’t know the IOW was known as the Dinosaur Isle 🙂 Whereabouts are you? I’m now following your blog 🙂

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      1. Ahh thank you 😊 you were almost in shouting distance in southampton, we are in Cowes, mainly known for its sailing, I was born here, moved away in my 20’s and returned in my 30’s, best move I ever made, 😍

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  4. Wow Loretta! I would never have thought to go there but with that photography, it has to go on the bucket list. I think it’s great that you go somewhere new each year and that you learn a bit of history of the area. That water and all of the green is stunning!

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    1. Oh if ever you’re in that part of England Julie, I’d highly recommend it. My poor camera 🙂 But then, wait till you see the Switzerland pictures, which you’ve already seen some via FB, but that description is coming up next 🙂 When I lived in England with my family, I don’t believe we explored much. But when Bert and I go back, we always visit somewhere new. My nieces are always up for it too, and the last 2 trips we went off on our own, it was a lot of fun.

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  5. Your pictures are stunning Loretta. One picture is just as beautiful as the next. I’m not so sure about that surfer – no thank you 🙂 Thanks for sharing and you were lucky to have sunny weather to take pictures. It seems every trip we made to England it rained 🙂

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    1. Yes, I know exactly what you mean about England and the rain. Things have changed so much now. Global warming perhaps? Last week they had temps of 90+ degrees 40 days in a row. How uncomfortable when they are not as equipped. It’s more back to normal now. That’s a beautiful part of England that I had not explored before. It indeed was just stunning!

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  6. We will be visiting this part of England in a couple of weeks time… hope the weather is as nice as it was when you visited, but anyway… it will definitely be worth by the looks of it 🙂

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    1. It seems like so much of the weather has been changing all around the world. Global warming? England suffered a 4 day stretch of temps in the high 30’s, that’s so unusual for this time of the year. But yes, we did get some nice weather, though not as warm. Wishing you nice sunny days on your trip 🙂 I hope you’ll report back on your blog.

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  7. Really stunning photos! They certainly make me want to visit Dorset. 🙂
    It must have been a perfect day weather-wise for a hike and then ending it with tea and scone!. Enjoyed reading your travel post!

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    1. Yes it is Sumith. My family live in England, so we visit every year. I used to live in England too. Each year though, I try to visit places in England that I haven’t visited before. 🙂 Dorset was certainly captivating!

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      1. Hi Loretta
        I do! I grew up by the sea and missed it ever time I moved “inland” There is something about the ever changing scenery and sense of space 🙂

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  8. Loretta,
    Absolutely stunning photos! You have indeed captured the beauty so well. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing the photos and the information with us. Very informative post indeed!

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    1. Thanks Freda. If ever you visit again, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are a must. My folks live in England and I used to live there too, but I had never explored as much when we lived there. But now when we visit each year, I try to make it a point to see different places. Maybe when your little one is a bit older, you can take more trips and explore 🙂

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