GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Durlston Country Park

3 miles (5 km)

This circular walk takes you around the beautiful Durlston Country Park,near Swanage, Dorset. The walk begins at the car park and takes you past Durlston Castle to the coast at Durlston Head. Here you join the South West Coast Path for a coastal section to Anvil Point Lighthouse via Tilly Whim Caves. You'll also pass the Great Globe - one of the largest stone spheres in the world.
From the lighthouse you head inland to the Townsend Nature Reserve where you will find a variety of wildlife including 33 species of breeding butterfly, over250 species of bird recorded, 500 wildflowers, 500 moths. The walk then returns to the car park and the finish point.
With 280 acres of countryside, dramatic sea cliffs and a fantastic and informative visitor centre, Durlston is well worth exploring.

Postcode

BH19 2JL - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Please click here for more information

Durlston Country Park OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Durlston Country Park Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Pubs/Cafes

Durlston Castle has good facilities with toilets, a shop and nice cafe. There's a lovely outdoor seating area here with fine views of the sea. It's the perfect place to relax after your walk. In the basement area of the castle they also have interesting exhibitions as well.

Dog Walking

The park is a great place for a dog walk and you will probably see other owners on your outing. It is advised that you keep them on a lead or under close control though please. There are usually water bowls on the terrace outside the castle as well.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The park is located on the South West Coast Path so you could extend your walk by picking up the trail and heading west to Dancing Ledge. Dancing Ledge is so called because when the waves wash over the surface of the rocks it appears as the the ledge is 'dancing'. It's a very pretty spot with lovely views down the coast and the option of continuing to Seacombe Cliff and the nearby village of Worth Matravers.
Head north from the castle and the path will take you down a hill into Swanage. Here you could enjoy a stroll along the pier where there is a good museum detailing the interesting history of the town.
At the other end of the town there's the excellent Swanage Railway. This heritage railway hs some lovely old steam trains that you can catch to the historic ruins of Corfe Castle.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Dorset Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

Ragged rocks, Durlston Country Park - geograph.org.uk - 1027170

Ragged rocks, Durlston Country Park. Looking west from the Marmalota buttress on the Portland Stone cliffs west of Anvil Point. The cliffs are popular with climbers, and the location is also known as Boulder Ruckle. The headland in the distance is St Alban's Head (or St Aldhelm's Head).

Aviary Glade at Durlston Country Park - geograph.org.uk - 1626542

Aviary Glade. This large glade, with stone seats was the site of an Edwardian aviary.

Dolphin watch hut at Durlston Country Park - geograph.org.uk - 1626610

Dolphin watch hut. This part of the Dorset coast is an excellent location for spotting dolphins. The Durlston Marine Project has set up a dolphin watch team here.

Tilly Whim Road, Durlston Country Park - geograph.org.uk - 1027154

Tilly Whim Road. This walled track along the top of the Portland Stone cliffs is called Tilly Whim Road. The old tourist entrance to the caves is off to the left.

Coast path and inscribed stone, Durlston Country Park - geograph.org.uk - 1626574

Coast path and inscribed stone. Durlston was developed as a tourist attraction by George Burt in second half of the century. The site is littered with numerous inscribed stone, which are being restored as part of the ongoing 'Durlston Project

Literary bench at Durlston Country Park - geograph.org.uk - 1627417

Literary bench. Durlston is home a quite a number of Victorian inscribed stone objects, including the famous globe, and several benches inscribed with the names of playwrights and poets. Many have been refurbished as part of 'the Durlston Project' although for some reason on one of the bench ends has been cleaned.

The Durlston Globe from below - geograph.org.uk - 355124

The Globe looking up the steps from the cliff path.

Durlston Castle, Swanage - geograph.org.uk - 631268

Durlston Castle. The Castle, built by George Burt (1816-1894) of the Mowlem dynasty, is now the subject of a 5.85m restoration project.

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Durlston Country Park.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Durlston Country Park.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)