There are so many places to visit in Dorset. This is another post about day out near Bournemouth. One Sunday, we got plenty of sunshine and decided to go to the south-eastern part of the Isle of Purbeck – some 20 miles (30 kilometres) from Poole. It could be less if we decided to use Sandbanks Ferry (it would only be about 12 miles away), however we decided to drive all the way by car.
Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve
Our intention was to have a little Sunday hike, so we went directly to Durlston Country Park parking. The only way to get there is to drive through Swanage because that is the only road to access the country park and when you reach it that also is the end of that road.
Good news is that they have a nice parking lot and prices are reasonable. For example, if you only wish to visit the castle and the Great Globe, one hour would be enough and parking would cost you £2; parking is located next to the castle.
If you wish to have a little walk along the coast, observe beautiful landscape and cliffs nearby Anvil Point Lighthouse, two hours may be enough and you would pay for parking £4. And whole day stay at this parking place will cost you only £5; it is operated by Dorset Council.
Anvil Point Lighthouse
After arrival you can start your journey immediately. If you turn to the right from the parking (facing the see, which you would rather hear than see), in a couple of minutes you will definitely see what this place offers. As a first thing, you may wish to go to the coast near the lighthouse. There is plenty of space to comfortably sit down and enjoy stunning scenery of cliffs and to listen to sounds of waves when they meet the coastline – none of them ever end.
We even decided to have a quick picnic lunch there, however near parking there is an educational centre and they have all facilities for comfortable lunch break – you may sit at a garden table and enjoy your food outdoors.
Along the coast there is South-West Coast Path and you can follow it, however Durlston Country Park has its own paths and you may just turn to the right at any point after passing the lighthouse.
There are fields where many wild birds nest, however you may even have your dog with you. Near nesting places you are only required to keep your dog on the lead to avoid disturbing nesting birds.
Just a few worlds about the castle. The area around it is really nice; there is a café inside it and you may get an ice-cream and some snacks also outside. There are exhibitions inside the castle you may wish to visit. And of course, the Great Globe in the garden – it is worth to see it at least once.
There are magnificent views from the coast and you can even see Old Harry Rocks and Bournemouth skyline from there.