logo Walking Britain

Dorset Walk
Purbeck Coast from Swanage

County/Area - Dorset

Author - Reg Carr

Length - 10.0 miles / 16.3 km

Ascent - 1600 feet / 485 metres

Time - 6 hours 40 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SZ035773
Lat 50.595416 // Long -1.951911
Postcode BH19 2JL (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Purbeck Coast from Swanage
Click thumbnails for larger images.

From Swanage harbour follow signs to Durlston Country Park (Grid ref. SZ035773). From the car park walk to Durlston Head Castle to see the Great Globe weighing 40 tons which is a testament to the mason's art. Follow the path to Tilly Whim Caves and Anvil Point Lighthouse.

Continue along the coast path, enjoying the superb views on the way to Dancing Ledge (Grid ref. SY998769), which is a good picnic spot. There was quarrying of Purbeck Stone all along this coast. At Dancing Ledge there is also a small swimming pool blasted out of the rocks. The spot is also very popular with climbers.

Continue along the coast path past quarries at Seacombe Cliff (Grid ref. SY985766) and Winspit (Grid ref. SY977761). These are also good picnic spots and great places to watch the sea crash against the cliffs on stormy days. Turn inland at Winspit on the path to Worth Matravers (Grid ref. SY975775). This was a quarrying village hence the name of the pub -'The Square and Compass'.

Take the Langton Matravers road out of the village and after about 400 metres turn right onto the path known as the 'Priest's Way'. This route gives you some good examples of Purbeck Stone quarries. Follow this to near Belle Vue Farm (Grid ref. SZ016783) then turn south on the track leading back to the coast. When you reach the steep slope down to the sea you will see a path crossing ahead (Grid ref. SZ016772). Turn left (east) onto this path which heads back across Round Down towards Anvil Point picking up the main path back to the Durlston Country Park car park.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers

Covid 19 Update for Walkers

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL15Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL15Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 195Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 195Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Recommended Reading

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to Plymouth

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to PlymouthMap of part of the southern section of the 630 mile (1014km) South West Coast Path National Trail. Covers the trail from St Ives to Plymouth along the west Cornwall and Devon coastline. This convenient and compact booklet of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps shows the route, providing all of the mapping you need to walk the trail in either direction.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Walking - Covid 19 update

Regular updates on how Covid 19 will impact on walking in the UK More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.