Address: West Lulworth, Dorset BH20 5PU

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Durdle Door History

The area is part of ‘the Jurassic Coast’, a place steeped in history and traceable back 140 million years to the Jurassic Age. Indeed there’s much evidence of dinosaur activity nearby, most notably on the Isle of Wight. Even in the rock above the Durdle Door arch there are holes that contain the fossilised remains of trees.

Durdle Door is part of a Pentland limestone outcrop that has been formed as an arch in the coastal rock by the erosive action of the sea. The same erosion can be seen at Stair Hole at Lulworth Cove, a mile or so to the east. Indeed, the coastline would have looked much different hundreds and thousands of years ago as caves would have appeared in the cliffs in places. These then turned to holes, then stacks and finally stumps as can be seen in ‘The Calf’, ‘The Cow’, ‘The Blind Cow’ and ‘The Bull’, all to the west of Durdle Door.

The name ‘Durdle Door’ has evolved over the years and is believed to have come from the Anglo Saxon ‘thyrelod’ or ‘thirl’, meaning pierced or having a hole, and the addition of ‘door’ which refers to the arch like hole.

The rock formation around Durdle Door has been labelled ‘a geologist’s dream’ with five different types of rock being visible. Such is the geological significance of the coastline that it has been declared a World Heritage Site.

 

Durdle Door Visit

As would be expected of such a place, its south coast location makes it a great place to visit whilst on holiday or to even build a holiday around. It lies between Weymouth and Poole and, more specifically, lies to the west of West Lulworth.

To access the beach you drive through the Durdle Door Holiday Park and park in the headland car park, before walking down to the beach.

Two kilometres to the east is Lulworth Cove with its spectacular circular beach. There’s also a Fossil Forest walk, a Heritage Centre as well as outdoor activities such as canoeing and rock climbing.