Corfe Castle & the Jurassic Coast

With Weymouth as our home base our first excursion was to Corfe Castle, also a National Trust site. Instead of following Spiteful Nelly’s directions, we chose a road closer to the Jurassic coastline, a designated UNESCO natural World Heritage Site as it is the only place on Earth where “185 million years of earth’s history is sequentially exposed in dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, coastal stacks, and barrier beaches.” However, the road was not close enough. Once in a while we had a glimpse of the ocean, but most of the time we had lovely views of rolling green countryside.

Corfe Castle was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century to guard the principle route through the Purbeck Hills and peninsula. Although the castle is now in ruins, as we hiked up the hill along a lovely stream, the remaining stone structures above us still gave an ominous sense of domination, and once within the ruins looking over the countryside it was clear why the site had been chosen—no sneaking up on this place! Our views were spectacular and had I been in better physical shape we could have taken Purbeck Ridgeway trail, a nine and a half mile route to the coast. Although I doubt my sister would have enjoyed the last part of the trail along the Coast Pathway to Swanage, as it is along a steep cliff and she has a fear of heights.

I try to be considerate of her phobia, as she is considerate of mine—I suffer from claustrophobia, in particular if I am underground, which means when we are in and around London we seldom take the Underground, often the most expedient means of travel. With her fear of heights and those UNESCO dramatic cliffs in mind, I drove us to Lulworth Cove so we could enjoy the Jurassic coast at sea level. From the car park it was a nice walk down to the stony beach where we sat and watched people boarding a boat to Durdle Door and Mupe Bay, which is what we should have done, as the trip provides spectacular views of the coastline without having to hike along steep cliffs. We will just have to come back—and I would love to; there is so much to see in this majestic area.

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