Everything you Need to Know about the Jurassic Coast

October 6th, 2022

Stunning scenery and rich heritage have made the Jurassic Coast one of the most visited destinations on the South coast. Every year visitors flock to the region to admire the unique rock formations and experience the wonders of iconic beauty spots such as Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.

To help you plan your camping and caravan holiday on the Jurassic Coast, we’ve compiled a travel guide containing commonly asked questions and helpful answers. By the end of the article, you’ll feel like a local, and will be ready to take the Jurassic Coast in your stride.

corfe castle national trust dorset

Why is the Jurassic coastline famous?

Jurassic Coast is famed for its rock formations, which represent 185 million years of history. The Jurassic Coast is the only place in the world where rocks from the Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous periods can be found together. Visitors of all ages flock to the Jurassic Coast to study the incredible geology, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

old harry rocks dorset

Is the Jurassic Coast worth visiting?

Yes, we highly recommend visiting the Jurassic Coast for a day trip or holiday. There is something for the whole family to enjoy, including fossil hunting on rugged beaches, paddling in the sea and walking along the coast path. The sheer scale of the Jurassic coast means you could visit time and time again and keep discovering new points of interest!


Where is the best part of the Jurassic Coast?

Of course we might be biased, but we think Swanage is one of the best towns to visit along the Jurassic Coast. As the most easterly town on the Jurassic Coast, many beauty spots are within easy reach. Old Harry Rocks and Studland Bay for instance, can be accessed via a scenic walk from the town centre and our holiday park.

If you want to venture further afield, you’ll find desirable locations around every corner. Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Worbarrow Bay and Kimmeridge are all just a short drive away. Scenic towns and villages towards the west of the county are also within easy reach.

(Pictured – Swanage at night)

view over swanage town centre

Where does the Jurassic Coast start and end?

The Jurassic Coast extends from Orcombe Point in Exmouth, Devon, to Old Harry Rocks in Swanage. In total, the Jurassic Coast is 95 miles long!


Can you drive along the Jurassic Coast?

Yes, it is possible to drive along the Jurassic Coast, though the road will venture further in land for some of the trip. Having access to a car will open up lesser known beauty spots that would be difficult reach via public transport.

Driving the length of the Jurassic Coast is a popular road trip, with some sections being voted among the most scenic roads in the country. Take it slow, make plenty of stops and don’t forget to pop into a quaint Dorset pub for some local ale and a good laugh with the locals on your travels.

If you’d like to leave the car onsite the route is well served by public transport. There’s a bus stop within easy reach of the park.


Can you take fossils from the Jurassic Coast?

Fossil hunting is one of the most popular activities to try on the Jurassic Coast. If you are lucky enough to find a fossil on the beach, you are allowed to keep it. However, you are not permitted to dig or excavate on beaches of cliffs to find fossils. Always find out the rules to individual areas when visiting and enlist the help of an expert.

The most popular fossil hunting beaches on the Jurassic Coast are Kimmeridge and Charmouth. Both offer visitor centres where experts will be on hand to offer advice and identify any finds!

golden cap from charmouth beach

Where can I base myself on the Jurassic Coast?

We think Ulwell Holiday Park is the perfect base from which to explore the Jurassic Coast. Our camping and caravan site is located in the heart of Swanage and within easy reach of the town centre and beach. Excellent on-site facilities for all the family and cosy accommodation make Ulwell your homely retreat to head back to after a long day exploring the Jurassic Coast.


Can you walk the Jurassic Coast?

The South West Coast Path runs the entire length of the Jurassic Coast. Along the 95-mile path, countless breath-taking beauty spots can be reached on lovely walks.


Is the Jurassic Coast sandy?

The Jurassic Coast offers a good mix of sandy and non-sandy beaches. Our favourite sandy destinations are Weymouth, Exmouth, Lyme Regis, Swanage and Studland! However, if you but don’t fancy getting sandy, there are lots of pebble and shingle beaches to explore –  the most popular being Chesil Beach, which is known as the finest barrier beach in Europe!


Are there beaches on the Jurassic Coast?

The Jurassic Coast is known for its fantastic beaches – many of which have been voted among the best in the UK. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the Dorset Coast to enjoy lazy days at the beach and adrenaline fuelled watersports.

Whether you fancy family friendly beaches such as Swanage in the summer, breaking off from the pack in Studland, or a stony beach to fish from, the Jurassic Coast has the perfect beach for you.

