'Durdle Door' is a hilarious sounding feature of the 'Jurassic Coast' - which a stretch of the southern cost of England on the English Channel, in Dorset. The Jurassic coast is a World Heritage site, consisting of limestone cliffs and natural features spanning 180 million years from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The coast also includes Lulworth Cove (which I'm yet to visit) and the Isle of Portland, which is near Weymouth, where my parents are currently working. At the end of this trip to Germany, I visited my Dad on the way home as he had just landed in Weymouth, and we checked out some of the local scenery.
Durdle Door was really interesting to visit - I'd heard the funny sounding name before but didn't really know what it was - but it's a big limestone archway poking out into a bay, accessed down a moderately steep track on private (opened to public) farmland. I got a little too brave with the (tiny) waves coming into the bay trying to get the right low-angle shot and got nice cold, wet feet which amused my Dad. English seaside in November isn't that warm! According to wikipedia, Durdle is from Old English 'thirl' meaning bore or drill. So that's a handy fact for today's photo set.
Portland is another a reasonably big island connected to the mainland by a long causeway, and the harbour was used to shelter ships of the Royal Navy for over 500 years, and a major embarkation point for the Allies on D-Day. The Navy base shut up shop after the cold war, and it seems the last thing of interest to happen there was hosting the sailing events of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The southernmost tip of the island is called the 'Portland Bill', and hosts a reasonably well known lighthouse, built in 1906, striped red and white and often photographed. I was there just around sunset, and there were several 'real' photographers already there setting up tripods. But I was just touristing rather than seriously photographing so didn't hang around that long. Plus it was cold.
There are a couple of other lighthouses further up the hill, both built in 1716, and now repurposed as a bird watching station and holiday cottages. Also somebody built a big white Obelisk on the edge of the cliff in 1844 to warn away ships, but I'm not sure why, with 2 lighthouses already there. I don't imagine a big stone being that much more effective! Overall, this part of the coast was quite interesting - not much going on in town, but definitely some nice old things to walk around and explore and photograph.