Local Attractions

Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park is a nature reserve on the coast south of Swanage (grid ref SZ  03 77).

The park covers 320 acres of land that is home to many different species of animals, birds and reptiles. The area is popular with bird watchers and people coming to watch the dolphins that swim in the seas to the south and east of the park.

Set up in the 1970s after it was selected to be Dorset first country park, the area had been used since Victorian times as a recreation area.

The Park is open all year round, from sunrise to sunset.

The attractions within the park include the Stone Globe and Durlston Castle.

The Globe

The Globe can be found to the south of Durlston Castle, down a long flight of steps. The stone sphere is 10 feet in diameter and weighs 40 tons. It was built by John Mowlems' Greenwich works and brought to Durlston in sections. It was erected 139 ft above sea level in 1887 surrounded by stone tablets.

Durlston Castle

Built in 1886, Durlston Castle was built by George Burt as a monument for the town. The castle is built on Durlston Head and is used as a restaurant. The corbel-turreted building is built completely from local stone. Surrounding the castle are stone tablets inscribed with various statistics and poetry.

The visitor centre at Durlston Castle has a number of exhibits including:

  • A fossil room.
  • Audio-visual room.
  • Live wildlife cameras.
  • A rooftop terrace with views over the area.

You can also buy guides, maps, books, souvenirs and food and drink.  

A Ranger is always on duty to help you make the most of your trip to Durlston.

Opening Hours of the Castle

November - March every day: 10:00 - 16:00 (except Christmas and Boxing Day)

1st April - 31st October every day: 10.00-17.00


Dogs are welcome in the Park and the Castle, but please keep them on a lead or under close control outside. Clear up after them. We have provided 9 bins to help you. Keep them on a lead in the Castle and Café.

Contact Details:

You can contact Durlston Country Park by any of the following:

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

Telephone: (01929) 424443

Fax: (01929) 424443

Web: www.durlston.co.uk

Durlston Country Park
Click to view The Two Bays from Durlston Bay - Ref: 1310
Click to view The Globe - Ref: 1399
Click to view Durlston Castle - Ref: 1400
Click to view Tilly Whim Caves - Ref: 1511
Click to view Old farm machinery - Ref: 1681
Click to view Dry Stone Walls - Ref: 1189
Click to view Peacock butterfly - Ref: 1690
Click to view Badger and Bluebells - Ref: 2196



Durlston Castle
Attraction - 0.12 miles away

Tilly Whim Caves
Attraction - 0.22 miles away

Anvil Point Lighthouse
Attraction - 0.31 miles away

Townsend Nature Reserve
Attraction - 0.75 miles away

The Downs
Attraction - 0.76 miles away

Parks and Gardens
Attraction - 0.77 miles away

Prince Albert Gardens
Attraction - 0.81 miles away

Swanage Sea Rowing Club
Attraction - 0.82 miles away

Flooding in Swanage
Attraction - 0.87 miles away