Getting there and getting around England

In addition to views of Old Harry Rocks, visitors to South Beach on the eastern Jurassic Coast can also enjoy a pint of hearty ale next to a crackling fire at the Bankes Arms pub. Credit: Terri Cook and Lon Abbott. In addition to views of Old Harry Rocks, visitors to South Beach on the eastern Jurassic Coast can also enjoy a pint of hearty ale next to a crackling fire at the Bankes Arms pub. Credit: Terri Cook and Lon Abbott.

In Charmouth, visitors can search the beach for the fossilized remains of ammonites and other creatures that swam in the shallow sea that covered southwestern England during the Jurassic. Credit: Terri Cook and Lon Abbott.In Charmouth, visitors can search the beach for the fossilized remains of ammonites and other creatures that swam in the shallow sea that covered southwestern England during the Jurassic. Credit: Terri Cook and Lon Abbott.

From North America, the cheapest and most convenient access to the Jurassic Coast is via one of London’s major airports. Nonstop service to Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) airports is available from many major U.S. cities.From London, the easiest way to get to (and around) the Jurassic Coast is by renting a vehicle, assuming you’re comfortable driving on the left side of the road. Because Gatwick is located on London’s southern outskirts, it offers the best escape to England’s southern coast from the hustle and bustle of the city. National Express offers convenient and inexpensive bus shuttles between Heathrow and Gatwick. You can also catch a quick flight to Bournemouth or Exeter and either rent a vehicle or hop aboard a bus traveling one of the five routes that regularly ply the southwest coast. It’s also possible to reach the area via rail. If you decide to rent a vehicle, any airport will offer a good selection of international and local carriers.

During the busy summer season, it’s best to book accommodations ahead of time. These range widely in price, services and quality. Websites such as bedandbreakfast.com and historic-uk.com highlight the many quaint bed and breakfasts and cozy inns scattered along this stunning coast.

The United Kingdom’s official currency is the British Pound. ATMs are widely available, and most restaurants and accommodations accept credit cards. The weather along the coast is often wet, so it’s best to bring along good rain gear and walking shoes, especially if you’re planning on hunting for fossils or hiking the coast.

Terri Cook

Terri Cook

Based in Boulder, Colo., and trained as a geologist, Cook is a freelance writer whose career has focused on exploring and explaining the history of our amazing planet, including as a roving correspondent for EARTH. Follow her travels at www.down2earthscience.com. Follow her @GeoTravelTerri.

Monday, June 18, 2018 - 06:00