An interactive marine centre situated on a beautiful stretch of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, with splendid views from grassy cliff tops and an underwater nature trail for snorkelers.
Kimmeridge Bay, half a mile south west of the village of Kimmeridge, features some of the most important geology anywhere on the Jurassic Coast. It also boasts some of the areas most accessible marine wildlife. The natural limestone ledges extending out into the bay make it easy to view life on the shore and in the shallow waters, making it a wonderful location for rockpooling.
It’s not your classic ‘bucket and spade’ beach but there’s lots to do here – short walks along the coast, rock pooling, snorkelling and of course the Wild Seas visitor centre with its interactive displays, aquaria and fascinating information boards. Carefully designed to encourage all ages to explore, understand and appreciate the bay and ledges. (Note: the Centre is closed throughout December & January)
On a calm day the Kimmeridge snorkel trail allows a unique glimpse under the waves. It’s open from May to September.
This waterproof guide, available to purchase at the Wild Seas visitor centre, gives directions for following the trail, safety advice, snorkelers code of conduct and a photo identification guide to the commonest wildlife along the route. Masks and snorkels are also available to hire at the centre for a small charge.
Peer into the water to see a wide variety of seaweeds & rockpool creatures. Specialities include Peacock’s Tail Seaweed, Connemara Clingfish and Montagu’s Blennies. In shallow water, large wrasse and shoals of small fish can be seen against a colourful backdrop of Rainbow Wrack & coralline seaweeds. Occasionally large marine mammals such as seals and dolphins can be spotted!
For a flavour of what you might see under the water, take a look at this fascinating video by Andy Marsh, as he follows the trail ….
Walking trails zigzag the area. Take a stroll along the newly improved footpath to Kimmeridge Village, led by new wayfinding fingerposts along the walking trail. Eye-catching illustrations along the trail tell the story of Kimmeridge marine life past and present, showing how the creatures found here today are linked to past wildlife through geological time.
Once in the village you can explore the Etches Collection museum of Jurassic Marine Life and learn more about the fantastic fossils along the coast and enjoy a well deserved ice-cream!
Or, for a longer leg stretch you can access the South West Coast Path and walk for miles …
For more information about the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, visit the Jurassic Coast website to find out all about this unique stretch of coastline.