The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site and National Nature Reserve in England. The Jurassic Coast is a 96-mile (154-kilometre) stretch of coast in Dorset and Devon that starts at Orcombe Point near Exmouth and finishes near Old Harry Rocks beside Swanage. It is all that remains of the Mesozoic Era. The Mesozoic Era starts with the Triassic around 252 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago with the Cretaceous extinction, which killed off non-avian dinosaurs and many other lifeforms on Earth. The Dorset section begins at Lyme Regis, and the beaches here consist mostly of small shingle with little sand. Beyond West Bay it's almost entirely flint shingle until Portland. Weymouth has a good sandy beach and a few miles east, the chalk cliffs rise to about 300 feet at White Nothe. Beaches along here are mostly steeply shelving shingle backed by high cliffs. The MoD Tyneham ranges are just east of Lulworth Cove, and access is restricted - usually to weekends and school holidays. Further east are high cliffs of limestone with very few places where the shore is accessible until Swanage. Swanage, Studland Bay and Shell Bay are long sandy beaches. A vehicle ferry operates across the mouth of Poole harbour to Sandbanks and Bournemouth. Many of the car parks for the smaller beaches are run by the National Trust, and are free to members, but can be expensive to non-members. If you're planning a day out, it's well worth either taking your own food and drink, or buying these from a supermarket along the way. Food and drink can be very expensive if bought from beach shops and cafes.
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