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Jurassic Coast

Bubleigh Saltaton cliffs

The Jurassic Coast was granted World Heritage Site status because the rocks record an extraordinary 185 million years of the Earth's history representing a walk through time showing the evolution of species including the rise and fall of the dinosaurs. This varied geology also provides a spectacular view of coastal change supporting rare and important plants and animals.

The coastline is beautiful, with an unparalleled range of natural features. The variety of landslides, beaches, bays and cliffs results in a constantly changing landscape with spectacular features such as the Hooken Landslide, Chesil Beach and Durdle Door. The varying landscape also lends itself to a diverse range of birds and wildlife – puffins and dolphins included!

Most of the Site lies within the Dorset and East Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). These two designated areas recognise nationally important landscapes, conserving both the Site and the wider countryside that surrounds it. The range of interests along this fascinating coastline offers something for everyone.

For more information visit www.jurassiccoast.com.

Directions

It’s easy to reach the Jurassic Coast by public transport.

By train

From London Waterloo – half hourly services to Weymouth, stopping at Bournemouth, Poole, Wareham, Wool, Moreton and Dorchester. Buses connect to the coast from Wareham and Dorchester

From London Paddington – hourly services to Axminster, Honiton and Exeter. Buses connect to the coast

By bus

Most towns can be reached by National Express coaches

Getting around the Jurassic Coast

There are many different ways to travel to and around the Jurassic Coast. When making your choice, do consider the consequences of your chosen form of transport on both the global and local environment.

You may think that taking your car offers more independence, but the rail network and the Jurassic Coast bus frees you from the confines of long-distance traffic jams, and from the task of finding a parking space (and paying for it!) once you get here. Local minibus tours run daily along some parts of the coast - try Discover Dorset Tours , treat yourself, let someone else worry about the driving for a change.

Read the Jurassic Coast File type - pdf explore_without-your-car_leaflet_pdf (2.63 Mb) leaflet for more ideas.

With reference to the above leaflet, please note the National Cycle Network Route 2 between Dorchester and just north of Lyme Regis is open.

The South West Coast Path allows you to walk along the full length of the Jurassic Coast in an environmentally-friendly - and healthy - fashion. If walking sounds too hard then there are boat trips on offer that allow you to view the amazing colours, patterns and formations of the rocks in the cliffs from a unique perspective.

For more information see the Jurassic Coast website

Itineraries

7  one day walks around the Jurassic Coast

Budleigh Salterton to Exmouth (Easy)

Budleigh Salterton pebble beds

Catch Coasthopper 157 to Budleigh Salterton

Start at car park at the east end of Budleigh Salterton promenade.

Walk the South West Coast Path from Budleigh to Exmouth, first looking at the famous pebble beds west of Budleigh. Eventually reaching the ‘Geoneedle’ that marks the most westernly end of the World Heritage Site.  Drop down onto the beach again and look at the rocks either side of Orcombe Point.

Return bus service: No.357 or 157 from Exmouth

Sidmouth to Budleigh Salterton

Sea stacks at Ladram BayCatch Coasthopper 157 (or service 52 b from Honiton station) to Sidmouth

Start at Sidmouth Museum.  Walking from Sidmouth climb the impressive headland known as High Peak before dropping down to Ladram Bay. This small cove is populated with dramatic sea stacks forming one of the most striking landmarks on the Jurassic Coast. It is also one of the highlights of the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Towards the end of the walk the path leads us around the Otter Estuary, an important habitat for birds.

Return bus service: Coasthopper 157 from Budleigh Salterton

Lyme Regis to Seaton - ‘The Undercliffs’ (Difficult)

Lyme RegisCatch the X53 Jurassic Coast bus to Lyme Regis

Start at Holm Bush car park, above Cobb Road.

This walk follows a fascinating and wonderful route through the landslides that form the ‘Undercliff’ between Lyme Regis and Axmouth. It is an internationally important site for geology, geomorphology and wildlife, and for the mosaic of habitats found there including bare ground, grasslands and woodland.

Return bus service: X53 from Seaton

West Bay to Charmouth (Strenuous)

The view form Golden Cap

Catch the X53 Jurassic Coast bus to West Bay

Start at West Bay Pier. A walk from West Bay across Lower Jurassic geology to stop at Seatown for lunch before climbing Golden Cap, the highest point on the South Coast of England at 192 metres.

