I have lived in the Bournemouth area for over twenty years now and yet, I feel there are still so many parts of Dorset I have yet to explore. We quite often head out to the New Forest, which is just across the border in Hampshire, but we don’t often go in the opposite direction, along the Jurassic Coast. When I was offered the chance to join Discover Dorset on their Jurassic Coast Experience tour, I knew it would be a great opportunity to visit places I haven’t before, whilst rediscovering some gems from my childhood, when my dad used to come away on holiday to Lulworth.
Discover Dorset Tours offer a variety of excursions, not only around Dorset, but also further afield on the Isle of Wight and in cities – London, Oxford and Bath. As I say, I joined them on their Jurassic Coast Experience, which is a full day tour, however they have a shorter version just visiting Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, if you are short of time or just fancy a few hours exploring.
The minibus is able to pick you up from a selection of local places, including hotels, which is great if you are visiting the area. We were able to find one just a few minutes drive away from our house, which was perfect, as it was an early start (the day officially starts at 8.45am, but our pick-up time was 8.15am). Our driver, Nick, was lovely – so friendly and accommodating, and he was brilliant with Cameron, who came along with me and Ed for the day.
Once we had picked everybody up, we set off for the Sandbanks chain ferry, where we sailed the short distance across to Studland.
We made a short pitstop for photos of Old Harry Rocks, before we reached our first destination – Durlston Country Park. Here, Nick took us along the coastline path, taking in sights and showing us points of interest along the way. It was great to be with somebody who knew the history of the area and was able to give us some insight.
Reaching the castle, we stopped by the large globe monument before being given half an hour to explore on our own. We decided to use this time wisely, and visited the tea shop for a cold drink and slice of cake!
Back on the bus, it was time to carry on to our next stop – Corfe Castle! Interesting fact, which Ed didn’t stop going on about whilst we were there, Corfe Castle is in fact the name of the village, not just the name of the castle. So the castle is actually Corfe Castle’s castle…
We wandered along, window shopping and taking some photos before deciding to stop for lunch at the Greyhound Inn, which had lovely views of the castle in its garden, where we sat and enjoyed our food. The burgers there are absolutely delicious, and the pizza, which Cameron had, was also very tasty!
We got back on the coach after our lunch, and moved on to our final stop – Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. Nick dropped us just a short walk from Durdle Door, and told us he would meet up down in Lulworth a few hours later, so we had plenty of time to head off on our own to explore the area.
Ed is taking part in a charity walk around the area in a few weeks, so he knew his way around, and we walked off our lunch with a nice long walk along the coastline.
If you haven’t been before, this area of Dorset is absolutely breathtaking, and I highly recommend a visit. Not only is Durdle Door itself worth the walk, the surrounding coastal areas are just as lovely, and I was in my element, snapping away and getting Ed to go full ‘Insta-Husband’.
Back down the hill, we took some more photos of Lulworth Cove and enjoyed an ice cream and a walk around the gift shops before it was time to get back on the bus and head back home.
We were all pretty tired out after a long day, but we had a lovely time, and it was a brilliant way to spend a day. I’d recommend to tourists and locals alike.
We were provided with complimentary tickets for the tour, however all words and images are my own.