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Walking the Jurassic Coast

Walking the Jurassic Coast

by: Ronald Turnbull
The Jurassic Coast of Devon and Dorset offers opportunities for cliff and downland walks short enough for a lazy day on the beach, or, if you prefer, as long and strenuous as anything on the hills of the British Isles. The World Heritage coastline, stretching between Exeter and Bournemouth, is a geological wonderland named after a 60 million year span of geology, and so the enjoyable walking is only half the story. Pause along the way to spot ammonites near Lyme Regis, the fossil forest of Lulworth Cove, Chesil Beach or the one-time red desert of Budleigh Salterton. Fossils so numerous you'll be tripping over them, combine with southern England's rolling Downs, tiny villages, beaches and sunny summers to provide a stunning and awe-inspiring landscape to explore.

The 30 walks in this guide let walkers discover the best and most spectacular areas on the coast. The walks are between 3 and 16 miles and provide a range suitable for all abilities. The guide has been divided into areas: Devon's Red Beds, the Lias, Chesil Beach, Chalk walks (Lulworth and inland) and the Isle of Purbeck. The geological descriptions are accompanied by strata diagrams, geological timelines, explanations of the creation of the various sedimentary rocks along the coast, and discussion of how and why the various formations formed millennia ago. The incredible - yet readable - detail brings these walks and the landscape alive. And yet, the routes can just as easily be walked for their own sake and the pleasure of rolling downs, high cliffs and beach sunshine.

As well as detailed descriptions for every walk, accompanied by Ordnance Survey 1:50000 scale maps, there are details on available parking, points of interest along the way (on rocks and other sights) and advice on the terrain covered. The general and geological introductions provide background on the region and the appendices give thorough information on local museums and information centres, cliff diagrams, a glossary of geological terms and a quick, look-up guide to the rocks of the Jurassic Coast. More than just a walking guidebook, this book is an invitation to explore and learn about this spectacular Natural World Heritage area.

The walk locations are:

Devon's Red Beds
Budleigh Salterton and Woodbury Castle - 11 miles
Budleigh Salterton - 7.5 miles
Otterton, Peak Hill and the Otter - 7.5 or 13 miles
Sidmouth to Weston - 9 miles
Branscombe Mouth to Weston Mouth - 7.5 miles
Beer and Hooken Undercliff - 4 miles
Hartridge and Dumpdon - 4.5 miles

The Lias
Lyme Regis Undercliff - 6.5 miles
Lyme Regis to Charmouth - 6 miles

Golden Cap
Hardown Hill, Golden Cap and Seatown - 6 or 7.5 miles
Golden Cap and Seatown - 3 miles
Bridport to Seatown - 8 or 9 miles
West Bay and Burton Bradstock - 8.5 miles
Beaminster to Pilsdon Pen - 12 or 13 miles

Chesil Beach
Litton Cheney and Eggarton Hill - 9 miles
Abbotsbury Castle and Chesil Beach - 8 or 11 miles
Hardy Monument to Elwell - 9 miles
Isle of Portland Circuit - 8.5 miles
Osmington shore and White Horse - 8 or 9 miles

Chalk Walks: Lulworth and inland
Cerne Abbas and the Giant - 9 or 13.5 miles
Dorsetshire Gap - 16 miles
Hambledon and Hod hills - 10.5 miles
Ringstead Smugglers' Path - 3.5 or 7 miles
Lulworth Cove and Coast - 6.5 miles
Lulworth Cove and the Fossil Forest - 3.75 miles

Isle of Purbeck
Kimmeridge, Tyneham and Flower's Barrow - 7 or 9 miles
Swyre Head and Houns Tout - 5 or 8.5 miles
Chapman's Pool and St Aldhelm's Head - 3.5 or 6 miles
Swanage: Durlston to Dancing Ledge - 10 miles
Ballard Down and Agglestone - 7 miles

ISBN 9781852847418 Pages 235 (2017) 116mm x 172mm

Price: 11.95