Swanage Bay

How long does it take to walk the Jurassic Coast?

The Jurassic Coast walk is part of the longest coastal path in Britain – the South West Coast Path. It takes 6-8 days to walk the 130km route, depending on your pace. The terrain is generally moderate, and it is recommended you complete the walk between March and October, to fully appreciate the scenery.

Swanage is situated at the most easterly point of the Jurassic Coast, making it the perfect starting point for lengthy walks! Enjoy a relaxing stay at Ulwell Holiday Park and excellent facilities before commencing your walk at the iconic Old Harry Rocks.


What towns are along the Jurassic Coast?

Whether you want to visit a fast-paced, bustling coastal town or a quaint village, the Jurassic Coast has the perfect location for you. Spanning East Devon, West Dorset, Weymouth, Portland and the Purbeck District, the Jurassic Coast has a range of towns for you to explore. Some of our favourite towns include Lulworth, Weymouth, Lyme Regis and West Bay.


Do you need a car for Jurassic Coast?

No, you do not need a car to explore the Jurassic Coast. In contrast to the convenience of driving in everyday life, the breath-taking coastal scenery will make you want to turn the car off and explore on foot.

However, although you are able to walk the length of the Jurassic Coast, it is beneficial use a car to reach certain beauty spots. Using a car allows you to visit locations that are spread out in a short space of time.


How do you get around the Jurassic Coast?

There are many ways to explore the Jurassic Coast. The range of terrain means that however you choose to travel, you’re able to access beautiful locations in the area.


You’ll be able to travel far and wide if you have access to a car during your holiday in Dorset.Whether you choose to take a direct A-road, or a winding coastal road, you’ll find the perfect route to enjoy your journey to the Jurassic Coast.

The majority of coastal towns and villages are interconnected with cycling routes making Dorset the perfect destination for a cycling holiday. Whether you’re an experienced mountain bikes or you’re taking the family out for a leisurely ride, the perfect terrain is never far away on the Jurassic Coast.


The Jurassic Coast has an excellent range of public transport services. The X53 and Jurassic Coaster buses are great ways to see the sights, running from Poole to Axminster, and Lyme Regis to Seaton respectively. The Purbeck Breezer bus connects towns and villages in the Isle of Purbeck.

Three railway lines connect the Jurassic Coast with the rest of the UK. South Western Railway has two main routes, and Great Western Railway runs from Weymouth up towards Bristol.


Can you wild camp on the Jurassic Coast?

Unfortunately, wild camping is not permitted on the Jurassic Coast – much of the land is privately owned and protected. However, the there are a wide range of places to stay to suit all budgets.

Ulwell Holiday Park offers a variety of touring, camping, glamping and holiday home accommodation as well as top class facilities. It’s the perfect base to explore the iconic beauty spots of the Jurassic Coast such as the Purbeck Hills and Old Harry Rocks.


Is the Jurassic Coast dog friendly?

The Jurassic Coast is extremely dog-friendly! There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches for your four-legged-friend to run free on the sand. Some of our favourites include Lulworth Cove, Worbarrow Bay, Durdle Door and Kimmeridge! It is worth noting that each beach has a different policy on dogs – some are dog friendly year-round, and some are just in the off season. Do check your beach of interest before visiting!

Ulwell Holiday park is a dog friendly holiday park in Dorset. We offer a range of dog-friendly accommodation as well as a dog friendly bar and restaurant.

dog on beach in dorset 

Why is the Jurassic Coast so called?

The Jurassic Coast is named after the Jurassic Period.


Can you cycle the Jurassic Coast?

Yes! The 130km South West Path’s terrain is popular with mountain bikers and offers spectacular views along the length of the Jurassic Coast. With a range of local pubs dotted along the path, it is customary to at least pop in for a quick drink to reward your exercising!

Ulwell Holiday Park offers the perfect starting point for your cycling holiday in Dorset. Plenty of bike trails can be accessed from the site.


How long does it take to drive the Jurassic Coast?

Driving is a great way to access more of the Jurassic Coast. The route would take around 6 hours if you complete it in one go. However, we recommend breaking up your journey and taking your time to really appreciate the wonders of South-West England’s crown jewel.

Why not take the scenic route? There are various routes from Exmouth to Swanage, but we love the 18-mile section on the B3157, from Weymouth to Lyme Regis. Unbeatable views feature along the length of the coastal route through Abbotsbury and Burton Bradstock all the way to Lyme.


How was the Jurassic Coast formed?

