Exploring Durlston Country Park

The Great Globe

I am proud to say that I am a bit of an expert when it comes to taking the kids on fun days out in Dorset, but watching a program the other night featuring Richard (I don’t believe it) Wilson exploring my county I discovered somewhere we haven’t heard off – Durlston Country Park.

We visit Swanage on a regular basis, but I have to admit we have never seen what was beyond as we normally head back out through the town to Corfe Castle, but this time I dragged Charliemoos and Olive along and we drove past the beautiful beach with all its new beach huts gleaming in the sunlight and turned left instead of right.  Durlston Country Park is situated in the south-east corner of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, a mile south of Swanage and features 280 acres of very special countryside that is ripe for exploring.

There was plenty of parking and costing £3 per day (£2.50 on weekdays) it didn’t break the bank as entry to the park is free.  We strolled down an amazing walkway with fossils and the Jurassic history carved into Portland Stone, all around the site.  For any dinosaur / history loving person this is amazing feature and whilst the kids didn’t take it all in, the older ones did enjoy reading and then sharing what they had learned at school.

Durlston Country Park

At the end of the path is Durlston Castle which was restored in 2011 to become a spectacular new facility for visitors to Durlston and the Jurassic Coast.  Inside was a photographic display of all the wildlife that can be found at Durlston, child friendly interactive displays teaching children all about the history of the Jurassic coast alongside a cafe with stunning views out to sea and a small gift shop.  There was the most gorgeous antique spiral staircase to climb too, leading to a spectacular view over towards Swanage and Old Harry’s rock.

Durlston Castle

Once the kids had finished taking everything in, we headed back outside in search of the Great Globe.  This is where I realised my mistake of taking Sebastian in his buggy rather than his back carrier as there are steps everywhere, however we made the best of it and half carried / half bumped the buggy down.

The Great Globe is one of the largest stone spheres in the world and is constructed of Portland stone. It weighs about 40 tonnes and is 3 metres (10 ft) in diameter and is truly spectacular!  The small people much prefered rolling done the huge grassy hill though!!

The Great Globe

Isaac then announced that he wanted to find Durlston Lighthouse, which is situated on Anvil Point so we set off along the coastal path, which was slightly more buggy friendly, although I did need help over a particularly rocky part.

Along the way we found the Tilly Whim caves, which sadly have been closed to the public for health and safety reasons, a fun hide to play in – we didn’t spot any Dolphins in the bay and lots of hills to climb and jump off.

Durlston Country Park

Finally we found the Lighthouse and although the kids wanted to walk closer to it, the path was steep and very unsuitable for a buggy.  I am not sure that Eliza and Olive would have made it either, so we will return when we have more hands to help!  We decided to head back to the castle, along another track, stopping at a bench to have a picnic lunch.

Anvil Point

Durlston Country Park is definitely somewhere we will head back to again, this time with more appropriate equipment.  They run lots of activities throughout the year and you can hire Woodland Explorer Rucksacks from the Castle that are jam-packed with fun activities along the Woodland Trail.

Durlston Country Park

34 thoughts on “Exploring Durlston Country Park

  1. Nikki Thomas says:

    Ooh I shall make a note of this place as we are going to be staying in Swanage and this looks like an amazing place to spend some time and the children have been going on about seeing a real lighthouse too.
    Nikki Thomas recently posted…Make them go .. (to bed!)My Profile

  2. Beautiful photos, the place looks really nice to visit.
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  3. Ooh, this looks exactly the sort of place my kids would love: fossils, seaside, plenty of space to run around, jump and hide. Can we come with you on your next trip?
    Monika curator of Madventures recently posted…Coming face to face with CrocodilesMy Profile

  4. Sonya Cisco says:

    I had forgotten all about this gem until I saw your FB pics the other day – we used to play at the Castle regularly when it was still a pub! We are definitely going to head there soon now you have reminded me how pretty it is!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…Oh You Pretty Things – BooksMy Profile

  5. Coombemill says:

    I was hoping this post would come to Country Kids, it looks such fun, I’m not sure if that is because of the park itself or just all your fun filled children having such a lovely time there.
    Coombemill recently posted…Let your best photos flourishMy Profile

  6. bluebearwood says:

    Durlston Park is on my bucket list. It looks amazing

  7. ninjcatcat says:

    What a superb day out , so glad you enjoyed it x great pictures as well . wonderful to explore your local area
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  8. Rachel says:

    Those views are amazing and it sounds and looks as though you had a great time together x
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  9. Louisa says:

    What an adventure! How lovely to find a hidden treasure nearby with so much to do
    Louisa recently posted…A dinner date with my sonMy Profile

  10. What a great find. I love it when you find somewhere new close by.
    nessjibberjabberuk recently posted…Weekend Box ClubMy Profile

  11. It looks like you had a fantastic day out! I think my (dinosaur mad) little man would have loved the fossils!
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  12. Alice Young says:

    I love it there. Been going there since I was little and took Amelia there last year and realised too it wasn’t particularly buggy friendly. Looking forward to going back now she is walking! It’s easy to miss things right under your nose sometimes! Glad you had a great day xx
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  13. Emma says:

    How wonderful to find a hidden gem.
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  14. Mummy of Two says:

    That looks like a fantastic place for an adventure – it’s always great to find somewhere new too isn’t it
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  15. wendy says:

    I have never been to Dorset it does sound a lovely to place to visit
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  16. Michelle says:

    Wow that looks fantastic, I bet the kids had the best time! xxx

  17. Michelle says:

    We have visited Dorset quite a few times, but haven’t heard of this place – it looks absolutely amazing, and definitely one to add to the list for the next time we visit that beautiful part of our country. Thanks for sharing x

  18. That globe is amazing – I’d love to know how they make it so perfect out of stone! x
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  19. It looks amazing. Anywhere you can find fossils like that is worth a visit in my book.
    Healthier Mummy recently posted…Going sugar-free: 11 tips to help you give up sugarMy Profile

  20. That spiral staircase looks amazing! So ornate and pretty. This looks like a fab day out for the family.
    VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood recently posted…Valentine’s Day Gift GuideMy Profile

  21. Sara-Jayne says:

    That globe is incredible! It’s times and places like these that I am so glad I have baby slings!
    Sara-Jayne recently posted…TO THE NINES: ALPINE BABY CO., MONTANAMy Profile

  22. Globalmouse says:

    What a brilliant trip out – I LOVE that globe and my 8 year old would love all the dinosaur stuff. You seem to have so many amazing places around you. I need to plan a trip down your way!!
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  23. I love discovering new places on your doorstep, this looks like a great day out.
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  24. The globe looks incredible – but those steps do look pretty pram-unfriendly! Glad you had a good time overall, though.
    Nell@PigeonPairandMe.com recently posted…#LastingChange – support Comic Relief and the #TeamHonkDanceathonMy Profile

  25. It’s so great when you discover somewhere new just around the corner! You live in a beautiful place and your day looked just brilliant, I bet the kids were so tired after the day was over!
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  26. Jen Walshaw says:

    That looks like an amazing place. It is amazing what is round the corner sometimes that we don’t know about. I love seeing you out and about on all your trips.
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  27. We have those hats for the girls! One purple and one green! They love them as they are so fun!
    Looks like a great day out from where I am sitting!
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  28. My youngest would love it there…he is mad on fossils after his Grandad took him fossil hunting in Dorset last summer, thanks for sharing
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  29. What an amazing find, sometimes it’s easy to think you have seen all there is to see around your local area and then you stumble upon a new beautiful place to visit.
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