Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Monkey World and the Jurassic Coast

The next day. I have always wanted to visit Monkey World ever since I saw it on the TV a few years ago. The series was called Monkey Business and I looked forward to watching it week by week. It was like a soap opera, all the residents had names and they all had a story of how they came to be there.

The 65 acre park is home to over 250 rescued and endangered apes and monkeys. Many of them have been neglected, kept in unnatural conditions or experienced unbelievable cruelty. Monkey World was set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin to provide a permanent stable home for abused Spanish beach chimps. Sadly Jim passed away in 2007, but his wife Alison continues to work with foreign governments worldwide to stop the illegal smuggling of primates from Africa, Asia, and South America.

I am thrilled to visit this wonderful place today.

The monkeys were very entertaining and put a smile on everyone's face. I wondered who was watching who, as they seemed to enjoy our company and take great delight at studying the faces on the other side of the fence. Some people say you shouldn't cage wild animals, and on the whole I agree, but these have been rescued from some awful conditions, and this is the best chance they are going to get. Their enclosures are massive, they have lots of space to do what monkeys do, and to live out their lives in safety, and with love and compassion.

Jim Cronin was in his fifties when he died of cancer, he went back home to New York for treatment and sadly didn't return. This beautiful memorial is in a quiet wooded area of the park, almost completely hidden. A perfect place to sit for a few minutes and reflect on the wonderful legacy he has left us.
After eating my pack up lunch in the park I went back to the hostel and set off for a walk along the coast. You can't go in an easterly direction from Lulworth Cove because the land is used by the army for target practice. If the flags are flying you go in the opposite direction and head westbound.

This quirky tree in a front garden made me smile. Every bucket and spade left on the beach is hung here, doesn't it look pretty?

Lulworth Cove is shaped like a horseshoe, ideal for messing about on a boat, or a spot of paddling, and dogs love romping and splashing about in the water.

I'm on my way now, looking back at the cove.

Walking along coastal path, fabulous views.

A little bit further along this Jurassic coast I came to Durdle Door. This is a natural limestone arch. Apparently the word Durdle is derived from the Old English word, thirl, meaning bore or drill.

Just after I passed this point I turned right acros the fields and returned to the hostel along a parallel path that followed lanes and the edges of fields. An enjoyable walk, and a pint of cider in the pub made it a perfect end to the day.


  1. Dorset is beautiful! I still think the Isle of Purbeck is the jewel in the crown. My kids and I have great memories of camping holidays and cycle tours around there. We used to go swimming in the bay of Lulworth Cove, then had an ice cream before cycling back towards Wareham. We didn`t have much money then, but our holidays were special, nevertheless!!

  2. I am so enjoying reading of your holiday. Love the 'bucket and spade' tree!

  3. We walked the Dorset Coastal Path back in the 1980s and there are certainly some challenging sections. The Army weren't firing shells on the day we passed the gunnery ranges, so at least that was slightly less difficult than it could have been.

    I've just had a look at the Satellite View of Lulworth Cove on Google Maps; It's less pretty from the air than your pictures, but you do get a clearer idea of how the geography has worked.

  4. Just shown my elderly mother-in-law your photos as this is a place she used to visit frequently as a teenager and young wife. She was thrilled to see it again.

  5. I enjoy that coastal path walk too. From Lulworth past Durdle Door is a fantastic walk. The steps down to Durdle door down the cliff are scarey though. Beautiful once down there though. Loving thi walk down memory lane for me.

  6. lovely photo's, the bucket and spade tree is great!

  7. Thank you so much Ilona for sharing your wonderful holiday. How gorgeous is Lulworth Cove♥