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Durdle Door

13 March 2018

Durdle Door is one of the most photographed landmarks along Dorset's famous Jurassic Coast. This rock arch in the sea (or is it a dragon drinking water?!) was formed as a result of the softer rocks being eroded away behind the hard limestones, allowing the sea to punch through them. The name Durdle is derived from an Old English word 'thirl' meaning bore or drill. Eventually the arch will collapse to leave a sea stack such as those that can be seen at Ladram Bay in East Devon.

Each year more than 200,000 walkers use the footpath between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, making it the busiest stretch of coastline in the south west. 

Durdle Door Walks

Below the cliffs lies a sweeping shingle beach that was once three separate coves. This popular beach has no facilities although during the summer a mobile kiosk on the path leading to Durdle Door provides ice creams and refreshments. It is possible to swim in the area, although there are steep ledges in places and there is no lifeguard on duty here so great care must be taken. You will also notice some caves which have formed at the base of the cliffs, please keep clear of these as there have been a number of cliff falls in recent years.

Durdle Door is often found in popular culture. Scenes from the 1967 film of Thomas Hardy's novel 'Far From the Madding Crowd' were filmed here, and in 1997 parts of the film 'Wilde' starring Stephen Fry were also shot here.

Many may recall Cliff Richards' 1990 hit 'Saviour's Day' which saw Cliff singing both down on the beach and on the clifftop in the promotional video. And later, Tears for Fears shot parts of their video to promote 'Shout' at this iconic arch.

Whether you plan to walk along the coastal footpaths, or take a picnic to the beach, a visit to this stunning location will stay long in the memory. 

Footpath and steps to Durdle Door

How to get to Durdle Door: 

From Bournemouth - take the A35 towards Dorchester, turning left onto the A351 towards Wareham. Turn onto the A352 signposted to Wool then follow the brown signs for Durdle Door.

From Dorchester - take the A352 signposted for Wool and Wareham. Towards Wool follow the brown signs for Durdle Door. 

From London - from the M25 exit onto the M3. Merge onto the M27 and continue on the A31 until you reach Bere Regis, at which point turn left at the roundabout onto the A35, then right at the next roundabout. Turn left onto Southbrook and follow the road until you reach the A352. Turn right here and go through Wool, turn left past the Red Lion pub and follow the brown signs for Durdle Door.

Access and car parking is via Durdle Door Holiday Park which leads to a pay and display car park at the top of the cliffs (postcode for sat nav is BH20 5PU). From here a footpath leads to Man 'O' War Bay and on to a natural path to Durdle Door.

Things to Do Nearby:

Photo (top): Chris Jones

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