Dorset coast ~ Durdle Door and Chapman's Pool

Saturday 21 January 2017

One of the reasons I love the Dorset coastline is because it varies so much in such a short distance. As well as this geological change, on this trip the weather was dramatically different on the two days.

Durdle Door

It had been many years since I had visited the magnificent Durdle Door. I wanted to approach from the west, the opposite direction to the easy way from West Lulworth I took on my previous visit. Coming in from an unusual direction also gave me a chance of getting a slightly different perspective on a very well photographed landscape.

Unusually for the coast, there's an obvious round trip starting at West Lulworth and heading west a little inland from the coastpath. We turned around at Ringstead (although there are shorter options) and walked back along the coastpath, timing our arrival at Durdle Door for sunset. A glorious place to end the day!

Sheep with Portland Bill behind

Sheep with Portland Bill behind

Ringstead

Ringstead

West Bottom and Portland Bill

West Bottom and Portland Bill

West Bottom and the South West Coast Path

West Bottom and the South West Coast Path

Swyre Head cliffs and Durdle Door

Swyre Head cliffs and Durdle Door

Beautifully coloured beach and sea

Beautifully coloured beach and sea

Durdle Door from the cliffs at Scratchy Bottom

Durdle Door from the cliffs at Scratchy Bottom

Durdle Door

Durdle Door

Durdle Door looking over to Portland Bill

Durdle Door looking over to Portland Bill

Sunset through Durdle Door

Sunset through Durdle Door

Chapman's Pool

A few miles east of Durdle Door the landscape changes considerably. Today the sunshine was gone too, with an overcast day that was not so obviously suitable for photography. But it's still a beautiful part of the world even when grey and cold, so I kept striving to capture some of that beauty.

We parked in Kingston and headed south towards Chapman's Pool, a small bay which I'd not visited before. Turning east along the coastpath we went past St Aldhelm's Head before turning inland at Winspit. After Worth Matravers we took the Purbeck Way, enjoying distant views of the magnificent Corfe Castle. As with Durdle Door, this was seeking out a different viewpoint on a much photographed area. From this angle, the castle's strategic positioning is obvious, perfectly placed in the gap in the hills.

A sunbeam glimpse, over Encombe Dairy

A sunbeam glimpse, over Encombe Dairy

Chapman's Pool

Chapman's Pool

Headlands looking west from Chapman's Pool

Headlands looking west from Chapman's Pool

Pink glow on the horizon

Pink glow on the horizon

Radar memorial at St Aldhelm's Head

Radar memorial at St Aldhelm's Head

Corfe Castle in the distance at dusk

Corfe Castle in the distance at dusk

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