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Durlston is a Natural England Accredited Country Park in recognition of the high standard of services to visitors. We welcome comments and suggestions from visitors to help us maintain and improve our service.

Opening Times

The countryside of the Park is open all year round, from sunrise to sunset.

Durlston Castle

Free entry, open daily (except Christmas day and Boxing day)

  • 10am-4pm (November-March)
  • 10am-5pm (April-October)

Our Visitor Centre at Durlston Castle is a must for all. Features include:

  • Ranger on duty to help you make the most of your visit
  • 'The Rock' Fossil room
  • Audio-visual room - Year in the Life of Durlston
  • Live wildlife cameras
  • Monthly displays
  • A Daily Diary detailing the latest sightings
  • A rooftop terrace
  • Gallery featuring different exhibitions throughout the year. See events for details.
  • Shop selling trail leaflets, maps, books, postcards, souvenirs, snacks.
  • Cafe SeventhWave offering breakfasts and lunch. 01929 421111 for reservations.


Picnic tables are located in the area around the car parks, some of which are wheelchair accessible.

Rubbish and recycling bins can be found at the Castle and by the Learning Centre.


Toilets are located at the Castle and Learning Centre and include accessible toilets and nappy changing facilities.


Dogs are most welcome at Durlston, but please follow our dog policy:

  • Keep your dog paths, either on a lead or under very close control.
  • Well behaved dogs are welcome in the Castle, Visitor Centre, and Cafe, whilst on a lead. 
  • There are 7 dog waste bins around the park. Please clean up after your dog, and dispose of waste responsibly.

By following our dog policy, you will help us to prevent disturbance to wildlife, be mindful of other visitor, and control dog mess on our National Nature Reserve. Please read our dog page for more information.


BBQ's, stoves, and camp-fires are not allowed anywhere at Durlston.


Bicycles are not permitted at Durlston (outside of the Car Parks). All of the trails at Durlston are public footpaths (not bridleways or byways) and therefore cycling bikes (and horse-riding) along these routes is not permitted.

The closest Bridleway for cycling is the Priests way between Swanage and Worth Matravers.

Bicycle racks are located at the car park nearest the Castle and at the Learning Centre.


As a National Nature Reserve, to protect the wildlife and tranquility of Durlston, camping and overnight parking are prohibited. 

There are lots of campsites in and around Swanage, some within walking distance of the Park: 

Swanage Holiday Parks, Campsites and Glamping | Visit Swanage (


Drones are not permitted at Durlston without prior arrangement with the rangers. You will need a PfAW, insurance, and comply with our drone use policy. For more information, contact


There is no public access to the buildings or grounds at Anvil Point Lighthouse. It is privately owned and managed by Trinity House. 

The cottages are available for rent through Rural Retreats.

Walking Trails

Five trails provide an ideal starting point for your exploration of Durlston. The Clifftop, Wildlife, Woodland, Victorian and Pleasure Grounds Trails are clearly waymarked, with good access. Maps for each trail are available from the Castle.

Guided walks

Durlston hosts a wide range of guided walks and events throughout the year. Many of our events last 1.5 hrs and involve a walk of less than 2 miles. Walks which involve greater distances will be stated in the event listings. Some events are based at the Learning Centre which is fully accessible. Most can be adapted to meet individual requirements. If you would like to attend one of our events, but have concerns about accessibility, please get in touch so that we can discuss how we can best accommodate your needs. View events listings.

Bird hide 

Durlston has its own bird hide to the side of the Learning Centre. To find it walk up the tarmac path to the Learning Centre going past the front door. You will find the hide on the left at the end of the building.

Inside there is seating for 10-16 people with information about the birds you might be lucky enough to see.

Durlston Castle entranceDurslton picnic tablesDurlston bird hide

Durlston Castle entrance

Durslton picnic tables

Durlston Castle entrance