Dorset Pictures – England

Southbourne beach and promenade, Bournemouth, part of 7 magnificent miles of beaches

Poole’s huge natural harbour,  the largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney, Australia. Poole is  Dorset’s port and  the harbour is nursery to a legion of board sailors. In the middle is the most expensive land in Britain and fourth most expensive in the world, Sandbanks. In the distance over the ferry are the pastoral delights of Studland’s National Park land, Corfe Castle, the Southwest Coast Path and Britain’s ‘Jurassic Coast.’

The south coast of England, especially Dorset is much favoured by beach goers and walkersenjoying a (relatively) fine micro-climate (arguably the best in the UK), some ancient sights/sites such as Maiden Castle, the Cerne Giant and Corfe Castle, sea views from chalk cliff-tops, some excellent beaches and rolling, undeveloped rural countryside.

Cerne Giant, near Dorchester, Dorset

Corfe Castle, near Studland, Dorset

Corfe Castle‘s 1, 000 year-old ruins lie in Dorset’s rolling, rural Purbeck Hills, just beside the charming little village of Corfe and not far from the start of the 630 mile (1014 kms) South West Coast Path, Studland Nature Reserve, superb beaches at Bournemouth and Studland and pretty good in Weymouth.

The start of the South West Coast Path, South Haven Point, Shell Bay, Dorset

The stunning South West Coast Path (630 miles, 1014 kms), the United Kingdom’s longest footpath, stretches from South Haven Point, Poole Harbour, Dorset (just across the ferry) through the fossil-loaded ‘Jurassic Coast‘, along cliffs and valleys, past fishing villages and resorts to Quay Street Green, Minehead, Somerset. It is only partially useable by mountain bikers or horse riders. Most hikers don’t walk the whole stretch in one go, needless to say.

Durdle Door late in the afternoon in July,  Dorset.

Towns, ranging from charming to glum, on the Coast Path include: Swanage, Weymouth, Exmouth, Torquay, Plymouth (the port from which the Pilgrim Fathers sailed to America aboard the Mayflower), Penzance, Newquay (known for surfing and crazed teen nightlife), Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.

Weymouth.

Some of the more scenically interesting areas en routeare Lyme Regis, Chesil Beach, Portland Bill, Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Kimmeridge Bay, Dancing Ledge and the Old Harry Rocks near the start of the walk at Studland beach, Poole.

Lyme Regis

One of six ancient tree trunks and part of of the Fossil Forest on Dorset’s ‘Jurassic Coast‘. A popular walk along this coast with superb views is called Golden Cap, about 4 miles (6kms) long and will take 2-3 hours, including one steep climb. Start from Seatown beach car park.

The Jurassic Coast spanning Devon and Dorset is a World Natural Heritage Sitedescribed as ‘an outstanding example, representing a major stage of earth’s history and the record of life’.

One of the oldest coastlines in the world, the coast is stuffed with 185 million years of fossils and extends 95 miles from Orcombe Point in Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. Lyme Regis town is the core of the fossil hunting and buying business.

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