Touristville, Dorset

Well, it has to be done. Even when the Icelanders are once again causing us problems, this time by donating us geologically large plumes of volcanic ash rather than by losing astronomical amounts of our cash, there comes a time when everyone has to play tourist and do typically touristy things. In regards to the coast of Dorset, that means visiting the twin tourist traps of Lulworth Cove and nearby Durdle Door.

We drove to Lulworth Cove and investigated the tourist car park: £4 for a reasonable amount of time to take in the sights. Back up the street near a very quaint little church was some street parking that seemed to be free to those not afraid of walking an extra half mile each way. We took the oh-so-us cheap option with the much needed extra exercise.

IMG_4641_Lulworth CoveLulworth Cove is a magnificent natural harbour with twin headlands almost encompassing a sizeable safe haven like the arms of a seat belt. Unfortunately the most interesting parts of the cliffs have been deemed dangerous, or maybe just too badly eroded by countless tourist feet, so you cant get a really clear shot showing the narrow, protective entrance to the harbour but a wide angle lens gives something of an impression from the sections of cliff that do remain accessible.

IMG_4644_Towards Durdle DoorFrom Lulworth Cove, the so-called coastal path becomes more like a paved coastal motorway up which approximately half of humanity swarms to gain the high ground to the west before heading off the mile or so to Durdle Door, a famous and much photographed archway of rock with a gaping hole beneath. As one approaches on the coastal motorway, the remaining half of humanity swarms down another motorway-like footpath from the horrendous-looking Durdle Door campsite, scarring the high ground with lines of identical-mobile homes. The merging two halves of humanity tend mostly to be wearing trainers or flip-flops which makes one feel a little out of place bedecked in supposedly sensible walking boots.

IMG_4647_Durdle DoorDurdle Door may be impressive but it suffers from the fact that the sun is always behind it (south) so, other than on a cloudy day or at some ridiculously hour in the early morning or evening, photographing it is a serious challenge. It’s also somewhat ruined by the collected humanity swarming on the pebble beach at it’s feet.

I couldn’t help but be mightily amused by a helpful sign above steps leading down to said pebble beach at Durdle Door: “Owing to the gradient of the cliff, some of the steps are steep.” Really? No shit, Sherlock! Who’d have thought it? Because the cliff is steep, the steps are steep. Well I never.

Carol’s ice cream was very pleasant but we’ve seen it now and won’t be bothering again; there are much more pleasant parts of the Dorset coast.

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