Where to go: Durdle Door is accessed via Lulworth or Winfrith villages. There is pay and display parking available through the caravan park. The walk down to the cliff top and then beaches is steep and can be prone to erosion.
Look out for: Fossil ripple marks in the rock slabs at beach level, next to the arch. Donut shapes embedded in the rock around the top of the arch – these are remnants from a fossil forest!
The Rock Arch
Hard layers of Portland Limestone have been folded on this part of the coast so that they appear almost vertical and these form the seaward edge of the small promontory here that includes Durdle Door.
The impressive natural arch of Durdle Door formed due to the effect of the erosive power of the sea on the vertical layers of different types of rock. At some point in the past the sea would have begun to breach the hard Portland Limestone and form a string of caves along the coast. The much softer rocks behind would have quickly been eroded away creating caves and natural arches. Eventually the arches collapsed leaving stacks, which would in turn be broken and washed away by the power of the waves.
Durdle Door is part of only a small strip of hard Portland limestone that is left here. The remnants of old arches can still be seen in the form of 'stumps' of limestone only just visible in the waves. One day that is all that will remain of Durdle Door. See what Durdle Door will look like in the future.
A new book that takes a quirky look at the Jurassic Coast has been published in time for Christmas – and it’s already proving to be a big hit. The Jurassic Coast – A Mighty Tale is published by The Jurassic Coast Trust and is written and illustrated by local artist Tim Britton.
Are you a Primary Teacher and need more help to effectively teach Rocks, Fossils and Evolution in your science curriculum? Then come and join us for a FREE training day led by Primary education consultant David Weatherly. Our special Big Jurassic Classroom Superteachers will also be on hand to take you through their own resources they have developed for the new Primary Science curriculum.
This two hour session starts up at the Centre with a 20 minute talk from the Centre Warden about the fossils of Charmouth and how to find fossils on the beach. The group then heads out onto the beach with the wardens and spend the rest of the session looking for fossils.