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.
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. 🙂