Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park is a 320 acre National Nature Reserve consisting of beautiful clifftop walks with stunning views, a recently renovated Victorian Durlston Castle with its historic Great Globe, a visitor centre, cafe and Anvil Point Lighthouse. It’s located just 1 mile from Swanage. The Park, which is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is owned and managed by the Dorset County Council and is FREE to enter although car park charges apply. (it’s a 30 minute walk from Swanage Pier, just follow the brown tourist signs). Car park charges are given at the bottom of the page.

Durlston Country Park Sat Nav Postcode BH19 2JL (Google map)
Website: https://www.durlston.co.uk
Telephone: 01929 424443

Anvil Point Lighthouse is built of local stone and was completed in 1881
Anvil Point Lighthouse is built of local stone and was completed in 1881. It is still a fully functioning lighthouse. It was fully automated in 1991. In 2012 a LED lamp was installed as the main light giving a white flash every 10 seconds. The old lens, though no longer in use, remains in place in the 12 m high tower. The lighthouse is not open to the public. Some of the old buildings have been refurbished as holiday cottages.

The Park is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife. Over 250 species of birds have been recorded, 33 species of breeding butterfly, 500 wildflowers, 500 moths and thousands of other invertebrates. Their website has an excellent section about local wildlife and is the go-to resource for identifying and learning about the wildlife of the Jurassic Coast. https://www.durlston.co.uk/wildlife-and-marine.aspx The webpage also includes a daily wildlife diary and a month-by-month guide.

Map of Durlston Country Park
Durlston Country Park Map

Durlston Country Park Car Park Charges

April-October
Up to 1 hour£2
Up to 2 hours£2.50
Up to 4 hours£4
All day£5
Overnight parking is not allowed.

Car Park charges November to March

Weekdays: £2 all day, £1 up to 2 hours and after 6pm
Weekends: £3 all day, £2 for 2 hours, £1 up to 1 hour and after 6pm

There are a number of walks around the Park some of them can be quite steep and uneven.
Durlston Visitor Centre
Visitor Centre and shop are located next to the car park and it’s probably the first place you should visit when you arrive. There are toilets next to the Visitor Centre.
Tilly Whim Caves Information board
Tilly Whim Caves are old limestone quarries.
Tilly Whim Caves
Tilly Whim Caves. They are closed to the public for obvious safety reasons..
Durlston Map
Durlston castle
View of the back of Durlston Castle showing the cafe and picnic tables.
The Great Globe at Durlston
The Great Globe is one of the largest stone spheres in the world. It is constructed of Portland stone and weighs about 40 tonnes and is 3m in diameter. It was constructed in Greenwich in 1887 and brought to Swanage by sea. The Globe consists of 15 segments and connected using granite dowels.
The Great Globe is located just next to Durlston Castle overlooking the sea.
Around the Globe is a set of stone plaques carved with quotations from English and Roman poets and from the Bible. There are also interesting facts about the natural world.
Side view of Durlston Castle.

Related pages: Swanage / Worth Matravers / Studland Village / Corfe Castle