South West Coast Path Swanage to Sandbanks Ferry
Walking Route

Type: Point to point Walk

Distance: 7.6 miles

Total Ascent: 140m (approx)

Starting location:

Swanage Station
Station Approach
BH19 1HB
OS Grid Ref: SZ 02936 78899


A 7.6 mile point to point walk from Swanage, heading onto the Purbeck Hills, past Old Harry Rocks to Studland and walking the entire length of Studland Beach to the chain ferry.
The route can be reversed by taking the Bus from Swanage to Bournemouth and disembarking before the ferry. Approx location OS Grid Ref: SZ 03588 86558.
There is a hourly bus service from Bournemouth to Swanage which stops at the ferry to pick you up and return you to Swanage at the end of your walk.

Download GPX FileDownload GPX file

These routes have been recorded using a Garmin GPS unit. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the available data files due to differences between GPS devices.


1 - Start at Swanage Bus Station - From Swanage Bus station, walk East to Station Road and follow Station Road to the junction with Shore Road.

2 - Shore Road Junction - At the junction with Shore Road, turn left and follow Shore Road until the road turns away from the beach onto Ulwell Road

3 - Ulwell Road - Continue up along Ulwell Road until you come to a junction on your right for Ballard Way and a shop on the corner.

4 - Ballard Way Junction - At the junction with Ballard Way, turn right and continue to Ballard Estate following footpath signs.

5 - Junction - Turn left at the junction and continue until you come to the footpath on the right side

6 - Start of Footpath - Turn right and follow the footpath past the buildings and left across an open field to concrete steps.

7 - Steps and Footpaths - Go down the steps and continue straight ahead up smaller steps to the coast path. Follow the twisting path along the top of the cliff until you come to a gate.

8 - Gate and Steps - Go through the gate and continue straight ahead up steps and when the path splits, continue to the right up the hill to the top following the narrow path.

9 - Bridleway and Purbeck Way - At the top of the hill, turn right and continue along the ridge line following a well used path though a wooden gate to a narrow chalk path

10 - Chalk narrow path and field - Continue though the narrow chalk path section and turn to your right following the rough track to a second gate, continue though the gate and follow the coast path along the top of the cliffs down the hill then left to the Foreland and Old Harry Rocks.

11 - The Foreland and Old Harry Rocks - At the Foreland turn left and follow the wide track heading West to Studland.

12 - Junction Manor Road and Watery Lane - At the junction with Manor Road and Watery Lane, turn right and continue up the hill past the pub until you come to a footpath on the right side.

13 - Footpath to Fort Henry - Turn right and follow the footpath heading East then turning North past Fort Henry to the Middle Beach Car Park entrance.

14 - Middle Beach Car Park - At the end of the footpath, turn right and follow the road down to the beach. At high tide you will have to go though the car park and use the path at the end to access the beach.Turn left onto Studland Beach.

15 - Studland Beach - Turn left onto the beach and walk along the shoreline heading North along the South West Coast Path until you reach the Chain Ferry.

16 - Ferry Road and Bus Stop - At the end of the beach you will find the bus stop which takes you back to Swanage and a cafe on the harbour side for a refreshing drink and meal.

Elevation Chart and Map

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