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Learning at Durlston 

Durlston is a superb outdoor classroom, with a wealth of opportunities to enhance the study of geography, science, history, art and much more.

The spectacular coastal scenery includes headlands and bays, sea defence works and coastal erosion, and as a key gateway to the World Heritage Site, a rich geological record as well as a unique Victorian legacy.

Durlston is a unique and inspiring site, offering a range of opportunities across the curriculum to bring learning to life.

Whether bringing students face to face with Britain's biggest insect on a 'Mini-beast Safari', leading a discussion on balancing the needs of visitors and wildlife or exploring 'Life on the Edge' in one of the largest Guillemot colonies on the South Coast, the Rangers can offer students an unforgettable day.

Tailored to Meet Your Needs - the Rangers are pleased to work with teachers to tailor each session to your learning needs.

Booking Essential

Important: Booking your visit to Durlston is essential, even if you only intend to visit the Park or follow the trails.

For further information please contact the Rangers on 01929 424443. We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Us

Durlston Country Park, 
Lighthouse Road, 
Swanage, 
Dorset BH19 2JL

Phone : (01929) 424443

Email: durlston@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Visitor Centre

Visit the Castle

A great starting point for your visit, with interactive displays, up to date information, AV room, geology, gallery and educational material.  Plus come in to buy postcards, souvenirs and more.

Cost: Free of charge, but please book your visit in advance

Discovery session in meadows

Discovery Sessions

Ranger-led sessions to discover the wonders of the area. 

There are 12 topics to choose from, all linked to the National Curriculum, and many have associated worksheets and follow-up work.

Further information on Discovery Sessions.

Cost: £1–2 per child

Trail Routes

A good way to explore Durlston on your own is to follow one of the trails; Woodland, Wildlife and Clifftop (there is also the Victorian Trail that starts in  Swanage and follows the coastal path up to Durlston). Each trail is clearly waymarked and has an associated leaflet highlighting various points of interest to be seen along the route.

Cost: Trail leaflets 40p each

Discovery Through Observation

Hire the observation hide overlooking the Wildlife Area at the Learning Centre.

The hide provides a great chance to observe wildlife at close quarters. A great base to begin your exploration of Durlston.

Worksheets, binoculars and reference books are available.

Includes a 10 minute introduction from a Ranger.

Local Schools Programme

Projects with local schools have included:

  • Assisting with wildlife surveys

  • Producing displays and artwork

  • Practical conservation work

  • Trialling new Discovery Sessions.

If your school is within the Purbeck area, get in touch to find out how your students can get involved with projects at Durlston