Durlston Country Park, Swanage

4.7
Explore Durlston Country Park and its rich natural delights, including sea cliffs, coastal limestone, hay meadows, and woodland. At the visitor center, a renovated Victorian castle, find out about Durlston’s wildlife and geology, watch live wildlife video feeds, and visit the art gallery. Have a bite to eat at the Seventhwave Cafe & Restaurant, or make use of the picnic tables located near the parking lot. Pick up a leaflet outlining recommended trails from the visitor center, and speak to the ranger on duty to help you make the most of your trip to Durlston. Make Durlston Country Park a centerpiece of your Swanage vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Swanage online trip maker .
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Durlston Country Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
916 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Just a destination for getting away from it all over the Ilse of Purbecks. Lovely café serving good food, brilliant breath-taking views by The Castle and Café. Easy walking along the coastal path.  more »
  • I come for the wildlife, but they also have some great exhibitions and events (try the astronomy evenings!) and the restaurant is very good too. All that and wonderful views - what's not to like!  more »
  • A really nicely thought through and structured facility. The "Castle" itself has many different aspects to it that all fit together and complement each other well. The staff are helpful and enthusiast...  more »
Google
  • Great place, love it. Had fish 'n' chips today for lunch with some friends, some of the best I've had. Love the place and the area. What amazing views like parts of Spain. A lot of care has been taken with good access to areas bearing in mind the castle is on a hill and helpful staff. Strong words of praise but not 5 stars? Sure there's a reason why they don't have public WiFi.
  • Many happy memories here. Great walks and peaceful views.
  • Fantastic location. Amazing walks and phenominal views. Not to be missed!
  • I visited this part of Swanage in May 2017. It is only for the very fit I would suggest as the terrain and walks take a great deal of effort and stamina.The Great Globe stands within Durlston Country Park, a 113-hectare ( 280-acre ) country park and nature reserve, stretching along the coastline south of Swanage, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. The Park is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The Great Globe at Swanage is one of the largest stone spheres in the world. The Great Globe is constructed of Portland stone. It weighs about 40 tonnes and is 3 metres or about 10 feet in diameter. John Mowlem a Swanage-born man, was a stonemason and builder. He was the founder of the quarrying and construction company Mowlem. John Mowlem and his nephew and business partner George Burt wanted to give something back to their home town, which was the source of their Portland and Purbeck limestone, popular for building at the time. John Mowlem built the Mowlem Institute, a reading room and public library, in 1862. A George Burt purchased an undulating tract of land covering Durlston Head during the same year. This estate included quarries that supplied their firm with limestone. Burt developed this estate as a tourist attraction. The town, originally a small port and fishing village flourished in the Victorian era when it first became a significant quarrying port and later a seaside resort for the rich of the day. Today the town remains a popular tourist resort, this being the town's primary industry, with many thousands of visitors coming to the town during the peak summer season, drawn by the bay's sandy beaches and other attractions. During its history, the bay was listed variously as Swanawic, Swanwich, Sandwich, and only in more recent history as Swanage. The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site ~ this wonderful coastline which stretches from Orcombe Point in East Devon to The Old Harry Rocks near Swanage is a beautiful part of this area. Swanage Tourist Information Centre (T.I.C.) is an excellent point of reference for all visitors to the area and our friendly staff will be delighted to help you plan your holiday and find out more about the area. Tilly Whim Caves consists of three stone quarries sited within the Durlston Country Park and right on the edge of the cliffs. One mile south of Swanage, on the Isle of Purbeck, in Dorset, southern England. The Tilly Whim Caves are a part of the Jurassic Coast which stretches over a distance of 155 kilometres or 96 miles, from Orcombe Point near Exmouth, in the west, to Old Harry Rocks on the Isle of Purbeck, in the east. The constant exposures to coastal erosion along this coastline provide a continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations spanning approximately 185 million years of the Earth's history. The localities along the Jurassic Coast includes a large range of important fossil zones.
  • Lovely especially with the sea mist rolling in!
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