Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jurassic Coast – 9 January 2011

The UNESCO listed Jurassic Coast is just southwest of Bournemouth, and we decided to revisit this lovely spot. This was our first trip away from London, when we bought our first car in the UK in January 2002. Nothing appears to have changed in the past nine years, but it was worth another visit. We did a circular tour from Wareham, passing through interesting towns and villages. One prominent ruin is Corfe Castle, next to the very pretty town of the same name, then it was down to the coast at West Lulworth. The soft chalk coastline is eroded into bays and a natural arch called Durdle Door. The cliffs are full of fossils, which is why it has a protected status.

After completing the tour, we set off for the motorway back to London, via a circuitous route. This also took in interesting villages in Hampshire We took a lunch break in Sixpenny Handley, where the pub was the base of a notorious smuggling gang in the 18th century (the gang leader was married to the landlord's daughter). Sadly the town was mainly destroyed by a fire in 1892, so the pub today is a featureless building.

Of interest too was the ruin of a Norman Church at Knowlton. The church sits in the centre of a 2500BC circular earthwork and ditch construction, with a burial barrow nearby. Today it is a beautiful remnant of it's ancient pasts.

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