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Plan Your Visit

What to do this month

A day at Durlston has something for anyone, whatever the weather! Discover flower filled meadows and hunt for butterflies or explore the Victorian Pleasure Grounds and historic Great Globe, take in an exhibition at the Castle, or just relax and watch the sea! 

Kids can have fun with our wild play trail, join a treasure hunt, or try out a Woodland Explorers Bag. Throughout the year, there are lots events to join or just enjoy, peace, quiet and spectacular views...

What to do each month

Durlston Castle Visitor Centre

No visit to Durlston is complete without exploring our amazing, free visitor centre at Durlston Castle – a unique Victorian building, featuring spectacular rooftop views, a café, gallery and shop.

Step back in time and discover Durlston’s Jurassic past in the ‘Rock Room’, watch live pictures from the cliffs, enjoy a trip round the Durlston year, with a spectacular 4-screen film, or take in an exhibition in the Gallery.

Our friendly Rangers and volunteers are on hand to help you get the most out of your visit. Free wi-fi is available in the Castle. The Castle has lift access to all 4 levels and accessible toilets on all levels.

Opening Times

The country park and car parks are open from sunrise to sunset all year round. Overnight parking and camping are not allowed.

The visitor centre at Durlston Castle is open:

1st April – 31st Oct 10.00am – 5pm
1st Nov – 31st March 10.00am – 4pm (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day)

Access for All

In 2020 Durlston won the Visit England Gold Award for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism and we want everyone to be able to enjoy a visit to the Park and Castle. Trained, friendly staff, Tramper off-road buggies, a Trekinetic all-terrain wheelchair, BSL Tours and lots more are available to help you get the most out of your visit.

Find out about accessibility


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

  • Keep your dog on 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. 


Don’t miss a visit to the beautiful Fine Foundation Gallery at Durlston Castle. Throughout the year, exhibitions change every few weeks – from drawings, paintings, sculpture, ceramics or textiles, by artists and makers from Purbeck, and around the country to historical or scientific exhibitions, there will always be something new to discover!

More about the Gallery

Walking Trails

If you want to enjoy some of the very best wildlife, scenery and coastal walking in Dorset, Durlston is perfect for a short, gentle stroll, or a day of hiking on the South-west Coast Path. 

4 waymarked Trails start and finish at the Castle, where you can pick up a Trail Pack to help you explore.

The gentle, well surfaced Woodland Trail leads you through the historic Durlston Pleasure Grounds, the Wildlife Trail explores through rolling downs and meadows, the Clifftop Trail takes in seabird colonies and spectacular views of Old Harry and the Isle of Wight, while the Victorian Trail takes you to historic Swanage and back.

There is also the Swanage Walkabout Herston to Durlston trail, especially useful for walking to and from the Swanage Bay View and Coastal Caravan Parks. pdf downloadable map

More about Trails

Help us keep Durlston special

If you would like to fly a drone, please contact us for permission.

There is no cycling at Durlston, to keep our internationally important grassland special and our visitors safe. 

Barbecues are not permitted (but our cafe can do you a lovely alternative!).

Please clear up after your dog and keep it on a lead or under very close control.