Dorset is just two hours from London and one of the most beautiful counties in England. If you are backpacking the public transport can be a challenge but for the bus ride of a lifetime why not jump onto the top deck of the X53 and enjoy the breathtaking views. The double decker bus makes its way each day from Poole to Lyme Regis via Weymouth and Lulworth Cove and onwards into Devon and is a wonderful way to spend a budget vacation along this coastline. Here are just some of the things you can do on a budget along the way.
Go Fossil Hunting
From Lyme Regis to Kimmeridge Bay the coastline harbours many fossils which can be seen on the shore itself embedded in rocks. During the nineteenth century Mary Anning found dinosaur bones and fossils along the coast and visitors have discovered pieces to this day. Lucky visitors may find a very special souvenir on one of the fossil hunting tours or an independent visit. Why not spend an afternoon in the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester where the dinosaur finds are exhibited.
Located on the Purbeck Coast in Dorset the small village of Tyneham is deserted today. In 1943 the villagers were evacuated as the top secret plans for D Day were rehearsed. The army never allowed the villagers to return and it’s a ghostly place to wander around all the ruined buildings and read the poignant notice on the church door asking those visiting to take care of the place. There is no admission charge but backpackers may need to hire a bicycle or a taxi from Wool or Corfe Castle to the village itself as it is quite remote. There is a footpath leading to Worbarrow Bay which is a great place for a swim.
Spend a morning in Moreton
Moreton has a railway connection to London and if the thatched cottages in the village don’t charm you the church with its exquisite etched glass windows will. When the church was bombed in the Second World War the windows were replaced by Laurence Whistler and are stunning to see. Moreton is also home to the grave of Lawrence of Arabia and a fabulous tea room. A walk along the river is another popular activity in the village and kingfishers are just some of the birds seen in the area.
Take a walk on Chesil Beach
Just outside Weymouth Chesil Beach is a stretch of shingle that protects the town from winds and forms a lagoon called the Fleet. The sizes of stones vary from small pebbles to larger rocks and historically smugglers were reputed to be able to tell which part of the beach they were on from the size of the rock under their feet. In the Fleet there are a number of wading birds and Abbotsbury Swannery is nearby as well as West Bay, a popular beach. This is also the location of the Ian McEwan novel, On Chesil Beach and fossils are often found here.