So, here are my accounts and some lovely LOVELY pics from my little trek to the Isle of Purbeck on the first weekend of August, when the sun was high and the air was warm (and now it's all cold and glum!). Isle of Purbeck is a peninsula and not really an island, mind you, at the southern coast of Dorset. It is a national heritage park and quite touristic, and is by far, hands down, one of the most beautiful places in UK that I have ever been to. I'll be honest, I've seen all the pictures that my friends had taken during their trip down to Durdle door, and I was always like, "Ya, it's alright, can't imagine how much better it can get from all the other coasts I've been to, like the lovely shores of Isle of Wight, or the beautiful golden beach of Bournemouth...!?" But I stand corrected, you can never compare the magnificence of Dorset coasts!
While I decided to do my southern English coast trip this summer (like I mentioned here), I did a little research of my own on the prospect destinations and stumbled upon not one but two wonderful tourist spots (with a hidden bonus spot) to go to while the heat was still on. So here's all about my trek from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door.
We started off from Southampton on a friday morning from the train station to Poole that takes a little less than an hour to get to and about £15 return, leaving every 20-30 minutes. From Poole station, we took the next train to Wool, which takes another 20 minutes to get to, and about £6.50 for an open return, leaving every hour. So definitely plan ahead.
At Wool, there are regular bus services (3 types) from Wool station to Lulworth Cove first and then to Durdle door. The bus services numbered 103 and 104 are little stagecoach services that are very limited, running only twice each (one way) from 9:10 AM till 16:15 PM, with the last bus back to the station at 18:19 PM. They take about £1.50 one way only and stop at both Lulworth cove and Durdle door. The timetable can be found here. Another bus service you can take is the double decker bus service route X43, that costs about £4.10 a dayrider ticket, running daily from 19 July to 31st August, scheduled every 2 hours between 10.46 AM till 17:46 PM, going straight from Wool station en route to Lulworth cove, Durdle door and even Weymouth (which gives me an idea for future). So depending on your itinerary plan where to stop first. Our first point of drop off was Lulworth cove but if you want my advice, make Durdle door your first destination and walk down to Lulworth cove since you have to walk 20 minutes from the drop off point at the main road whereas the drop off or pick up point in Lulworth cove quite easily accessible.
What was in store was definitely a treat, not only was the cove spectacular, up close or from a higher vantage point, but so was the little town surrounding the area with hills, greenery, deep blue sea, and the wondrous mighty rock formations... Plus the clear blue sky and warm sunshine only added to the charm of what's (and I cannot emphasise enough) one of the most gorgeous places to visit in UK.
Anyway, we started off with much needed fuel, lunch! Just on the foot trail leading into the cove from the tourist drop off/pick up point, between the cove and the bus stop, are various little pubs, ice cream stalls, local shops and restaurants. As tempting and pretty as they all were, we picked the one that had the most impressive board of menu with the most reasonable prices, called Brody's. From gourmet chorizo burgers to assorted fresh sea food dishes, the restaurant was a definite winner in my books. The restaurant looked small from outside but it had a lovely back garden that seated plenty, along with a few tables in the front side too. We took our time to skim the menu and the specials board, order up, and enjoy the fresh and scrumptious meal, while enjoying the sun and the refreshing sea breeze from the shore that was just a few steps away.
After the meal, we made our way to the cove. Now, not much can be seen through the road leading up to the cove since it is surrounded by hills in almost all directions, almost as if fortified. Once at the end of the road, it suddenly opens up in to the lovely cove. There are no barriers around it, one can swin into the little pool, or sail in their boats, even queue up for the £6 boat trip along the lovely Jurassic coast all the way till Durdle door. The queue was a little too long for my liking while I was down there and it generally last approximately 15 mins, hence it left it for next time (oh and I assure you there most certainly will be a next time!)... Next, we trekked up from the cove up the hill for a full view and gosh was I left breathless, not because of the trek but because of the view! It's like I have never seen the sea before. I just stood there, spending a long time admiring the view from the top, looking across the cove to the next hill, and the blue sea under the blue sky, all the way till the horizon...
But the spectacle didn't stop there, opposite to the Lulworth cove, at the east side of the hill I was standing on was another little cove of equal grandeur. This cove featured the "Stair hole" rock formation, comprising of a long rugged rocky range running parallel to the coast, with many caves and holes underneath, supposedly formed during the Alpine orogeny and erosion that took place millions of years ago in the Mesozoic era. The chalky strata on the hill sides are equally intriguing as the rest of the coastline with outer worldly features and impressive geo formations. I'll be honest, sea shores and sea life has always been a subject of great fascination for me that's only invigorated every time I visit a new site as fantastic as this. I could really spend some quality time just sitting here, in the sun, listening to the soothing sound of the sea... There were absolutely breathtaking view to behold on both the sides of the hill separating lulworth cove and the stair hole as well.
Once we had an eye-full of spectacular views, now it was time to head on to the next destination, Durdle Door...