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A Weekend in Dorset

Early on the 4th of February I set out for Dorset. Dorset is a lovely area, with some great geological features. The features are so great that part of the coast (known as the Jurassic Coast) is a world heritage site.

A world heritage site is a site or structure designated by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization as being one of global significance. In the case of the Jurassic Coast it is because of its amazing coastline, where there are some amazing geological features and lost of very important and well preserved fossils have been found there.

The Costal Path to Lulworth Cove
The Costal Path to Lulworth Cove
 So what did I visit in Dorset? Well first of all I went to Lulworth Cove. The weather was surprisingly good for March, with beautiful blue skies and it was fairly warm too. The cove is a fantastic example of erosion, with its soft clays now eroded, leaving limestone and chalk standing, whilst constantly being battered by the sea.

Just up the hill from the cove is a geological feature known as Stair Hole. This is a Limestone rock structure which was thought to have been made millions of years ago when the African Plate smashed into the European Plate. This same collision formed the Alps, and then sent shockwave's through Europe. Chalk was lying on the ocean floor on top of limestone and this massive impact caused the limestone to push up from horizontal to an almost vertical position. Today the lines of the 'crumpling' are still very visible, a reminder of power of tectonic collisions. Now you know how Stair Hole was formed!

We had lunch in the lovely village of West Lulworth and had a look around this quaint seaside location, before we set out on a long walk over the hill to Durdle Door.
Durdle Door is a fantastic example of an arch, which is where the sea has burst through the rock at the bottom, leaving a hole which it continues to widen. Eventually the roof will wall in, forcing the land to retreat and forming a stack, to stand alone out at sea.

By the time we got to Durdle Door it was the late afternoon, but it was worth the half an hour trek over the hill! The sky was blue, the air was warm and the view was fantastic. Man of War Bay on the left and Durdle door on the right, what a brilliant view!

We then trekked back over the hill and drove past Corfe Castle to Swanage which is where we were staying for the night.
 
Me at Durdle Door - Dorset
Me at Durdle Door - Dorset
After a good breakfast we headed off for Studland Bay. At the bay we took a look at the amazing sand dune system and had a walk around the beach. From the beach you could see the Old Harry Rocks, but sadly, not Old Harry himself. You could however see his wife, which was a bonus! Once upon a time Old Harry and his wife were stacks out at sea, formed when an arch like Durdle Door collapses. Old Harry is still a stack, but a while ago, his wife was lost in a storm, and has now become a stump, which is the final stage of erosion, before a piece of land completely disappears.

Old Harry Rocks - Dorset

My trip to Dorset, was a thoroughly enjoyable adventure Smiley Face

Why not check out some of the fantastic pictures I managed to get?

Images: Stair Hole Rock (423KB) An Artistic Shot of Lulworth Cove (432KB) Lulworth Cove Entrance (453KB) Stair Hole (507KB) West Lulworth (Village) and Lulworth Cove (386KB) Me at Man of War Bay (310KB) Corfe Castle (283KB) Studland Bay Sand Dunes (365KB) Studland Sand Dunes Footpath (400KB)

Posted By: Christopher (Admin)
Date written: 6th March 2011, Event date: 4th and 5th March 2011

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Recent Posts

> Lapland Holiday Diary - 29th December 2009
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> A Weekend in Dorset - 6th March 2011
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