Last September, we popped down to Dorset in the south west of England for a few days. This used to be a regular childhood holiday destination for me, but I hadn’t been there for at least a decade if not longer! I was reminded very quickly how pretty that part of the country is and luckily I had taken my camera. I was there with my family and making the most of it, we packed a lot into our mini-break! I wasn’t planning to write a post on it but thought as a change from writing blog articles about countries all over the world, here are a few words and some photos from a beautiful spot a lot closer to home.
1. Durdle Door
Our accommodation was in Durdle Door, which is close to Wool. Durdle Door is part of England’s beautiful Jurassic Coastline which stretches as far as 100 miles. Amazingly, this coastline was formed about 140 million years ago as an effect of two tectonic plates colliding together miles away. The ‘Door’ itself is a natural limestone arch and because of its history and significance, it became England’s first natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001. We’ve always enjoyed coming here, its a very beautiful part of England. That evening we followed the footpath down the very steep hill to get to the beach. There are two beaches and because of the regular rock falls, one in now out of bounds (the one behind me in the first photo) so we headed to the second beach, the one with the Door. We later walked all the way back up again (up a LOT of steps) and watched the sun set over the sea from the cliff top.
2. Lulworth Cove
On my first full day we visited Lulworth Cove, which is about five minutes down the road from Durdle Door, if that. It is a pretty little spot, a natural bay with a cute pebbled beach and lots of little thatched roof cottages. It feels like you’ve stepped back in time! The only problem is its growing popularity especially in nice weather! Lots of people use it as a start or end point, along the cliff top footpaths that hug the coast.
I learnt more about the rock layers being pushed together millions of years ago in the museum there, and also the storms eroding the cliff edges. Really interesting and super pretty, especially if you walk up the hill to look down on the cove, like in this next photos.
3. Monkey World, Wool
The next day my family and I visited Monkey World in Wool. It is such a gorgeous monkey rescue sanctuary where they rescue monkeys in trouble all over the world. It has been going for years, I remember visiting when I was little, and is followed by the TV programme Monkey Life. Unfortunately the day we were there the weather was pretty cold and miserable, and the monkeys were definitely feeling it! They didn’t venture too far out to play and wrapped themselves up in blankets but it was still really lovely experience. My personal favourite were the orangutans- not only because they are one of my favourite animals in the world but also the girl doing the informative talk became very emotional about the way they are treated in the wild. Hopefully it makes people think twice about using products with palm oil.
That evening we drove 15 miles to Weymouth from Durdle Door and walked around the harbour there. Weymouth beach is so lovely, really fine white sand and gentle sea because its protected cove. The harbour is lovely too, lots of boats surrounded by coloured painted houses, shops and bars. After dinner by the waters edge, we saw that the sunset was looking very promising so tried to chase it. We drove all the way to Chesil Beach, one of the longest shingle beaches in England, to try and get a good view but unfortunately just missed it as it set.
5. Corfe Castle
The following day, on the way home, we visited Corfe Castle which is a beautiful historic ruin. It was built in 1086, following William’s conquest of Britain, the Corfe Norman Castle was begun. and then was destroyed in 1646. It is now a ruin but is full of interesting story boards about its long history. The castle was developed during the Norman period, by William’s son Henry I. For the whole of the Medieval period, Corfe was a Royal Castle and various Kings used it to store jewels, imprison people, and much torturing and murder took place. It was passed from Royal to Royal, until Eilizabeth I gifted it to the Hatton family, who sold it to the Bankes family during the Civil War. Civil war broke out and it was left to Lady Bankes to defend the castle bravely in 1643 and 1645 through two sieges. She was finally overcome by the treachery of one of her own officers. Following an Act of Parliament, the Castle was then blown up from the inside.
It was a really pretty place to walk around, as in the little village of Corfe. Lots of really old buildings and bakeries etc.
On the way back we stopped off at Sandbanks which is a beautiful sandy beach. Again I thought I forgot how pretty the beaches in that area can be! Minus the weather, its like being abroad!
My priority has always been to travel as far as I can. When doing this, I forget how pretty parts of England is- you forget what’s on your doorstep. Going to try and take the time to appreciate it a little more in the future!