Swyre Head

Swyre Head

Swyre Head is the name given to the highest point of the Purbeck Hills which is located on the Isles of Purbeck in Dorset. The hill is situated about 2 kilometers (just over 1` mile) southwest of the village Kingston, about 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) south of Corfe Castle and 8 kilometers (about 5 miles) west of Swanage. The peak of Swyre Head sits at an elevation of 208 meters or 682 feet, while not very high, its relative height means that it almost qualifies as a Marilyn (these are defined as peaks with a prominence above 150 meters (490 feet). The Swyre Head hill is part of the extensive Southern England Chalk Formation.

There is actually another hill in Dorset that goes by the same name of Swyre Head, this is a slightly smaller hill and is located to the west of Durdle door, they are about four hours walk from each other which is about 18 kilometers. At the top of the hill, you get some spectacular views of the surrounding area, to the west of the hill you can see past the Isle of Purbeck all the way to Dartmoor, to the east you can see the Isle of Wight and well as across the north side of the Purbeck Hills to Poole Harbour, to the west, the folly of Clavell Tower can also be spotted.

The hill is set about 800 meters from the coast, the hill is not actually located on the South West Coast Path so you will need to go out of your way to visit it, it is best reached from the villages of Kingston and Kimmeridge. The hill has a trig point marked as 203 meters on Ordnance Survey maps, but a tumulus, now fully grassed over, forms the highest point, 208 meters (682 ft) above sea level.

Walkers typically exit their cars at Lulworth Cove, or the Durdle Door Holiday Park to walk around Swyre Head. The views from here of the Jurassic Coast are nothing short of spectacular. Swyre Head, located between Durdle Door and Bat’s Head, also provides memorable views of Durdle Door, St. Oswald’s Bay, and Dorset’s east coast. Swyre Head should not be confused with a hill by the same name, which is the highest point in the Purbeck Hills and is located further inland.