The Jurassic Coast stretches from Old Harry Rocks in the east, and follows a route west all the way to Orcombe Point in Devon. Designated a World Heritage Site (England’s first) this part of the UK coastline boasts breathtaking scenery, historical points of interest and some fabulous on water sea kayaking conditions.
Beginning your journey at Old Harry Rocks just to the west of Swanage you’ll no doubt want to take in the sights of these awe-inspiring stack-like pieces of rock jutting skyward before continuing round the coast towards Kimmeridge Bay (K-Bay).
If there’s a swell running then you could stop off and play in some of the waves that break over rock ledges at K-Bay or you could finish your journey here. But, if you fancy continuing, then it’s possible to navigate all the way along the coast stopping off at the various spots; Worbarrow, Mupes Bay/Rocks, Lulworth cove, Stair Hole, Durdle Door, Bats Head, Ringstead bay and Bowleaze… and that’s just the part up to Weymouth Bay!
Likewise you could start your journey anywhere along the route where there’s access to the water, it just comes down to how much time you have and how much effort you want to put in.
There are certain areas on the Jurassic Coast that are inaccessible by road so exploring with your kayak is one of the best ways to get a true feel for this magical part of Britain.
Caves, coves, rock stacks and reefs are all begging for your attention as you slide by on your kayak. Just watch out when big swells pump up the English Channel as some seriously powerful surf can materialise, which could be tricky for intermediates to navigate.
Also be aware that the MOD uses part of this coastline as a firing range and during exercises certain areas are off limits due to stray ‘doodlebugs’ flying overhead.
How to get there:
All launching and landing spots are clearly marked on an OS map. Alternatively you can load up your wagon with your kayaking gear and go exploring until you find a suitable launch spot. Bowleaze Cove, Ringstead, Lulworth Cove, Worbarrow Bay, Kimmeridge Bay, Swanage and Studland are all suitable for dropping in.
You’ll find beach cafes and toilet facilities at Studland, Lulworth, Ringstead and Bowleaze.
Strong tidal streams around headlands, powerful breaking surf in certain spots, MOD firing grounds situated at points and inaccessible launch and landing spots (should there be a problem) are all things worth considering when contemplating a paddle mission along the Jurassic Coast.
Ins and Outs:
You can launch at Bowleaze, Ringstead, Lulworth, Worbarrow, Kimmeridge, Swanage and Studland. Trolley required for Lulworth and Worbarrow.
There are lots of online resource websites that give information related to paddling on this stretch of coast. Some companies offer guided tours through the summer months if you fancy paddling with a group.
With a site spanning 95 miles in total and featuring rock formations that cover three geological time periods – Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous – this is the perfect spot for those wanting to paddle through time.