Stunning walks on the Jurassic coast
There are far too many good walks to mention here. You may be able to design some of your own using the Ordnance Survey map. You can also employ a local guide to show you the best walks.
28th April to 6th May 2012
Walk direct from the house
Shell Bay, Studland and Old Harry Rocks
Get the bus from Swanage sea front to Shell Bay and then walk along the beach to the Bankes Arms for lunch. Then walk back to Swanage on the coast path along the cliffs past Old Harry Rocks Ballard Down and down the hill to Swanage. You can join the beach just before the buildings start by walking down a river gully.
Ballard Down, The Glebe and Studland
Walk up Redcliff rd and Hill rd to take the footpath up to Ballard Down, then follow the path through the Glebe Estate to Studland for lunch at the Manor Hotel and either walk back via Old Harry Rocks or get the bus from Studland village.
There are numerous unusual and quiet walks around Godlingston Heath and the Agglestone Rock. These offer great views of pool Harbour and a different heathland habitat
Nine Barrow Down and Corfe Castle
From Rabling Rd, you can walk up past Godlingston Manor to the summit of Nine Barrow Down and then along the ridge to Corfe Castle, where you can get lunch in the Bankes Arms or visit the Castle and you have the option of a train ride back to Swanage.
Durlston Head and Country Park
Walk down Walrond Rd to the Seafront and follow it round to Pevril point, from where you can follow the footpath all the way to Durlston Head, through a variety of down land, cliffs, woodland and sea views. At Durlston you can continue around the coast path to try some dolphin watching or go along the high route via the visitor centre and across round down from where there are numerous footpaths leading back to Swanage all offering great views and some offering insights into the Caravan Park, the recycling centre and other local features!
Dancing Ledge, Seacombe, Winspit
You can do all of these directly from the house by walking down Northbrook Rd over the railway to Kings Rd West and up to Herston to join the Priests way at the Swanage bay view caravan park.
All of these are a rock climber’s heaven being a defunct quarries dug out of the cliffs.
Young children should not venture between St Aldhems Head and Winspit as the coast path is the wrong side of the fence and is far too narrow with some dangerous drops.
We often try to end these walks at the Square and Compass pub in Worth Matravers.
Walks that need a car
Arne Bird Sanctuary
20 mins drive
Drive through Corfe Castle and at the signs for the Norden park and ride follow signs to Arne until you reach the end of the road and are forced to park in the car park. From here you can do a woodland walk to Poole Harbour and to the hide where you can view the bird sanctuary amongst some serious twitchers and then back to the car park through the woods.
10 mins drive and 30 mins walk to the viewpoint
You then have the choice to walk back to the car or engage in a longer walk to appreciate the coast path) This has to be the best viewpoint on the Dorset Coast,
on a clear day you can see for 30 miles in each direction and observe the dramatic and striking lines of the coast.
If you descend to the clifftop and then follow the coast path in an easterly direction towards St Aldhems Head, you will come across an amazing artificial waterfall made by the owners of the local manor house to add charm to their private beach. The view beyond is of St Aldhems head
Worbarrow Bay and Tyneham
25 mins drive
When the range walks are open (weekends and school holidays) the car park on Povington Hill provides not just an excellent view, but also a good start point for walks around the ranges and for the Worbarrow bay coastline. A neat circular walk is to follow the ridge to the cliffs, stumble over flowers barrow and down to Worbarrow Tout before walking back to Tyneham, looking at the ruined village and old school house before ascending the hill back to the car park.
St Albans Head, Winspit, Chapmans Pool
15 mins drive
If you look at the map, you can design numerous different walks to this limestone cliff coastline and various quarries and caves. The start points are any of the car parks marked on the map at Acton, Worth Matravers or Renscombe farm.