Dorset Coastal Walk #4 – Swanage and Durlston

Swanage Pier

Dorset Coastal Walk #4

This wonderful coastal walk takes you through Durlston Country Park (now a nature reserve but once earmarked for George Burt’s grand country estate!) and Tilly Whim Caves.

Walk Essentials

Time: 3 hours

Distance: 4 ¾ mile (7.5km)

Type: Steady ascent out of Swanage, otherwise fairly easy with a downhill return

Dogs: Good. On leads in parkland

Start/Finish: Shore Road Swanage near Victoria Avenue(Grid Ref: SZ031792)

The Walk

Printable, step by step instructions for the walk can be found here. The walk starts and finishes in Swanage which has a wide selection of pubs and cafe’s for refreshments. Another option is Seventhwave Restaurant at Durlston Castle for coffee and lunches.


Swanage! Have breakfast before you go or lunch and a well deserved beverage when you get back. Swanage is buzzing at this time of year and there are some wonderful cafes and pubs to suit all tastes and budgets. Country Foods Kitchen is one of our favourites.

St Mary the Virgin’s Church and Mill Pond. This historic church dating from 1860 and 1901 replaced the medieval building although some of the original monuments were transferred, and the fourteenth century tower remains.

st mary's swanage

George Burt’s Great Globe. Construction of this huge ball took place in 1887. Made from Portland Stone, it weighs 40 tonnes, is 10 feet in diameter, and the continents and countries of the world are carved into the stone surface.

Anvil Point Lighthouse. Situated within the grounds of Durlston Country Park, Anvil Point Lighthouse is built from locally quarried stone and was completed in 1881. The lighthouse is operational 24 hours a day and is positioned to give a waypoint for vessels on passage along the English Channel Coast. You can even stay overnight in one of the two self catering holiday cottages Veronica and Rowena!

Tilly Whim Caves. Formed in the eighteenth century through the extraction of Purbeck Stone, these old quarries are no longer open to the public but provide a wonderful look out point for bird and marine life.