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Aerial view of Durlston courtesy of Harbour Media and Visit Dorset

How to get here

Durlston is to be found 1 mile south of the town of Swanage, in Dorset, on the south coast of England.  It is 40 miles south-west of Southampton and 20 miles (by road) from Bournemouth.

Grid reference: SZ 03 77

Postcode: BH19 2JL

Car passing sign to Durlston

By Road

Take the A351 from Wareham (11 miles), or come across the Sandbanks to Studland ferry from Bournemouth (10 miles) to Swanage. For Satnav the postcode is BH19 2JL

From Swanage follow the brown tourist signs up the hill to Durlston.

The only charge made for visiting Durlston is for parking - it is also the biggest source of comments!  However, it is essential, as it helps pay for visitor facilities, public toilets, countryside ranger service, education programme and land management.

Parking charges

Durlston Bus at Bus Stop

By Bus

From Poole and Bournemouth, buses arrive at Swanage Bus Station, from there it is a one mile walk - follow the Durlston and coast path signage. 

For details of buses from Bournemouth (No. 50) and Poole/Wareham (No. 40) see Wilts & Dorset

In 2022, during the summer holidays (end July - end Sept) the Durlston Explorer bus D5 runs daily, every half hour, from Swanage Bus Station to Durlston, between 10:08 and 16:17.  The Bus Timetable is available here.

On Foot

Durlston is a one mile walk uphill from Swanage, following one of many Public Footpaths. You can follow the waymarked Southwest Coast Path from Swanage seafront or follow Park Road, or Seymer Road then Durlston Road to walk up through the Durlston Pleasure Grounds. (about 1 mile)

From the centre of Swanage, you can follow the waymarked Victorian Trail through the meadows to Durlston Castle visitor centre (about 1mile)

From Herston, follow the waymarked 'Herston-Durlston' Trail which brings you in from the west across the meadows and downland (about 1 1/2 miles)

By Bike 

Follow Lighthouse Road up from Swanage.

Once you get to Durlston there are no cycle routes or bridleways, so park your cycle at the secure stands by the Learning Centre, or in the Castle Car Park, and enjoy walking around the site.

By Train

The nearest mainline train station is Wareham (11 miles) or Bournemouth (across the Ferry on the number 50 bus). 

There is a steam train that runs between Swanage and Corfe Castle. 

Neighbourcar

Durlston Neighbourcar is a community lift-share scheme. Our friendly volunteer drivers can provide transport from your home to Durlston for registered users. A typical return trip from Swanage will cost £2-3. Please contact us for details.

Drawing of clifftop trail

You can walk to Durlston from many directions, there are eight footpaths leading to the site.

From Herston, follow the red waymarked 'Herston-Durlston' Trail which brings you in from the west across the meadows and downland (about 1 1/2 miles)

From the centre of Swanage, you can follow the pink waymarked Victorian Trail through the meadows to Durlston Castle visitor centre (about 1mile)

From Peveril follow the South West Coast Path (acorns) up the downs and through the woodlands