Saturday, 15 September 2018

Durdle Door Guide

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This year I didn't manage to go on a "proper" holiday - which I've been very grumbly about - however, we have had some weekend getaways in Britain, including to Durdle Door in Dorset.  

We had a really nice weekend away - and it is such an iconic place to visit on the Jurassic Coast of England, I thought I would put a wee guide together on it. 

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WHERE WE STAYED 
Before I get stuck into the Durdle Door itself I thought I would mention where we stayed for the weekend - there is facilities available at the door itself but we thought it was quite expensive and we prefer to stay places which are tent only as opposed to caravans/campers. 

To that end (and our budget in mind) we stayed at Galton campsite - it's literally just a field but it has good toilet/shower facilities, is cheap and local to the beach (what we were there to see).  You can find out more about it here

ACCESS / PARKING
In terms of the full information and sales pitch - you are going to want to check out the official website here.  My guide just contains my views on the points I think are important. 

In terms of access, Durdle Door is a pretty easy place to find - satnav takes you to the car park.  HOWEVER, be warned it will be hella busy in good weather.  We visited in August and expected it to be busy so we timed our visits tactically. 

We visited at Golden Hour on Saturday night, stayed past sunset until it was almost dark and we managed to find a car park metres from the top of the path, and similarly on Sunday morning we arrived at 8.30am to leave at noon.  We planned these times, mainly for the light for pictures (Golden Hour) and also for the sake of the dogs as we visited during the Grande Heatwave of 2018.  
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However, I can't emphasise how busy it was outside of these times which made me so grateful for our timing choices.  When we were leaving at noon the car park was full and there were approx 50 cars on the roadside and the overflow carpark was pretty full.  The whole thing looked pretty stressful to me and definitely not worth the 30/40 minute walk to get you to the top of the path. 

Now onto the path itself; realistically it's steep and poorly maintained which I find slightly objectionable considering the parking is £9 a day.  If you're fit/well you'll be fine but wheelchairs are out of the question and you will have to carry prams down stairs to get to the beach itself.  We actually had to carry Hetty for some of the walk.  The path to the beaches took about 30-45 minutes in pretty extreme British heat.  

Also, I would note that there are no facilities at the beach itself (toilets, shops, etc.) so stock up before you go down there.   
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DOG FRIENDLY?
As I mentioned, we had the hounds with us so it is worth noting that Durdle Door is dog friendly and there were a few other pooches cutting about. 

As the beach is pebbles it might be difficult for older dogs to walk on, but both Tilly and Hetty were fine with it.  

For swimming, the water is actually quite deep although relatively sheltered.  Tilly loves swimming so she had the time of her life doing big swims and scuba diving for rocks that we (and our beach neighbours) threw for her.  Hetty doesn't swim so she sat on the blanket with whoever wasn't in the water.  

It was very busy, so if you have an anxious dog you might want to wait for a quieter time of year.

As there are no facilities at the beach please bring everything for your pooch, as well as you.  Our key pet supplies for the weekend were:  
travel bowl for the beach and the car 
stainless steel bowl for camping (in reality there are always a couple of these in the cars) 
- a slip lead for Tilly (this is a fancy Barbour one)
- Hetty's harness and flexi lead
- poo bag holder and bags
- Bottles of water 
- Beds - Hetty similar, Tilly similar 
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THE SIGHTS
Once you manage to get a parking space and get yourself down the path you are in for an undeniable treat.  The Door itself is such a striking feature and it's really nice to park yourself on the beach, soak up the sun and swim all in the shadow of the Door. 

There are actually two beaches, one with sight of the door and another without - both have steps down to them and they are both really quite sheltered.  There isn't a crazy current in the sea, however it is noting that it gets deep quite quickly - there are shelves.  Depending on where you set up camp, there will be more/less breakers hitting you but we didn't find them too strong.  

Our spot had a lot of breakers but Tilly and we were completely fine, toddlers probbay wouldn't like getting splashed / pulled on by the waves. 

In terms of photo spots, getting a good angle of the Door without a tonne of people can be done either on the beach itself or on the top of the cliffs (our preferred angle to get a bit of vegetation in shot).  You can get some lovely shots of the coast line and general nature shots. 

OVERALL 
Overall we had a really nice weekend and it was so nice to be back at the sea.  I can even overlook the pebbles on the beach, however it was horrendously busy and I wouldn't be able to manage it if we hadn't picked our times tactically. 

Have you visited?  What did you think? 
         
        


durdle door guide dog friendly liquid grain liquidgrain review 
durdle door guide dog friendly liquid grain liquidgrain review
durdle door guide dog friendly liquid grain liquidgrain review
durdle door guide dog friendly liquid grain liquidgrain review
durdle door guide dog friendly liquid grain liquidgrain review
durdle door guide dog friendly liquid grain liquidgrain review
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