Swanage to Corfe Castle via Ballard Down and Nine Barrow Down
Walk from the coastal seaside resort of Swanage to the village of Corfe Castle on this splendid hill top route in Dorset. This is a popular walk of about 8.5 miles which can be done in a day. It crosses the two well known local hills of Ballard Down and Nine Barrow Down with fabulous panoramic views to enjoy. Busses run regularly between Swanage and Corfe Castle so you can do the walk and then get the bus back. You could also return via the Swanage steam railway.
The walk starts on the front in Swanage close to the town centre. You then follow a section of the South West Coast Path up to Ballard Point. You then follow the Purbeck Way west to Studland Hill and Ballard Down. From the elevated position on the down there are splendid views of Old Harry Rocks, Studland, Poole Harbour, the Isle of Wight and Swanage. In the summer there are lots of wildflowers with the Adonis Blue butterfly to look out for. The area is also popular with mountain bikers as the grassy hills are great to ride down.
After climbing across the down you descend towards Ulwell before climbing towards Godslington Hill and Nine Barrow Down. The down reaches a height of 199 m (653 ft) with fabulous views towards Corfe Castle.
The final section is a lovely descent into Corfe Castle, passing Brenscombe Hill, Rollington Hill and Challow Hill. Here you can enjoy refreshments and explore the fascinating ruins of the 11th century castle.