Day 4 #grandtour13 – The Jurassic Coast

Today we visited the area around Lulworth Cove in Dorset. I was stationed in this part of the world for a few long winter months back in the late 1980’s. The area has certainly changed. Today the Cove and the surrounding coastline were literally heaving with hordes of tourists visiting the attractions. When I was last here it was just a few hardy divers and the odd college lecturer types checking out the fossils, complete with tweed jackets, pipes and leather elbow patches. Jurassic Park changed all that!

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Lulworth Cove, taken from the footpath leading to Durdle Door

£4 to park! then we followed the mass of people up the well-worn track to see the classic Dorset view of Durdle Door. Nice…but honestly, come back in the off-season, I would imagine it would be a lot more enjoyable. Still a very impressive place though.

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Durdle Door, with Portland Bill in the distance

I particularly liked the view along to the west of the coastline.

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Looking west along the Jurassic Coast

We also paid a visit to Tyneham Village, which was evacuated in WW2, to allow troops to conduct live fire training. Unfortunately at the end of the war, the locals were prevented from returning and the village remains to this day under ownership of the MOD. For many years, no-one was allowed access, but by a concerted public campaign, the MOD relented and now allow public access to this fascinating step back in time, when live-firing is not taking place:

http://www.isleofpurbeck.com/tyneham.html

In a perverse way the army’s use of the area since WW2, has helped preserve Tyneham and the surrounding land from development, this is obvious as you drive around the area. Its very popular with local people and a magnet for walkers.

We also visited the nearby village of Steeple, where some of my ancestors were living in the mid 1800’s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steeple,_Dorset

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Steeple Church

The village has links to George Washington. His coat of arms hangs in the church, its noted within my family that one of our ancestors was actually baptised with the forenames “George Washington…..” ….So quite nice to see the church up close.

Tomorrow, we intend to visit Poole, before moving on to Somerset.

That is all.

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