Yesterday I visited ‘Durdle Door‘ which is a place I have wanted to go for some time now. Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near ‘Lulworth‘ in ‘Dorset‘, United Kingdom. The natural wonder is 65 miles from where I live in the South West Of England. The postcode for the car park which I used is – BH20 5PU, this is based within a holiday park on the ‘Lulworth Estate‘. Depending on when you visit will depend on whether pre-booked car parking is necessary, during the week it is fairly quiet now, the weekend would be very busy!
Facts about Durdle Door
** The arch, the nearby beach and a great amount of land in Dorset are owned by a family known as the Welds, this land is known as the Lulworth Estate.
** The rocks which the arch is made up of is thought to be approximately 140 million years old, this is situated in the Jurassic Coast.
** Durdle Door first appeared on the Ordnance Survey map dated in 1811, it was spelt ‘Dirdale Door’.
** It is believed around 25 million years ago African tectonic plate collided with the European plate. The large pressure is thought to have generated heaved and folded rocks to create the mountain chain we know as the Alps. It is thought that ripples from the collision spread North through the Earth’s crust and gently folded the rocks here.
** The chalk in the area often has many fossils embedded in it which brings many scientists and geologists to this area.
** Durdle Door is known as a Natural Wonder.
** Durdle Door has had moments of fame with many scenes in films being filmed here such as in nanny McFee, the children had a picnic on the beach next to the arch.
** The structure is around 200 feet tall.
Once parked in Durdle Door there were pay and display machines which were very clear to understand. I paid for 2 – 4 hours which was £6, the price is quite reasonable considering you are parking within walking distance from the beauty spot. There were many toilets located here which were very clean and easy to access. In place, because of the current situation, there is a one-way system that people have put in place taking you around a different route rather than straight down the hill which leads immediately to Durdle Door.
In the car park, there is a small refreshments van which sells cold drinks, tea and coffee. There is only one of these, from what I understand they are trying to keep Durdle Door a natural place to visit without shops and cafes which I think is good they are doing so, therefore you may want to prepare a picnic to take along.
This route was marked out by signposts. I took the right path which was very scenic taking me through hedge ways, forest and past a field of cows! 🐄🐄🐄
I got to the end of this field which had a gateway. I went through this gate and stopped to enjoy the view. This part is called ‘Scratchy Bottom‘.
It was very good weather when I went but it was very much luck the sun being out as it has been raining all week here in the South West of England 😅. There was many signs warning people not to swim or jump off any rock faces – this is because they have had many visitors during lockdown doing lots of dangerous things and having to be rescued🤦.
From Scratchy Bottom it is easy to see Durdle Door and Man O’War Cove immediately. After taking snapshots I took the left path which went up and over a hill leading towards the steps of Durdle Door.
The ground levelled out with a grass area where there was an information sign on Durdle Door. This was interesting, it describes the four rocks which have been eroded over a period of time which you can still see in the water. These rocks are; The Bull, The Blind Cow. The Cow and The Calf 😀 🐄🐄🐄🐄. It shows the chalk cliffs where rocks before have eroded and the surrounding area.
The first lot of steps led me down to a sign pointing the direction of Durdle Door and Man O’ War Cove. I took the steps down the Durdle Door. The sea was very blue with the beach being pebbly, to begin with, it then turned to sand further down towards Bat’s Head which is the cliff in the far distance of the photos with another arch being created by the sea. There were many ships which looked like they were docked in the waters here too! We enjoyed paddling in the water here! 😁
After exploring the beach for a couple of hours, I went back up the steps to explore the Man O’War Cove which is located on the East side of Durdle Door. It is a beach of sand with very fine pebbles making it very popular with tourists. The steps were easy to walk down although they are quite deep for some people, these led straight onto the beach. I then walked along this beach to the far end to explore if there was a path there leading up over the rocks. There wasn’t a path here!, I found out, so I walked back along the beach. It was good exploring the area, seeing all the amazing places there. Walking back the tide was starting to come in which I was aware of walking along the coast, it is very easy to all of a sudden get cut off in a cove. It is very important to read the local tide times to make sure you are not one of those people which don’t take responsibility for their own safety and end up having to call the coast guard out because they are stuck! 😳
After spending time on this beach I then walked back up the steps and started walking back to the car, I had been here for 4 hours but the time seemed to go so quickly. Once at the top of the steps there was a path to the right side which is the steep hill people often explain. This hill you can usually walk down, because the one-way system is in place they are pointing you around and through the fields and then pack up this way to the car. Whilst walking up this path I spotted a sign which was for the ‘South West Coast Path‘ with an image of an acorn, this acorn represents the South West Coast Path. I was pleased to find this because it will help with the planning and mapping out of South West Coast Path for the future 👍.
By the time I had reached the top of this hill which didn’t take long, there was a helicopter flying overhead along with 6 police officers which turned up, 2 paramedics and they had closed the path off. I’m presuming there was an incident of some sort. During the COVID-19 there have been so many visitors to Durdle Door that it has impacted on the local emergency services therefore it is important to be responsible when visiting areas such as these natural wonders.