Durdle Door

Posted: July 3, 2015 in Swimming
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Start one side, finish the other

I’ve seen the pictures and I’ve heard the stories so it was high time to do it. I headed south to swim through Durdle Door. The first problem was actually getting there. I’d not been there before but back in my climbing days I had visited both Swanage and Portland and it was in between the two. In the intervening years I’d forgotten quite what a long and torturous journey it was. Finally we started seeing the thatched roof prettiness of East and West Lulworth and we knew that the only obstacle left was to find the car park.

The walk down to the cove was fantastic, first we had views of the cove opposite and then slowly the rock arch of Durdle Door came into view. I shouldn’t have been surprised that it looked like every picture that I’d seen of it but I was.


It Looks exactly like this

The initial plan was to swim under the arch and back to the beach. Now that we had actually arrived we could see that the arch was very close to the shore and the planned swim would be very short. An alternative plan was hatched. We would swim through the arch and on round to the next bay. That seemed like a much better idea.

The swim started with the usual squeaks and squeals but we soon got used to the temperature and headed off in the crystal clear water. As we neared the arch, the sea bed, coated in flora, came up to meet us. Though the arch the water was different. The rhythm of the waves changed, the colour was darker and the water was deeper. I felt a little exposed and tiny, groundless doubts creeped around the edges of my mind.


A view from the other side just to prove that we swam through

A few strokes and we were off, navigation was easy, just follow the shore. There was no appreciable current but the water felt heavy and cool. Maybe it was my mind playing tricks? In the depths I saw one or two jellyfish lurking menacingly. My only experiences with jellyfish have been painful so prefer to see them from afar rather that up close and personal. It didn’t take long to settle into my stroke, push ideas of being stung or swept out to sea to the back of my mind and to start enjoying the swim, after all we had almost perfect conditions for this little adventure.

The water in the next bay was significantly warmer, although there were a few mystical cold spots. It seemed rather a shame that the swim was over so quickly, maybe we should have swum to Lulworth cove…


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