Discover Dorset for English Tourism Week
Whilst it might not seem like it right now, spring and summer are just around the corner and it’s a great time to Discover Dorset and the Jurassic Coast.
Day trip, family, friends or couples holiday, weekender, short break, big break, lucky break or spring break. Vacation or staycation, if it’s the UK you’re after then southwest England, and the area in and around Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is very hard to beat.
It’s a bit off the beaten track. A little bit quirky but boasting bags of charm and a gentle sprinkling of glamour. Discover Dorset and there’s enough to keep you going for days on end.
1- A natural wonder of the world
Dorset and East Devon is home to the Jurassic Coast It’s a United Nations Natural World Heritage Site – boasting the same status as the Great Barrier Reef and Grand Canyon. This 95 mile stretch of coast carves out 185 million years of the Earth’s history. It showcases spectacular scenery sculpted by the sea, rich hunting grounds for amazing fossils and is the home of colourful coastal communities. It’s an incredible and beautiful must-see place to visit, and an inspiration for OCEANROCKS creations.
2- Beaches – miles and miles of amazing award winning beaches
You’ll regularly find Jurassic Coast beaches in top listings online, or Sunday Paper travel supplements. From traditional seaside resorts like Swanage to wild Chesil Bank and nearby cosmopolitan Bournemouth – now number 1 on Trip Advisor – there’s a strip to suit all tastes. The National Trust’s Studland Beach is one of the most popular. Sandbanks at Poole has a reputation as the most glamorous, with some of the priciest real estate in the whole of the UK to match. Charmouth is great for fossil-hunting and one of the UK’s top five beaches in the BBC’s Countryfile Magazine. Kimmeridge Bay is home to a marine natural reserve and increasingly popular surf break.
3- Beautiful, unspoilt and inspiring
Away from a few built up areas, Dorset is largely unspoilt and rural in nature with a healthy spread of charming market towns and villages. The Jurassic Coast itself is a United Nations designated Natural World Heritage Site – putting it on a par with the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef. Much of the landscape which sits behind is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with rich and rare wildlife. High chalk ridges, vales and coastal cliffs offer panoramic views and stunning vistas featuring prehistoric burial mounds, massive hillforts like Maiden Castle and rolling hills. Explore and be inspired by a delightful and generous smattering of walks, trails and bridleways. And Perfect for glamping.
4- Fabulous food and drink
Dorset and the Jurassic Coast is foodie heaven with a fine reputation for local produce and freshly caught seafood. Many celebrity chefs agree, and there are numerous restaurants, cafes, pubs and high-end eateries to experience. Sample or take home tasty treats from Farmer’s Markets and food festivals. Local boy made good Mark Hix’s Oyster and Fix House restaurant overlooks Lyme Regis’ famous Cobb harbour. Hive Beach Cafe at Burton Bradstock, next to Chesil Beach, boasts a great reputation to match, with a strong ethos of using locally sourced sustainable produce. Or check out Portland’s glorious food mile. There’s loads to love. Ice cream. Loads of it. And chips by the harbour.
The county has a burgeoning reputation for home grown drink. Award-winning vineyards at Furleigh and Langham offer estate tours and tasters. Micro-breweries are popping up all over the county to complement local heritage brands like Palmers, Hall & Woodhouse and Piddle Valley. And as you’d expect, there are plenty of cider producers, plus Dorset Conker and Pothecary Gins, and the world’s only pure milk Black Cow vodka. Try it! Dorset’s food and drink is the inspiration for OCEANROCKS Dorset Foodie T-shirt for men and women.
5- Action, adventure and adrenalin
Think Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is just about fossils, or all sedate and gentle? Think again! It’s a watersports mecca, but a world away from super-crammed beaches of Cornwall and north Devon. Try all types of surfing, paddle boarding, coasteering, kayaking, wild swimming or diving. And with some of the finest waters in the UK, the county is home to the National Sailing Academy – an Olympic 2012 venue – and Sunseeker Luxury Yachts. But there’s also rock-climbing, mountain biking, hiking, horse-riding, quad biking and loads more to get stuck into.
6- Easy to get to (sort of)
Despite being one of the few counties without a motorway, Dorset is pretty easy to get to on the south coast of England with decent road, rail, coach, airport, ferry and harbour links. It’s compact too, so easy to get around and explore – no matter where you stay.
7- Charm aplenty
The Jurassic Coast and the area in and around it has fancy-pants charm – bucket loads of it. It’s jammed-packed full of famous landmarks from imposing Corfe Castle to Shaftesbury’s famous Gold Hill and Lyme Regis’ romantic Cobb Harbour. It boasts 1000s of ancient sites plus art galleries, museums, stately homes, gardens and picture post card villages.
Dorset’s rich coastal heritage tells of pirates, smugglers and wreckers as well as heroes, sea monsters and horrible histories. The county has been home to many a fine artist or writer – most famously Thomas Hardy – and inspired many others like author Jane Austin, artists Joseph Turner and John Constable and writer Enid Blyton. It provides the backdrop for feature films and TV programmes like Broadchurch in West Bay, The French Lieutenant’s Women in Lyme Regis and most recently the Dunkirk movie filmed in Weymouth.
The people are friendly types too.
8- Lively in the right places
If it’s night time bars and clubs you’re after then Dorset and the Jurassic Coast got all that with a great holiday feel-good factor stacked on top. The county also hosts heaps of events and festivals including Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle and Dorset County Steam Show which welcome hundreds of thousands of people.
9- Great weather
Ah yes. Dorset has warm summers and mild winters compared to the rest of the country, and amongst the very highest sunshine hours. But you know – it’s England so there could be a rare smattering of the wet stuff now and then too.
Us! The Jurassic Coast is the home of OCEANROCKS. Our creations, designs and products are inspired by living on the coast and loving it – particularly Dorset and the southwest. Discover Our Story, and if you find us at an event this year don’t hesitate to come and say Hi!
Interested? Discover Dorset and the Jurassic Coast
You plan your trip at the official Visit Dorset tourism website.
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