Durlston Country Park is the nature reserve on the coast south of Swanage. The park covers over 260 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.
The park was 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 main attractions within the park are the visitors centre, the stone globe and Durlston Castle.
Durlston Visitors Centre
The visitors centre contains a wealth of information on the wildlife that lives in the area and is home of the Coast Watch Project who monitor the birds and dolphins that can be seen in and around the sea to the south of the park. A monitor situated in the visitors centre is connected to a camera on the cliff allowing visitors to view the wildlife below the cliff edge that can not normally be seen from above.
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.
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.
You can contact Durlston Country Park by any of the following:
Durlston Country Park,
Telephone: (01929) 424443
Fax: (01929) 424443