Home to the Anvil Point Lighthouse, built in the 1800s, the headland of Anvil Point is just one location for stunning seascapes and excellent walking within Durlston Country Park.
The lighthouse at Anvil Point serves as a navigation aid and waypoint for vessels passing along the English Channel and was installed following a number of shipwrecks here.
It became fully automated in 1991 and its light, which flashes every ten seconds with its rotating lens, reaches nine nautical miles out to sea. The original light would have been a paraffin burner.
The twelve-metre-tall lighthouse was built in 1881 from locally-quarried stone stands 45m above sea level.
It used to have a fog signal – a small cannon – that sounded every five minutes in low-visibility weather conditions, however this was discontinued in the 1980s.
The lighthouse at Durlston is not accessible to the general public, although you can stay in its cottages, which have been converted into two holiday homes.
How to get there
You can walk to Anvil Point via the South West Coast Path and via Durlston Country Park (SatNav: BH19 2JL)
- Easy: From Durlston’s Learning Centre, follow the tarmac road past the intriguing Purbeck stone quarr (part of the area’s quarrying history, alongside the nearby Tilly Whim caves). You’ll see the lighthouse below you – simply follow the road around until you reach the headland.
- More challenging: A slightly longer walk via Durlston’s coast path will take you past the Tilly Whim caves. These are now inaccessible to the public due to safety reasons, but they’re still an interesting little piece of Purbeck‘s history. The path down the hill here should be taken with care as there may be loose and uneven stones underfoot and may be slippery after rain. Follow the path up the hill opposite the caves and you’ll arrive at the lighthouse.
Stay at Anvil Point
For a unique Swanage stay, complete with breathtaking breakfast views and nature on your doorstep, you can rent one of the two cottages here.
Both cottages have panoramic views, on-site parking, WiFi and a shared, enclosed garden.
The lighthouse itself no longer has a fog signal, so your stay won’t be impacted in poor weather.
Note that bottled water is provided for your stay due to the mains water not being drinking water.
The larger of the two off-the-beaten track cottages at Durlston, Veronica Cottage offers an usual stay in a place that feels remote, yet is a stone’s throw from all the amenities of Swanage town.
- Sleeps six – perfect for the whole family, or extended family
- Four bedrooms and two bathrooms
- Minimum two-night stay
- No dogs allowed (but Rowena Cottage is dog-friendly)
Check availability and more information on the Rural Retreats’ website:
The whole family (including the dog) can stay at Rowena Cottage for a special, secluded holiday on the outskirts of Swanage.
- Sleeps five, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms
- Minimum three-night stay
- 🐾 Dog-friendly (maximum one dog)
Find the full details of this cottage on Rural Retreats’ website:
Contact details for Anvil Point Lighthouse holiday cottages
The contact number for both holiday cottage bookings: 01386 701177.
The office is open Monday – Saturdays from 9am – 5.30pm.