Return bus service: X53 or No.31 connecting to No.45 at Bridport

Abbotsbury to West Bay (Moderate)

Chesil Beach from AbbotsburyCatch X53 Jurassic Coast bus to Abbotsbury

Start at Abbotsbury Swannery car park. A trip along Chesil Bank past rural farmland and a chance to see the unique vegetation that colonises the shingle bank. This is a romantic landscape of ancient settlements steeped in stories of smugglers!

Return bus service: X53 from West Bay

Studland to Durlston (Moderate)

Old Harry RocksCatch bus service 50 to Studland

Start at Studland Study Centre. This walk starts at the Eastern end of the World Heritage Site and crosses over the youngest rocks of the Jurassic Coast on the way to Durlston Castle.

Return Bus service: No.50 from Swanage (½ a mile from Durlston Castle)

Boat trip from Exmouth or Sidmouth

Join Stuart Line Cruises on a 2- 3 hour Coastal Hopper Cruise between Exmouth and Sidmouth (board at either town). You will see the oldest Triassic rocks of the Jurassic Coast with their stunning red sandstone cliffs. On board, you will be provided with a full commentary on the geology, history and wildlife. The return journey from either town on the Coasthopper 157 bus is included in the price.

7  one day walks around the Jurassic Coast

Budleigh Salterton to Exmouth (Easy)

Catch Coasthopper 157 to Budleigh Salterton

Start at car park at the east end of Budleigh Salterton promenade.

Walk the South West Coast Path from Budleigh to Exmouth, first looking at the famous pebble beds west of Budleigh. Eventually reaching the ‘Geoneedle’ that marks the most westernly end of the World Heritage Site, drop down onto the beach again and look at the rocks either side of Orcombe Point.

Return bus service: No.357 or 157 from Exmouth

Sidmouth to Budleigh Salterton

Catch Coasthopper 157 (or service 52 b from Honiton station) to Sidmouth

Start at Sidmouth Museum.  Walking from Sidmouth climb the impressive headland known as High Peak before dropping down to Ladram Bay. This small cove is populated with dramatic sea stacks forming one of the most striking landmarks on the Jurassic Coast. It is also one of the highlights of the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Towards the end of the walk the path leads us around the Otter Estuary, an important habitat for birds.

Return bus service: Coasthopper 157 from Budleigh Salterton

Lyme Regis to Seaton - ‘The Undercliffs’ (Difficult)

Catch the X53 Jurassic Coast bus to Lyme Regis

Start at Holm Bush car park, above Cobb Road.

This walk follows a fascinating and wonderful route through the landslides that form the ‘Undercliff’ between Lyme Regis and Axmouth. It is an internationally important site for geology, geomorphology and wildlife, and for the mosaic of habitats found there including bare ground, grasslands and woodland.

Return bus service: X53 from Seaton

West Bay to Charmouth (Strenuous)

Catch the X53 Jurassic Coast bus to West Bay

Start at West Bay Pier. A walk from West Bay across Lower Jurassic geology to stop at Seatown for lunch before climbing Golden Cap, the highest point on the South Coast of England at 192 metres.

Return bus service: X53 or No.31 connecting to No.45 at Bridport

Abbotsbury to West Bay (Moderate)

Catch X53 Jurassic Coast bus to Abbotsbury

Start at Abbotsbury Swannery car park. A trip along Chesil Bank past rural farmland and a chance to see the unique vegetation that colonises the shingle bank. This is a romantic landscape of ancient settlements steeped in stories of smugglers!

Return bus service: X53 from West Bay

Studland to Durlston (Moderate)

Catch bus service 50 to Studland

Start at Studland Study Centre. This walk starts at the Eastern end of the World Heritage Site and crosses over the youngest rocks of the Jurassic Coast on the way to Durlston Castle.

Return Bus service: No.50 from Swanage (½ a mile from Durlston Castle)

Boat trip from Exmouth or Sidmouth

Join Stuart Line Cruises on a 2- 3 hour Coastal Hopper Cruise between Exmouth and Sidmouth (board at either town). You will see the oldest Triassic rocks of the Jurassic Coast with their stunning red sandstone cliffs. On board, you will be provided with a full commentary on the geology, history and wildlife. The return journey from either town on the Coasthopper 157 bus is included in the price.

Accommodation

The green accommodation shown on the map has demonstrated a high commitment to sustainability.  For more accommodation options, please follow this link:

http://www.visit-dorset.com

The green accommodation shown on the map has demonstrated a high commitment to sustainability.  For more accommodation options, please follow this link:

http://www.visit-dorset.com