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|Corfe Castle to Swanage|
|Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 03 Jul 2011||Walk rating : Rating:|
|An 8 mile linear walk along the Purbeck Ridge from Corfe Castle to Swanage returning by train on the heritage steam railway. The Isle of Purbeck, whilst not an island, has water on three sides with the English Channel to the south and east and Poole harbour to the north. The walk follows a stretch of the Purbeck Ridge for much of the way, affording panoramic views of the stunning local coastlines, before joining the South West Coast Path down into Swanage. The Swanage Railway is a six mile heritage railway between Swanage and Norden (including a stop at Corfe Castle). The journey takes just 20 minutes and the trains run every day of the week during the summer months (but only bank holidays and weekends in winter). Timetables vary so check before you travel, especially if you have a preference for steam or diesel. Dogs are permitted on the trains for a small charge. |
For most of the route the walk follows the wide grassy chalk ridge which makes quite easy walking. The ridge is very exposed and there are two quite long and steep climbs up lots of steps to the ridge tops. There are only two stiles on route and you are likely to be sharing the ridge path with cyclists, horse riders, sheep and cows so take care if you have dogs with you. Approximate time 4-5hrs.
Parking is available at the pay and display village car park in Corfe Castle which is off West Street. Approximate post code BH20 5HH.
|Corfe Castle to Purbeck Ridge|
Start point: 50.636 lat, -2.0601 long
Parking is available at the pay and display village car park in Corfe Castle which is off West Street. From the car park head back into the village centre, turn left at the main road and then right into Sandy Hill Lane. Go under the railway and then immediately turn left over a stile (which is nice and open for dogs to squeeze through) and onto a permissive footpath into Rempstone Estate. Follow the path as it climbs steeply up lots of steps to the top of the ridge.
|Along the Purbeck Ridge|
Start point: 50.6404 lat, -2.0547 long
When you reach the ridge top turn right (signed to Rollington Hill) and follow the path along the ridge. If you’re lucky you may see a steam train heading through the valley below you. Head towards the radio mast where the path merges with a stoney bridleway, pass through a gate and then fork left to continue climbing up to the top of the ridge. As you continue ascending, a scene over Poole Harbour will come into view on your left.
|Up to the Obelisk|
Start point: 50.6297 lat, -1.975 long
At the road turn right and follow this for a few hundred yards (take care as there are no pavements and only very narrow verges for the first section). You will come to two lay-bys on your left. Cross the road and into the second lay-by which has a Welcome to Swanage sign.
|Obelisk to the Coast Path|
Start point: 50.6315 lat, -1.9697 long
With the Obelisk in front of you, turn right signed towards Old Harry Stones. Continue through a gate and out towards Ballard Point. This section is easy walking with magnificent views – a just reward for the hard climb. (If you wish you can add a two mile section to the walk by walking all the way out to the headland to see Old Harry Rocks – two chalk sea stacks located at Handfast Point – otherwise just follow the directions to the coast path). At a crossroads in the path continue straight ahead signed to the Coast Path. Just before the next wooden gate you’ll see signs for the Coast Path to the right.
|Coast Path to Swanage Seafront|
Start point: 50.6315 lat, -1.9448 long
Turn right (signed Coast Path) and follow this path downhill with the hedgerow on your left as it swings round towards Swanage. Follow the path as it winds along the coast and you’ll come to a section which is a series of wooden steps and small wooden bridges to cross a gully. If you look to your left you’ll see a small sandy bay which is dog friendly. Take a small detour here if you wish to let your dog cool his paws (or if you wish to cool your paws for that matter) in the sea.
|Swanage Seafront to the Railway Station|
Start point: 50.6121 lat, -1.9578 long
Opposite the small stone pier turn right onto Victoria Avenue signed to Swanage Railway. Turn left into Rempstone Road following the black pedestrian signs to steam railway and bus station. The station will appear on your right, from where you can catch the train back to Corfe Castle. From Corfe Castle station it is just a few hundred yards back into the centre of the village.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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