Lulworth Cove in Purbeck, Dorset was described in an article published in 1880 in the Pictorial Guide to Weymouth as one of the most romantic of spots, its sources of attraction being extremely varied, words which remain true to this day.
Lulworth Cove, West Lulworth, Dorset
Lulworth Cove is a key part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site which has been internationally recognised for its unique land forms and geology. Lulworth Cove was formed when the sea broke through the outer layer of hard Portland Stone to scoop out the softer Wealden deposits.
Lulworth Crumple, Purbeck, Dorset
At the end of the cretaceous period, 135 to 70 million years ago, violent earth movements, known as the “Alpine Storm” created the Alps, altered the sea levels and raised England as a land mass. These are the colossal forces which buckled and folded the Purbeck Stone strata like a sandwich to form the Lulworth Crumple.
Fossil Forset, Lulworth Cove
The Fossil Forest, to the east of Lulworth Cove, reveals part of the Jurassic period. The remains of Jurassic pine and fern like trees have rotted down and filled with sediment to form stone stumps that are now between two and three metres in diameter.
The walks around Lulworth Cove and on the nearby Army Ranges are exceptional and very popular with walkers of the South West Coastal Path.
It is also well known for its wild life. The Butterfly Conservation Centre is located nearby and Lulworth Cove has its own species of butterfly called the Lulworth Skipper.
Dolphins occasionally enter the cove and it is a popular location for fishing and diving. The locally caught crab and lobster are excellent.The history of the area is made very visible through the thatched cottages, the nearby Lulworth Castle, the Bronze Age mound on Hambury Hill and the Iron Age fort at Bindon Hill. Past activities such as smuggling are also well described in the Lulworth Heritage Centre.
The area is associated with a number of famous people, in particular Thomas Hardy, Bertrand Russell and Lawrence of Arabia. George III used to stop off at the Red Lion, now Churchfield House for his pie and pint on his way to Weymouth, and even Napoleon is reputed to have sailed into the Cove to see if it could be used as a landing point for his army.