The Jurassic Coast stretches along 95 miles of coastline from Exmouth in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Studland Bay in Dorset. As England’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site it ranks among the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon as one of the wonders of the natural world. The name Jurassic Coast comes from the best known of the geological periods found within it, but in fact you can find rocks from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods in the area.
From stunning beaches and beautiful English countryside, to picturesque coastal walks and hunting for prehistoric fossils, the Jurassic Coast makes a perfect destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors.
Header image credit: Mark Towning
Why Visit the Jurassic Coast?
The Jurassic Coast takes visitors on a journey back in time, looking at the natural processes that shaped the landscape, as well as the ancient animals that used to live there. Countless fossils have been found along this coastline, including ancient trees and giant marine reptiles. There are still plenty more to be found, too, and you might stumble across one on your visit.
You can enjoy stunning views and landscapes as you explore the coastline, as well as picturesque seaside towns and villages.
Image credit: Adam Court
The easiest way to get there is via car ferry to one of our ports in Newhaven, Dover or Newcastle.
Driving in England is the easiest way to get around and there is a great motorway system that spreads across the majority of the country.
What to See on the Jurassic Coast
The historic fishing port of Lyme Regis in West Dorset represents a significant part of the Jurassic Coast. This unspoiled seaside resort has so much to offer with its beautiful coastline and family-friendly attractions, there’s something for everyone. Don't miss the aquarium with its prized gigantic lobsters, or maybe take a literary walking tour as Lyme’s famous Cobb features in John Fowles' novel The French Lieutenant's Women and Jane Austen's Persuasion.
Just down the coast from Lyme Regis is the pretty fishing village of Charmouth. If you’re keen on doing some fossil hunting then Charmouth is the best place to go. It has some of the most active cliff movements and mud flats in Europe which is why it’s a fossil hunter's paradise. Pop into one of Charmouth’s fossil shops to see some of the biggest fossils going or pick up your fossil hunting kit (a hammer and a pamphlet) and set off to find your very own slice of history. Charmouth is also great for fishing, either off a boat or the beach and you could catch great hauls of mackerel and perhaps the occasional bass.
The town of Budleigh Salterton has a two mile pebbled beach lined with colourful beach huts and little fishing boats. Distinctive red Devonian sandstone cliffs are at each end of the town and a walk up to the top is rewarded with spectacular views across the town and Lyme Bay. There’s a pretty little beach cafe for teas, coffees, ice creams and traditional crab sandwiches and the town itself has all the amenities you might need including an exceptional fish and chip shop.
There’s also the unique village of Abbotsbury settled among the hills behind the great Chesil Bank. It is one of Dorset’s finest, and has a history going back some 6,000 years. The village has much to offer visitors including the famous 14th century St Catherine’s Chapel, the old abbey ruins, picture-postcard cottages, traditional tearooms and pubs and three of Dorset’s most popular visitor attractions; The Swannery, Sub-tropical Gardens and the Children’s Farm. Climb to the summit of Abbotsbury Hill to see the most awe-inspiring views over Chesil Beach, Portland, Lyme Bay and the whole East Devon coastline.
WE'RE AWARD WINNING
It’s always a proud moment when you’re recognised for your good work, we’re honoured to have been named as Europe's and the World’s Leading Ferry Operator in the 2015 World Travel Awards. We've won these awards for 5 years running.