About the area
Swanage and Purbeck lie on the south coast of Dorset and have stunning landscapes in all seasons.The area is the eastern gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site – walk along the South West Coast Path and pass the magnificent Old Harry Rocks, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.
Surrounded on three sides by sea water, coastal Purbeck boasts some of the best sea views and spectacular scenery along the whole of the south coast. Due to the outstanding geology and palaeontology, the Dorset (and East Devon) coastline has been listed as a Natural World Heritage Site and Jurassic Coastline.
The Isle of Purbeck is bordered by the English Channel to the south and east, where steep cliffs fall to the sea; and by the marshy lands of the River Frome and Poole Harbour to the north. Its western boundary is less well defined, with some medieval sources placing it at Flower’s Barrow above Worbarrow Bay. The most southerly point is St. Aldhelm’s Head.
Above Swanage to the south lies Durlston Country Park, 263 acres of beautiful countryside overlooking Purbeck’s Marine Research Area.
Walk round The Lighthouse and further along the South West Coast Path to Dancing Ledge, Winspit, Seacombe and St Aldhems Head. All of these have footpath routes back inland to both Langton Matravers, Worth Matravers and Kingston.
The other main town in Purbeck is Wareham, once a major port during the Middle Ages.
Standing in the heart of Purbeck is the picturesque village of Corfe with its dramatic ruins of a mediaeval Castle that commands the strategic gap in the Purbeck Ridge. Now run by the National Trust, the castle, once the most fortified in all England, was systematically destroyed after the Civil War. From this vantage point, you can enjoy stunning views across the Purbeck landscape to the sea.