This section of the Dorset coast features impressive natural limestone cliffs, interspersed by sections that were quarried to help build many of the classic buildings of London and beyond, like St Paul's Cathedral. Yet its history (or prehistory) goes back even further to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Spanning nearly 185 million years, the geology of the area has been recognised by World Heritage Site status. Whilst you can't see the beautiful fossils from the main coastal footpath, a diversion down to the popular Dancing Ledge will reveal ammonites frozen in time. You can also explore some of the caves and coves used by the smugglers in the late 1700s around Hedbury, Seacombe and Winspit Quarries, before ascending to St Albans Head the Western limit of our walk before making you way into Worth Matravers where the popular Square and Compass Pub offers a tradition pub lunch. After this you join the Priest's Way on the crest of the limestone down, before making your way back to Durlston Country Park.
Ah my local area. The square and compass is by far the quirkiest pub in Dorset (thus the best IMO). However saying it offers a traditional pub lunch is a bit of a stretch. You can order a pastie, or for the vegetarians among us (me included) you can get a vege pastie. Not much of a menu, but just adds to the charm really* An another top tip, if you're coming back via Priests Way, look out for the quarry with Dinosaur footprints near Acton. I think it's got a vague fingerpost now, but never used to.
*they are bloody good pasties btw (being outside Devon or Cornwall obviously)