Durdle Door – the iconic feature in Dorset Coast line – is a natural limestone arch. It is privately owned by the Welds family, who won 12000 acres in the area. It is open to the public and definitely worth visiting. I had that idea that watching the Sun rise whilst sitting on the Dorset beach would be a great thing to do. Fortunately my friend Jon, shared the sentiment and did not mind leaving London on Sunday morning, at 4.30 am to be precise.
We got to the beach half an hour before scheduled time, however, we did not have the pleasure to watch the Sun rising, as (typical for English winter) it was…. surprise… too cloudy. Nevertheless being there so early meant we had the entire area to explore by ourselves, at least for the first hour. The Jurassic coast is incredibly scenic. I have never been a fan of long stretches of sandy, flat beaches, I like more rugged, harsh terrain, weathered by the sea, rain and wind. Dorset is just that. The huge majestic white cliffs with a lot of little caves to explore and hills to climb, the rocks, free standing in the sea, the sound of the waves, that break against them, zero light pollution, allowing you to watch the Milky Way at night (providing the skies are clear) – all of these mean I will definitely be back there soon. If you are lucky you can find some fossils, if not you can still buy them in the Gift Shop by the car park ;).
Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole (pic below, taken from the top of one of the cliffs), which are 5 minutes walk from the Durdle Door, apparently owe their existence to the collision of continents and the Alps rising 25 million years ago. The Cove is simply stunning, it’s scalloped shape and pebbly/rocky beaches make it a great play ground. There were some brave souls there, who probably woke up as early as us to go paddle boarding in a freezing cold, apart from them, there were very few people around at this time of the day.
After hours of exploring the area and when more and more people started showing on the walking paths, we have decided to visit the local Inn by the name of… Lulworth Cove Inn. To my surprise, they had 3 vegan dishes on the menu. I went for Vegan Shepherds Pie, which I have later decided was another dish I would try to make at home adding a slight twist 😉 – recipe HERE