A Staycation in the Jurassic Coast - (Dorset UK)

Given the current restrictions on international travel, why not get to know our own country, after all we do have some beautiful places. 
A July week spent in Dorset, we based in Weymouth, a great central location for exploring the many different attractions in the county. 

During the week, we explored much of the landscape from cute villages to Jurassic coastlines a few activities and places I highly recommend getting involved in and visiting are;

1. Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove 
Two of the most famous beaches / coves In Dorset are a must see. I advise visiting Durdle Door first, the earlier the better as it gets busy very quickly. Once parked up it is a 10- 15 minute walk to the beach, so make sure you use the toilets In the car park before you set off! 

On the way down the footpath, you will have great views of the Man O'War beach (pictured below) before reaching the steps down to Durdle Door.  
After taking in this Jurassic landscape, you can hike 30 minutes over the South West Coast path to Lulworth Cove (downhill). Or head back to the car park and drive to the Cove.

Parking is £10 all day for a car or £15 for larger vehicles, and you can use the same ticket at both Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, great if you don't fancy the hike like us!

Be sure to pack decent footwear for the hike down and some suitable water shoes if you plan on going in the sea. Both beaches are very pebbly and Lulworth Cove has a fair amount of seaweed under foot. This will save you crawling back to shore like a washed up sea creature like me! 

2. The Isle of Portland 
The drive over Portland Beach Road is like no other, with sea views on all sides accompanied by Chesil Beach and wind surfers, make sure to take it slow to soak in all the views.

Plentiful of things to do and see, the Isle of Portland is home to Portland Bill lighthouse at the tip of the isle as pictured above, it slightly reminded me of Lands End. There is a small shanty town of sheds near the lighthouse, if anyone knows what this is please let me know in the comments. 

3. Cerne Abbas 

Home to the famous Cerne Giant, this quaint village is exceptionally beautiful with so much to see and do. 

The car park at Cerne Abbas is free, they just ask for a kind donation of £1 to help towards preserving the area. Pop DT2 7GY into your sat nav.

First thing to do after parking up is to head straight to the Viewpoint. Don't forget your glasses and take your binoculars if you have some. The giant chalk carving is quite the distance away!

After seeing the main attraction of Cerne Abbas, head into the village where you will find a cute tea room to call for a brew or pop to The Giant Inn if you fancy something a little stronger. 

Back in the 1600s Cerne Abbas was home to over 14 ale houses with only 1500 residents at the time, the villagers must have enjoyed a pint or two.

The village is also home to Cerne Abbey, where you can donate £2 to enter the grounds or you can visit St Augustine's Well. It is believed that St Augustine's arrived in 597AD and built the well. There are many tales about the well which you will find out when you visit. 

4. Abbotsbury 

This picturesque village nestled by the coast lies with a backdrop of St Catherine's Chapel on the hill. You can visit the ruins of Abbotsbury Abbey which leaves behind a small pond and barn. The village is also home to a swannery and subtropical gardens. 

After exploring the village, you can either take a 30 minute stroll or drive to the beach.

After a short drive or long walk, you will find yourself at Chesil Beach. If you can handle the tough walk along the sinking pebbles you will find where the beach separates the sea and the lakes of Fleet nature reserve,  showing a landscape like no other.

5. Corfe Castle 

The inspiration for some Enid Blyton books, Corfe Castle is a gem of a village. Situated in the countryside by the Purbecks , the castle towers over the village giving it an amazing backdrop from every angle. 

The village is home to many thatched cottages and cute village shops including a bakery where you can pick up a breakfast roll and coffee. 

Corfe Castle has a railway station hosting in action steam trains, you can even hop on a steam train to Swanage. The station has a museum dedicated to the history of the Corfe Castle railway.

There is a miniature village replicating the village and castle how it was before it fell into ruin, you will also find fairy gardens, great for the kids and adults.

6. Tyneham Abandoned Village 
The now ghost town of Tyneham was evacuated during WW2 in 1943. The military used the village as a training base throughout the war. 

After the war ended, the villagers were still not allowed to return, the military kept the village as a training base, the surrounding areas are still today used as a firing range. The village itself has been made accessible for those intrigued by the lost village.
Many of the buildings of the village have fell into ruin but some still stay intact. 

The school house being one of those buildings, with desks, book cases and other classroom tools in place, today you can almost imagine how it was with a full class. 

The local church also is in very good condition and fully accessible. 

Parking in the village is free with a request for a donation of £2 to keep the site accessible to the public. BH20 5QH follow the satnav to this postcode and then follow the road down a little further and you will come to the well pointed out car park.

7. Sea Kayaking at Weymouth Beach

Weymouth beach holds some of the world's finest sand, who wouldn't want to kayak out to sea looking over the lovely sandy beach? 

The beach hires out both kayaks and pedalos up and down the beach, they are reasonably priced. Kayaks £6 for half an hour but we definitely had at least an hour before heading back ashore. If you can handle a bit if teamwork then double kayaks are also available.

Weymouth beach is ideal for beginners and children as the sea stays very shallow for quite a way out allowing you to kayak freely without the worry of being out on deep water. 

For those of you thinking of trying Kayaking for the first time it is a very easy water sport and is very hard to fall out of a kayak on still waters!

8. West Bay (Broadchurch)
A fan of the BBC crime drama Broadchurch? You may remember the cliffs in the picture above where Danny's body was found at the foot of sparking a thrilling investigation to find his killer. 

West bay has a medium sized harbour with plenty of places to grab some food and a couple of shops to wonder around. 

You can explore the beach and cliffs, climbing to the top of the steep grassy bank if wanted or investigate the village to spot buildings and areas from scenes in Broadchurch. 

Take a look at our movie from the week below;

Thank you for reading my post, drop me a comment if you have any questions or any recommendations of places to visit in Dorset.

Stay wild.