PENS AND NEEDLES
CHARMOUTH, JURASSIC COAST, DORSET
PREVIOUS BLOG KINGSTON LACY ESTATE, DORSET
CHAPTER FIVE BEACHWRITER'S BLOG
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The Jurassic Coast
Charmouth, Dorset is one place where everyone is looking down, but not at their phones, they are all looking for fossils. Part of the Jurassic Coast, Charmouth is a pleasant village with the river Char running gently out to sea; you can step over it at low tide or walk across the little bridge. The row of beach huts is deceptive, walk a little further and this is not a normal seaside beach. Gaze up at black layered cliffs. Don’t go too close, there are regular mud slides and crumbling of the cliff edge. This is why fossil hunting is so popular, new fossils end up on the beach and people are welcome to collect them as they would otherwise be washed out to sea. You can also book a guided walk. At the free Charmouth Heritage Centre you can learn about prehistoric times and volunteers will identify your fossils. The grassy hill is in contrast to the beach and a pleasant walk, but don’t go near the edge.
Over out two visits the weather was fine, but the sky changed frequently from overcast to blue.
At West Bay the cliff face is dramatic and well known to viewers of the crime drama Broadchurch. We stopped here for lunch on our way home from our holiday, but found massive sea defence work going on, a big contrast to our peaceful low tide mornings at Charmouth.
LAST MONTH'S BLOG
Kingston Lacy is always a good place to visit any time of year, there’s something for everyone and it also has an interesting history.
Step inside the home of one of the most powerful families of Dorset and discover the history of Kingston Lacy and the flamboyant Bankes family who owned vast swathes of Dorset for over 400 years. From fighting the forces of Oliver Cromwell, to gathering one of the world’s largest collections of ancient Egyptian artefacts, the Bankes have a colourful past.
But it is the bluebell woods that draw visitors at this time of year and as Pamphill has become better know it has turned into a bit of an operation, but the ancient woods need to be protected. And the camera always lies, if I only showed you pictures of the woods you would think it was totally wild without another human in sight. Brand new ancient woods are also being planted. We started our day with a cooked breakfast at Pamphill Dairy as soon as it opened at 10 am, thinking on a week day we would be the only ones with this idea. Within minutes the place was packed, obviously a popular place for ladies to meet their friends for coffee as well as cyclists and dog walkers.
After our woodland walk we went to Kingston Lacy and walked around the grounds and had coffee in the stables.