Summer was well and truly over, and as the day gets shorter and the temperature has dropped below what I’m comfortable with, I guess I’d better post about this beach day now.
When my friend Farah was here, we made many day trips (and some longer trips), mostly to the places we didn’t have the chance to visit during our masters days.
After the big disappointment with Brighton (at least on my part), we made another trip to the seaside just a few days after that, this time to Durdle Door.
The drive to the Jurassic Coast was quite pleasant, and within 1.5 hours, we drove into what seemed like quaint village in a sleepy corner of Dorset. The road was narrow, lined with English cottages and B&Bs on both sides. The thatched roofs, white walls, and hanging baskets with flowers created such a dreamy, classic look of English countrysides, but alas, we didn’t have time to stop to take photos.
Finding the car park wasn’t hard, but we had to park at the farther lot, as the best places had been taken by fellow beach-goers who undoubtedly wanted to make the most of the sunny day. The 10-minute walk from the car park was like a trip on its own, as we were treated with the stunning landscape of Dorset.
It was packed when we got there, and it took me by surprise that I didn’t mind that at all (I usually get cranky in a crowded place). The first glance of the place took my breath away; the curved beach below us proved to be more beautiful than the images I’d seen, while on the other end, the towering hill promised a more spectacular view of the coast.
We had to make a call whether to go for a hike or down to the beach. We chose the latter, lured by the thought of dipping our toes in the cold, fresh water, which we imagined would be heavenly in that sweltering hot day.
The water turned out to be much colder than we’d expected, so we just lied on the warm, sun-dappled pebbles; alternating between taking a few selfies, chatting, reading, and dozing off. Despite the shrieks and laughter by the kids who were chasing each other near us, it was the most relaxed I’d ever been in weeks. I had to shield my eyes from the bright sun for almost the entire time, so I lied on my front to solve the problem. But once in a while, when I looked up, I saw this majestic craggy wall of limestone.
Feeling restored, we decided to walk up the hill for a better view of the shore. We took a deep breath, as what we saw before our eyes looked quite intimidating.
The steep ascent felt like a cardio for our out-of-shape bodies. We went on though, plodding under the sun and stopping many times, either to catch a breath or take pictures. This place was truly gorgeous. Walking along the path, we could see the sea stretching for miles on the left, and on the right, the meandering footpaths cut across the rolling hills, creating an unusual pattern in what would otherwise be boring-looking hills. This view reminded me a lot of Tintagel, my favorite part of Cornwall road trip 4 years ago, the very first trip I took after I arrived in the UK.
We got to the top in the end; sweating, huffing and puffing. It all paid off, though. The strenuous hike was rewarded with an uninterrupted view of the sea, the azure blue water meeting the chalky white shore in such contrast.
Durdle Door was definitely one of my favorite places here. I could be biased; that day was exceptionally kind to us. Warm weather, perfect day, and good companies. What more could I ask for?
Before going back to Southampton, we stopped at a pub for a very late lunch (or early dinner, as it was 5 pm). This sign outside the pub was the cherry-on-top of such a magnificent day.
Dorset, I hope to see you again soon.