Durdle Door is one of the most photographed landmarks along the Jurassic Coast. This rock arch in the sea was formed as a result of the softer rocks being eroded away behind the hard limestones, allowing the sea to punch through them. The name Durdle is derived from an Old English word ‘thirl’ meaning bore or drill. Eventually the arch will collapse to leave a sea stack such as those that can be seen at Ladram Bay in East Devon.
Each year more than 200.000 walkers use the footpath between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, making it the busiest stretch in the south west.
Below the cliffs lies a sweeping beach that was once three separate coves. This popular beach has no facilities although there are public toilets at Durdle Door Holiday Park. In summer, a mobile kiosk on the path leading to Durdle Door provides ice creams and refreshments.
Scenes from the 1967 film of Thomas Hardy’s novel ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ were filmed here, and in 1997 parts of the film ‘Wilde’ starring Stephen Fry were also shot here.
Many may recall Cliff Richards’ 1990 hit ‘Saviour’s Day’ which saw Cliff singing both down on the beach and on the clifftop in the promotional video. And later, Tears for Fears shot parts of their video to promote ‘Shout’ at this iconic arch.
From Bournemouth – take the A35 towards Dorchester, turning left onto the A351 towards Wareham. Turn onto the A352 signposted to Wool then follow the brown signs for Durdle Door.
From Dorchester – take the A352 signposted for Wool and Wareham. Towards Wool follow the brown signs for Durdle Door.
Access and car parking is via Durdle Door Holiday Park which leads to a pay and display car park at the top of the cliffs. A short walk and steep steps lead to the beach.