Walking in and around Swanage and Purbeck

The Swanage and Purbeck area of our marvellous county for walking with great stretches of sand and rocky bays below the cliff paths which are here for all to enjoy.

South West Coast Path: 20 mile section from Kimmeridge to Shell Bay/Studland

Kimmeridge Bay is a Marine Wildlife Reserve, so well worth a wander along the seashore looking in the rock-pools and searching for fossils or follow a snorkelling trail in the bay. From here the path continues to rise and fall, so be ready for some hard walking. The biggest climb is to Houns-tout Cliff 490 feet above sea level, before heading out to St Aldhelm’s Head where you will be able to enjoy panoramic views from the Coastwatch lookout and the Norman Chapel. From here head just a mile inland and you can enjoy refreshments in the pretty village of Worth Matravers.

The views are fantastic along this stretch of coastline and the wildlife is just wonder. The walking being less strenuous here as you pass Winspit Cove, Seacombe and Dancing Ledge. Here you will find a sea swimming pool, which was blown out of the rock to be used by local schools sometime at the beginning of the 20th Century. On entering Durlston Country Park at the Anvil Point Lighthouse, you will see butterflies and birds wherever you look. It is worth taking time to visit the Jurassic Coast Visitor Centre at Durlston Castle. Follow the promenade through the small seaside town of Swanage, before Climbing Ballard Down and standing above the chalk sea stacks and arches of Old Harry Rocks. Then walk along the 3 miles of the sand at Studland Beach to reach the end of the South West Coast Path at Shell Bay.

The Purbeck Way: 27 miles Wareham to Corfe Castle

The route takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain. Starting at the water meadows, you then pass through heathland, woodland and downland before arriving on the Jurassic Coast at Old Harry Rocks. You then follow the South West Coast Path to Chapmans Pool beneath St Aldhelm’s Head before returning inland to Corfe Castle.

Wareham Forest Way: 13 miles Wareham to Sturminster Marshall

Walk along the Wareham’s ancient town walls, then head into the heathland and woodlands of Wareham Forest. Then pass through rolling countryside and a former deer park. you will finish where you can then join the Stour Valley Way at Sturminster Marshall.

Commoners Way: 5.5 miles circular walk from Kingston

Start at Kingston Church through the village and then walk through fields heading down to Corfe Common and then onto the castle and village. Then head back onto the common and over farmland as you head back up the hill to Kingston and the Scott Arms.

Northport Greenway and Sika Trail: 5 miles circular route from Wareham

Northport Greenway section is a 3 mile safe walking route through Wareham Town, which the joins the Sika trail in Wareham Forest for 2 miles.

Shorter Walks

This area lends itself to the shorter walk. There is so much to take in and there are perfect picnic locations for you to chose from. Enjoy the wonderful surroundings that inspired the writing of the Famous Five Books by Enid Blyton – go on let it be your guilty pleasure while on holiday to recreate some of those wonderful tales with lashings of ginger beer……

Wareham Town Walls: 1 mile around Wareham’s ancient walls

Quarryman’s Trail: 1.5 miles around Langton Matravers

Wareham Two Rivers Walk: 3.25 miles around Rivers Frome and Piddle

Priests Way: 3 miles from Worth Matravers to Swanage

Smugglers Way: 3 miles around Worth Matravers

Round Ballard Down: 4.5 miles circular walk from Studland to Old Harry Rocks

Godlingston Heath Walk: 3 miles from Studland to Agglestone Rock

Paul Nash In Swanage Swanage to Durlston Country Park

Corfe Castle: 2 miles around Corfe Castle

Durlston Park: 2.5 miles around Durlston and Swanage

Dancing Ledge: 5 mile circular walk from Worth Matravers

Hartland Moor Walk: 2 miles near Corfe Castle

Scotland Heath Walk: 2 miles from Norden

Obelisk Walk: 5 miles from Swanage onto the Purbeck Hills

For additional strolls and walks simply visit these great websites to enhance your exploration and you will be able to plan additional routes for your stay in Dorset:

I Coast, Walking in Dorset, Walking in Britain, Jurassic Jaunts, Walks 4 Softies and Treasure Trails

Browse Cottages in the Swanage & Purbeck Area

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