The Jurassic Coast consists of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous cliffs, spanning the Mesozoic Era, documenting 180 million years of geological history.
The site shows excellent examples of landforms, including the natural arch at Durdle Door, the cove and limestone folding at Lulworth Cove and an island, the Isle of Portland. Chesil Beach is a fine example of both a tombolo (a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit or bar) and a storm beach (a beach affected by particularly fierce waves). The site has stretches of both concordant and discordant coastlines. Due to the quality of the varied geology, the site is the subject of international field studies. This area was home to Mary Anning, a palaeontologist who studied the fossils of the coastline around Lyme Regis and discovered the first complete Ichthyosaur fossil at the Spittles.
The highest point on the Jurassic Coast, and on the entire south coast of Britain, is Golden Cap at 191 metres (627 ft).