One of the most iconic things about Sidmouth is the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast – but how well do you know the coastline? Here are some facts about this beautiful section of coastline to help get you through the continuing lockdown measures. Please remember that travel is not permitted at the moment, so put off coming to see the cliffs for yourself until after restrictions have been lifted – head to to find out more.

Top Facts about the Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast can be found in East Devon and Dorset.

It is England’s first and only natural World Heritage Site. That puts it in the same category as the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon.

The site is a 95 mile stretch of the south coast from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland in Dorset.

It was awarded World Heritage Site status in December 2001 by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) because of its outstanding Earth science interest.

It is the only place on Earth where 185 million years of the Earth’s history are sequentially exposed in dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, coastal stacks and barrier beaches. The ‘tilt’ of the rocks creates a unique ‘walk through time’ from 250 million to 65 million years ago, through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods as you walk eastwards along the Site. Much of the coast on Sidmouth actually dates back to the Triassic era. That’s super old!

During the Triassic this area was a desert, while in the Jurassic it was part of a tropical sea, and in the Cretaceous it was covered by swamps.

Fossil groups found along the Jurassic Coast include crustaceans, insects, molluscs,  echinoderms, fish, amphibians, reptiles and a few mammals. Further along the coast in Dorset at Lulworth Cove, there is a fossil forest of conifers, tree-ferns and cycads.

One of the most renowned fossil hunters from the Jurassic Coast is Mary Anning from nearby Lyme Regis, she found the first ichthyosaur skeleton, The first plesiosaur and The first pterosaur outside Germany. Her former house is now a museum dedicated to her finds.

During World War II several sections of the Jurassic Coast became the property of the Ministry of War. 

Sidmouth is one of the coast’s Gateway Towns.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram for incredible photos of the Jurassic Coast!