Meander through hay meadows, explore quiet woodland trails and be wowed by stunning sea views at Durlston Country Park – just a stone’s throw from Swanage town.
Durlston makes for a great family day out in nature in a special spot along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, and boasts some 280 acres of cliff walks and countryside to explore.
The coastal path will take you past the Tilly Whim Caves (old Purbeck stone quarry caves) and up to the lighthouse at Anvil Point – a perfect spot for sketching the view if you have an artistic streak, or sitting with a picnic as you look out over the expansive sea views.
The woodland trails have various quiet picnic spots and benches to take in the scenery, and you’ll find carved stone tablets dotted around the pathways that take you on an educational walk through time of the Jurassic Coast.
Durlston is a haven for wildlife and an important breeding ground for migratory sea birds and a special habitat for butterflies and orchids.
And if you’re really lucky you might see a seal or dolphin below you in the sea.
Check out Durlston’s butterfly-spotting and birdwatching calendar, so you know what to do out for at different times of the year: www.durlston.co.uk/wildlife-and-marine.aspx
The dedicated team of rangers and volunteers at Durlston mean there is always an event, guided tour or conservation project going on.
At the castle you can also check out the exhibition space, which welcomes artists throughout the year, or indulge in a treat or light lunch – and soak up the incredible views – at the Seventh Wave café.
Durlston Castle is also home to the park’s gift shop, which sells a range of wildlife and nature-inspired gifts.
How to get to Durlston
For your SatNav: BH19 2JL
Durlston Country Park is situated above Swanage on Lighthouse Road.