Jurassic Coast, Dorset
When I lived abroad, I spent every free weekend and every last Euro seeing as much of Germany as I possibly could. It opened my eyes to how simple and spontaneous travelling can be and how I could do exactly the same back in the UK, plus I have the added bonus of having my car to hand. I saw so much of Germany and now I want to explore the UK the same way.
I’ve ticked quite a few places off in the last few months such as Oxford, Liverpool, The Cotswolds, Bristol, a few places in Wales and most recently, part of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.
A Roadtrip to Jurassic Coast, Dorset
Luke and I woke up slowly to clear blue skies and coffee in bed while we made a plan for the coming couple of days. Packing the picnic and loading the car up, we set off to Dorset. We clearly weren’t the only ones with this idea - everyone seemed to be heading to the coast and the traffic was horrendous! But luckily, people were heading to Bournemouth and the likes, and not the quieter cliffs where our sat nav was taking us.
We pulled up to a beautiful view over Kimmeridge Bay around midday. First things first, picnic! Cheese, crackers, grapes, crisps and strawberries spread across a blanket on the grass, with the sunshine warming us and a light breeze off the sea - my ideal scenario.
After lunch and sitting on the beach for a little bit, we decided to head off on the coastal walks. This is where we made a teeny error. We planned to walk to Lulworth Cove from Kimmeridge Bay, which is just over 7 miles. This would be fine, on a normal, cool day. But walking 14 miles, a lot of it uphill, in the blazing, afternoon sunshine with a little bottle of water to share between us wasn’t the best idea of the weekend. We walked a fair amount before conceding we might not make it, having a breather on top of the cliffs with some absolutely gorgeous views before heading back down to Kimmeridge Bay.
Grabbing a bottle of water and a couple of ciders from the car, we went to sit by the sea, dipping our feet in the (icy cold) sea and watching the world go by.
Are you even British if you don’t have a strawberry and lime cider as soon as the sun makes an appearance?
And a BBQ. Obviously, a BBQ is compulsory in the sunny weather.
We didn’t quite have a BBQ but we had a gas cooker, a frying pan and quorn burgers, buns and salad in the cool bag. Eating outside on a summer evening is so lush, bonus points for being by the sea.
We ate our burgers as the sun set over the cliffs, thoroughly enjoying the simple pleasures of just being outside in the calm, warm air.
Our main intention of coming to Dorset was not only for the coast, but to try our hand at astrophotography, inspired by Alyn Wallace’s talk at The Photography Show. The 3 things you need are pure darkness (so not in the light polluted sky where we live), clear skies, and a DSLR that will allow long shutter speeds and apertures.
Between sunset and darkness, we grabbed our blankets and had a quick nap in the car while waiting for the stars to shine, before driving (definitely not walking) across to Lulworth Cove, our planned photo location, to park up.
Moonrise was about 3am so we had between around 11pm and then to try and get some great shots, before moonlight filled the sky. Wrapping up warm, we grabbed our gear and headed down to the beach to set up the tripod and test out what we’d learned. And oh my, I think they turned out awesome for a first attempt!
We took lots of photos while we were waiting for the milky way to make its appearance, and watched out for shooting stars as there was a meteor shower forecast! I love our shots and we’ve learned a lot about how we can improve them for next time!
The next morning we woke to pastel blue skies again and had a quick coffee and got ready before heading out for some breakfast. We found a little cafe along the short road down to the cove and a table in the sun. They didn’t have a menu as they’d only just started serving breakfast, but they whipped up one of the best veggie cooked breakfasts I’ve ever had. It was so delicious!
By this point the car park was filling up rapidly and people were ant marching up and over the cliff to Durdle Door. We joined them, wondering what we’d find on the other side.
Durdle Door finally appeared on the other side of the cliffs, and the rocky arch looked beautiful against the glistening blue sea and pebbly coastline. The beach actually wasn’t packed to the brim, so we decided to clamber down and have a couple of hours sunbathing and paddling and chilling out. We watched dogs endlessly fetch balls from the sea, people on paddleboards and the odd boat sail gracefully past.
We did the typical British thing of not packing suncream, and as you can imagine from spending the past 2 days without shade or shelter from the sun, we were starting to glow a little bit pink. So before we started to blister, we negotiated the uphill cliff path back to Lulworth Cove, motivated by the end goal of ice cream.
Gin ice cream. Yep. I chose a Gin and Tonic ice cream and it was just as yummy as I hoped it would be.
We had another wander around Lulworth Cove, taking in the beautiful scenery, clambering on rocks, catching the last of the afternoon sun, and chatting about everything and anything.
This weekend, while a little bit spontaneous, was a lot of fun and just the break I needed. I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to see more of the UK. I have lots of big travel plans and want to see the whole world, but before these plans come to fruition, I’m going to spend as much time on the road as possible.