Tim Knifton

Archive Dipping – a day trip to the Dorset Coast

January 2012

To many, January 2012 doesn’t seem that long ago but the amount of places we’ve been and the things we have experienced makes it seem such a long time ago.

This month, 7 days into a new year, we decided to travel the day to the Dorset coastline for sunrise and photograph, Durdle Door and other parts of the Jurassic Coast.

The Sign of things to come

This meant a very early start to drive down and be on the shingle beach by sunrise. Luckily, we all had the enthusiasm to drag ourselves up early and go.

This trip included an hour or so in Swanage and a trip to Portland Bill including Pulpit Rock for sunset before the drive back home.

Durdle Door

Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset, England. It is privately owned by the Welds, a family who own 12,000 acres in Dorset in the name of the Lulworth Estate. It is open to the public. The name Durdle is derived from the Old English ‘thirl’ meaning bore or drill.

Durdle Door coming out of SR

Durdle Door from the climb up

Man o’War

Lead out


Swanage is a coastal town and civil parish in the south-east of Dorset, England. It is situated at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck, approximately 10 km south of Poole and 40 km east of Dorchester. Nearby are Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks, with Studland Bay and Poole Harbour to the north. Within the parish are Durlston Bay and Durlston Country Park to the south of the town. The parish also includes the areas of Herston, just to the west of the town, and Durlston, just to the south.

The town, originally a small port and fishing village flourished in the Victorian era, when it first became a significant quarrying port and later a seaside resort for the rich of the day. Today the town remains a popular tourist resort, this being the town’s primary industry, with many thousands of visitors coming to the town during the peak summer season, drawn by the bay’s sandy beaches and other attractions.

During its history the bay was listed variously as Swanawic, Swanwich, Sandwich, and only in more recent history as Swanage.

The town is located at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site.

A blast of colour

“Beach Huts”Swanage Pier

“Swanage Pier”

Old pier

“Remains of the old pier”

Portland Bill

Portland Bill is a narrow promontory (or bill) of Portland stone, which forms the most southerly part of Isle of Portland, and therefore also the county of Dorset, England. One of Portland’s most popular destinations, the popular attraction Portland Bill Lighthouse is found in the area, whilst Portland Bill is also noted for its rough coast.

Boat parking“Portland Boats”

Last of the light“Last light at Portland Bill”

Portland Boffy

“Portland Boffy”

Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock is coastal feature near the southern tip of the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. The artificial stack of rock was left in the 1870s after a natural arch was cut away by quarrymen at the Bill Quarry on the famous headland, Portland Bill. It was intentionally left in place as a quarrying relic.It is similar to the quarrying relic landmark stack Nicodemus Knob, located close to Portland’s East Weares area.

The geological succession up from sea level is: Portland Cherty Series (up to the level of the neighbouring quarried platform), then Portland Freestone (the oolitic limestone quarried inland of Pulpit Rock), then a cap of thin-bedded limestones which are part of the basal Purbeck Formation.

The rock has remained a popular tourist attraction on the island, and is often photographed. Despite the danger, for many decades, Pulpit Rock has been a popular place for Tombstoning.Pulpit Rock is also a local popular point for Wrasse anglers, and in 1998 the British record Ballan Wrasse was caught here by local expert Pete Hegg.

The exposed rock surface that surrounds Pulpit Rock is known as Snail Shore. The surface contains millions of snail, oyster and mollusc shells that was once a Jurassic seabed thriving with marine life around 150 million years ago.

A sense of scale at Pulpit Rock

“A sense of scale at Pulpit Rock”

Thanks for reading.

This entry was published on June 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm. It’s filed under Europe, HDR, Landscapes, Nature, Photography, Sunrise, Travel, Waterscapes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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