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Access For All

Access

Durlston Country Park aims to provide the highest level of access possible for all users. For more information, please see our accessibility statement at the bottom of this page.

We have videos showing how to arrive and negotiate the park and an online access guide now available with comprehensive information for visitors with access requirements. Please use the links below.

Negotiating the park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEJsjcAq9Dg

Online access: www.accessibilityguides.org/content/durlston-country-park-nnr

We are pleased to be able to offer a British Sign Language Video Tour to visitors, available from the reception counter of Durlston Castle. A sample video can be viewed here. Audio guiding is available and can be organised by contacting the Rangers. 

We have a 'Visual Story' for visiting Durlston Country Park and the Shed which is designed as a guide for people with autism.

We aim to provide a friendly, accessible environment for all our visitors and the widest possible access to our trails, habitats, events and buildings. For more information please contact us.

Visitor Centre 

Durlston Castle, situated 75m from the first car park on the left and linked by 'The Timeline' a shallow zigzagging path, is an ideal place to begin your visit. Friendly staff and volunteers are always on hand to recommend a route around the park that best suit your needs, to help you make the most of your visit.

Wide doorways, and platform lifts throughout make the Castle easy to navigate. An induction loop is available and we are happy to provide large print copies of our leaflets and guides on request. As well as providing information about the park the Castle hosts facilities including an accessible roof terrace, disabled toilets, shop and café-restaurant. The Castle also provides indoor and outdoor seating. All dogs, including guide dogs, are welcome in the Castle, Park and cafe.

Tramper Hire 

Less mobile visitors are welcome to hire out one of our 2 battery operated Trampers. These specially designed off road mobility buggies are easy to drive and allow you access to much of the park along several agreed routes. The routes vary in distance and terrain, providing a range of experiences to suit people seeking a simple ride to those looking for something more challenging.

Our Trampers are run as part of the Countryside Mobility South West scheme. Membership to the scheme and a 10 minute induction session is required before a Tramper can be hired out for a small donation. Booking in advance is recommended, but not essential.     Tramper Membership Form                     Member Hire Form

The Countryside Mobility Scheme is working to improve access to the countryside for people with limited mobility living in and visiting the South West region. For more information on the scheme please follow the link above.

 

 

 

 

 

Trekentic Off-Road Wheelchair 

Durlston Trekentic off-road wheelchair for hireFor younger visitors, wheelchair users who enjoy a challenge or for those who would find driving the Trampers too much then we have the Trekenetic Wheelchair. This manual chair is specifically designed for off-road use and is a great step forward in ensuring the park can be accessed by all. The chair costs £2.50 to hire or is free to all Max Card users.  Please call or contact us for more information, also see www.trekinetic.com

 

 

Access Around the Park 

There are many paths at Durlston, covering a wide range of terrain. The landscape of the Park means some routes can be more challenging than others; however we are confident there is a route available to suit all levels of ability.

We have 4 way-marked trails around the Park, each clearly signposted, with information leaflets and maps available from the Castle.

The Clifftop Trail

Durlston Clifftop trailThis 1 km trail takes you along Durlston's cliff-tops past our seabird colonies, the Dolphin Watch hut and the Great Globe. The path is mainly compacted limestone chips and is uneven in places. Great for sea views, the trail is one of our more challenging routes with some hills and one very steep section of the path. There are no gates or stiles on this trail.

 

 

 

The Woodland Trail

Durlston Woodland trailThe Woodland Trail is one of Durlston's more accessible routes. Around 1 km in length it has both tarmac, woodchip and compacted limestone paths. This gently sloping trail takes in the wildflower-filled Long Meadow, the tranquil glades of the woodland and views of Durlston Bay. There is one bridle-gate on this trail. This is an ideal short route for families. Explorers Rucksacks full of hands-on activities designed for this trail can be hired from the Castle.

The Wildlife Trail

This 2 km trail is our most cross-country route, taking you out across the downs and back through the beautiful wildflower meadows. The route is mainly along grassy paths, but takes in a section of tarmac road. Steep and uneven in places, the undulating path includes one steep hill. There are bridle gates, kissing gates and field gates along this trail.  This trail is ideal for spotting butterflies and wildflowers.

The Lighthouse Walk

Durlston Lighthouse walkFor those looking for a shorter route, this is a direct route to Anvil Point Lighthouse and back. This is an enjoyable tarmac path, ideal for a first foray on one of our Trampers, with a steady but long climb back up the hill to the Castle.

The Victorian Trail

Our longest route, 5 km in length, the Victorian Trail links Durlston to Swanage, taking you past many historic sights and monuments. We recommend travelling downhill from the Durlston end of the trail. There are a wide range of surfaces including pavements, tarmac path, compacted limestone chips and grass. There is one short, but steep section of uphill path when walking from the Durlston end of the trail and a long, steep downhill section over grassy paths. There is one bridle gate along this trail.

South-west Coast Path

Following the South-west Coast Path from Durlston, westwards along the cliff tops, takes you out onto the Purbeck Wares. This is a beautiful section of coastline, boasting several sea quarries including the famous Dancing Ledge. Due to the nature of the terrain this is a very challenging walk including rocky and uneven paths, steps, steep inclines and several stiles.

Please note that weather conditions can make a big difference to the accessibility of some of the trails.

Guided Walks and Events

Durlston guided walkDurlston 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. For events listings click here.

 

 

 

Volunteering

There are many opportunities to volunteer at Durlston, whatever your skills or interests. Some of the areas our volunteers get involved with include work parties, dolphin watching, assisting in the Castle, computer work, photography, wildlife surveying and helping deliver our education events. Regardless of your disability there is an opportunity to suit you! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Durlston please follow this link, drop us a line, email us or ask at the Castle for more information.

Accessibility Statement

Our website should be in compliance with the WCAG version 2.1. As a result you should be able to:

  • Zoom in up to 300% on a page without the text overspilling the page.
  • Change colours, contrast levels and fonts.
  • Navigate most of our website with a keyboard or speech recognition software.
  • Listen to most of our website with a screen reader.

We also aim to write our website text in simple, understandable English.

On our website you may have trouble with:

  • Accessing older files with screen reader software.
  • Some images may be missing alt text
  • Our online forms use CAPTCHA

If you are unable to access any of the content on the website, want to suggest improvements or don’t think we are meeting our access requirements: please contact us via info@durlston.co.uk or call 01929 424443. We will get back to you within 7 working days and endeavour to resolve your issue to the best of our ability.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

 

If you have any queries about visiting Durlston please do not hesitate to contact us on 01929 424443 and we will be happy discuss your needs.