The Jurassic Coast is England’s only natural World Heritage Site and was designated for its unique geology. This world famous coastline is located between Studland in Dorset and Exmouth in Devon. It is the only place on Earth where you can see rocks from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous time periods all in one place!

It sits on a world map of other natural World Heritage Sites including the Grand Canyon, The Galapagos Islands, Yellowstone National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.

You can literally walk through time as you discover 185 million years of the Earth’s history along the Jurassic Coast's 95 mile stretch of coastline

Here's a few ideas for exploring the Jurassic Coast on a 2 day short break. 

Day 1

In the morning, head to Durdle Door, an iconic rock formation taking the shape of an archway. It has been likened to a dragon or dinosaur bending over to sip water from the sea and has been nicknamed the Durdle Dooraus!

Dog on the pebble beach at Durdlr Door in Dorset

You can then choose to walk 1 mile along the coast path or have a more leisurely drive to Lulworth Cove - a perfect horseshoe shaped cove hollowed out by the sea approximately 10,000 years ago. If you follow the coast path from the Cove to the east, you will find the Fossil Forest which are fossilised tree stumps that are 145 million years old. Make sure you stop at the Heritage Centre near the Cove before you have lunch in the village.

Lulworth Cove at sunrise

Your afternoon’s adventure will take you to Kimmeridge, where you can view the famous Etches Collection and Museum of Jurassic Marine Life. From 2nd January 2024, the Museum will host a new exhibition of a huge Pliosaur skull first discovered locally in 2022 and being featured in the upcoming BBC One documentary 'Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster'.

Photo of Kimmeridge Bay and Clavell Tower

Kimmeridge Bay lies within the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and boasts the best rock-pooling and safest snorkelling site in Dorset. The rocks here were once the floor of a deep tropical sea! Walk up to Clavell Tower on the clifftop for fantastic views and visit The Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at the end of the Bay to help you get the most out of your trip.

In the evening, have dinner in Studland where you can drink in some amazing views of Old Harry Rocks – the chalk sea stacks at the end of Handfast Point. At around 65 million years old, these rocks were formed during the Cretaceous period and once connected with The Needles on the Isle of Wight.

Sunrise at Old Harry Rocks with beautiful pastel sky

Choose to stay overnight in the Isle of Purbeck.

Day 2

Take a trip to West Dorset today for some fossil hunting fun.

In the morning, head to Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre and book one of their fossil hunting guided walks. You could uncover your very own piece of history!

A child holding a fossil on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset

Lyme Regis makes for a perfect afternoon destination and lunch stop. It's a quaint town which tumbles down the high street to the beach, where multi-coloured Georgian houses mingle on the promenade overlooking the sweeping blue arc of Lyme Bay.

Spare some time to visit Lyme Regis Museum to learn more about the area’s natural history and the life of prolific fossil collector Mary Anning, who became famous after discovering an enormous Ichthyosaur skeleton in 1811 at just 12 years old.

When you’ve had your fill of fossils, take a stroll along the promenade to The Cobb, a long harbour wall where you can take in views of Golden Cap, the highest point along the South Coast.

Winter walk, Lyme Regis

The Cobb has provided a backdrop to scenes in many famous books, films and TV dramas including Jane Austen’s Persuasion, John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman and most recently, the Warner Bros. movie Wonka which was released in December 2023.

Stay overnight in Lyme Regis at one of the many B&Bs, hotels or traditional Inns.

Optional Extra's

Relax on Man O' War Beach situated on the left side of Durdle Door or take a boat trip from Lulworth Cove.

Visit Swanage where you can take a scenic stroll along the South West Coast Path to Studland Bay and Old Harry Rocks or Durlston Country Park.

Venture just off the coast and explore the stunning Lulworth Castle or tour the spooky forgotten village of Tyneham. This deserted village is a good starting point for the South West Coast Path walking trail which sits alongside the Jurassic Coast.

Explore the southernmost tip of Dorset at Portland Bill - famous for its lighthouse, Bird Observatory and Pulpit Rock. The Isle of Portland is the source of Portland Stone, which has been used in the construction of many famous buildings, including St Paul’s Cathedral.