The rock formation was made through layers of sediment that were deposited, tilted and eroded during the Mesozoic period.


How far is the Jurassic Coast from Bournemouth?

The closest part of the Jurassic Coast to Bournemouth is Old Harry Rocks, in our home of Swanage. The journey is 9.8 miles, and takes 45 minutes by car! The route takes you through stunning Sandbanks, and requires you taking a ferry to Swanage! If you’d rather stay on land, you can drive around Wareham, which is 25.2 miles and takes you 1 hour

If you are planning on travelling along the length of the Jurassic Coast towards Exmouth, why not enjoy the excellent facilities at Ulwell Holiday Park before heading out on your adventure?


How long is the Jurassic Coast?
The Jurassic Coast is 95 miles long!

Jurassic coast natural landscape

How is the Jurassic Coast protected?

The Jurassic Coast is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and protected under this classification. It is managed by the National Trust and Dorset Council.


What to do on the Jurassic Coast?

Simply, there are way too many things to list at once. You could visit the Jurassic Coast 100 times and still find new places to explore. We recommend starting your adventure in our home in the heart of Swanage, before visiting iconic landmarks like Old Harry Rocks, Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Chesil Beach.

At the many beaches along the 95-mile stretch, you are never far from exhilarating watersports, coastal walks, cosy pubs and independent shops. Explore a range of things to do in the Jurassic Coast from your holiday hub at Ulwell Holiday Park, Swanage.


When was the Jurassic Coast formed?

The Jurassic Coast was formed in the Mesozoic period, 200-145 million years ago!


Where to stay on the Jurassic Coast?

Ulwell Holiday park offers the perfect base from which to explore iconic landmarks and spectacular scenery along the Jurassic Coast. Believed by many to be the most beautiful landmark on the coast, Old Harry Rocks is a stone’s throw from our dog-friendly holiday park in Swanage. Whether you choose to stay in a holiday home, our campsite or your own tourer – you’ll have a holiday to remember.

ulwell village inn pint

Where to find fossils on the Jurassic Coast?

The nature of the rock formation mean that fossils exist all along the Jurassic Coast – however they are buried in layers of sediment. The best places to find fossils is Lyme Regis and Charmouth, where fossil hunting has been enjoyed for over 200 years!


If we’ve inspired you to book a holiday on the Jurassic Coast, consider a stay at Ulwell Holiday Park. Our family friendly camping and caravan site is ideally placed for exploring the Dorset coastline and making the most of towns and villages nearby.

Search availability and book online or call and speak to one of our helpful reception team. We look forward to welcoming you soon!




What our guests say

  • A lovely quiet site

    Andy Blackwell

    A lovely quiet site, nice warm amenities with good sized shower cubicles, shop not open yet as it’s too early but the local pub is ideal. Staff were very friendly and helpful. If you’re reasonably fit you can walk into Swanage but the bus service is great so why would you want to. Overall a very nice break, we will be back.

  • Super swimming pool

    Joseph Molford

    Fantastic site, we have had a brilliant holiday. Super swimming pool and changing facilities. Site really handy to get to Swanage and Studland. Will definitely return. Thanks to all the staff for a lovely holiday.

  • Excellent quality caravan site

    Peter Skrobacz

    Excellent quality caravan site, top quality, small and friendly, location fantastic. Been visiting Ulwell for over 25 years now and every year is special.

  • An amazing week at Ulwell

    Jenny H

    We have just returned back from our weeks stay at Ulwell Holiday Park with our 2 small children and dog. It was an absolute brilliant week! The site has everything you need, and more! A lovely comfy pub on site for drinks and a bowl of chips, a small shop, swimming pool, large play are with park, and the bus stops right outside.. what more could you want

  • Easter break


    We have just returned after a brilliant Easter break. Couldn’t fault anything at all and we didn’t want to leave. We didn’t visit the pub but the shop is stocked with local produce and essentials. The facilities are great and the location convenient. Our van was spotless and had everything we needed. We will definitely be back

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We are currently at an amazing 4.5 score at TripAdvisor, based upon 200+ reviews from verified guests.

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Over the years the family has developed the park to award-winning standards and in a style which compliments its surroundings.

  • Camping and caravanning
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  • Visit Britain
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Finding us


From Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry and following the B3351 into Swanage.

From Wareham using the A351 into Swanage, turn left along the seafront towards Studland.


The park is situated on the main bus route from Bournemouth to Swanage.


1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North



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