Ringstead:continue your Jurassic Odyssey towards Porland
Ringstead lies about halfway between
and Weymouth on the
Access is via the A353 Weymouth to Wool road.The turning is on the left just past Poxwell if you are coming from Wool.Follow this road for about 500m then turn right where you see the sign to Ringsetad beach.The road leads down a steep hill to a car park just behind the beach.
This is a toll road and a fee of £4 is payable to a man who will approach you in the car park assuming you have a car.If you walk it is free.There is a shop here selling fishing bait.
The beach itself is quite shingly but is good for water sports.There is a reef 50m offshore which creates a lagoon at low tide making for safe swimming.If you want peace and quiet this may the beach for you as it is long in both directions.
Here the rock is from the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods which has been exposed by uplift and earth movements.Eroded by the sea are the Kimmeridge Clays which form the lower cliffs at the back of the beach.
Going eastwards you will find White Nothe headland formed from harder chalk from the Cretaceous period.Part of the cliff has slipped towards the sea in particular the area known as Burning Cliff , so called because in 1826 a landslip occurred which caused trapped oil and gas to ignite. This oil and gas burnt for three years.
To the west is Bran Point made of hard yellow limestone made during the Jurassic period.Here many trace fossils can be found,which are burrows made by sea creatures.
Leaving Ringstead,if your go back up the toll road and turn right at the top you will come to a National Trust car park, which is free.
From here you can look down on a World War Two radar station which was one of a series built along the south coast.It could detect approaching German bombers by use of radio frequencies.The station continued to be used during the Cold War to detect Russian attacks.
When you have finished admiring the view,walk to the end of the car park,through a gate and follow the track.
This track eventually reaches the South West Coastal path taking you up to White Nothe cliif, so called because of it's nose like shape and the white chalk.From here you can look east towards
and west towards
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