The geology of the coast of Dorset between Swanage in the east and Lyme Regis to the west is fascinating. It is part of the Jurassic Coast which extends further west to Orcombe Point in Devon.
The layers of rock dip from west to east so that the oldest, two hundred and fifty million year old Triassic rock, is on the surface in the west. The strata get progressively younger, until at Swanage sixty five million year old Cretaceous chalk forms the surface layer. To walk from one end to the other is like turning the pages of an illustrated geology text. Fossils are washed out of the cliffs all the way along and their changes can provide a lesson in evolution. It is an area much loved by geology lecturers and geography teachers and, if they chose to really look at the evidence, a bit of a problem for creationists to explain.
A pleasant way to get to the start of the Jurassic Coast is to take the steam train to Swanage, which runs on most of the old Southern Region line from Wareham. Here the 11.52 to Swanage is approaching Corfe Castle Station while the driver prepares to exchange line section tokens.