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Corfe Castle to Swanage

There are currently 3 comments and 16 photos online for this walk.

Corfe Castle to Swanage
Author: Claire, Published: 03 Jul 2011 Walk Rating:star1 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guidestar1 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guidestar1 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guidestar1 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guidestar0 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide
Dorset, Swanage
Walk Type: Coastal
Corfe Castle to Swanage
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide boot Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide boot Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide boot Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide
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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.

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Walk Sections

Corfe Castle to Purbeck Ridge
Corfe Castle to Purbeck Ridge

Start point: 50.636 lat, -2.0601 long
End point: 50.6404 lat, -2.0547 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.

If you look back you’ll get a wonderful view of the ruins of the 11th century castle which perches above the village and is now managed by the National Trust.

Along the Purbeck Ridge
Along the Purbeck Ridge

Start point: 50.6404 lat, -2.0547 long
End point: 50.6297 lat, -1.975 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.

Continue straight on following the small stone marker posts signed to Ulwell, through a series of gates. After about three miles on the ridge, the stone track will begin to descend and you’ll get a wonderful view of Swanage Bay straight ahead. To the left of Swanage, look out for an obelisk on top of a hill – you’ll be climbing to this shortly. Follow the stone track straight ahead all the way down the hill (signed Old Harry via Ballard Down towards the bottom) and you’ll come to a road (Ulwell Road).

Up to the Obelisk
Up to the Obelisk

Start point: 50.6297 lat, -1.975 long
End point: 50.6315 lat, -1.9697 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.

Turn left out of the lay-by though a small metal kissing gate and head up the footpath to the left. Follow the signs to the Obelisk on a steep and long climb up lots of steps. At the top of the climb, cross over the stile and enjoy a rest at the Obelisk enjoying the views towards both Swanage and Poole. You’ll notice that one section of the Obelisk sits to the side of the main structure. This section was damaged when it was taken down in the war in 1941 to prevent it being used as a landmark for enemy aircraft.

Obelisk to the Coast Path
Obelisk to the Coast Path

Start point: 50.6315 lat, -1.9697 long
End point: 50.6315 lat, -1.9448 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
Coast Path to Swanage Seafront

Start point: 50.6315 lat, -1.9448 long
End point: 50.6121 lat, -1.9578 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.

Continue on the coast path as it enters the residential streets of Swanage. The South West Coast Path is marked by an acorn and you will see black and white signs on lamp posts to guide you through the streets. You will pass All Saints Church and then later the Crows Nest Inn both on your right. Shortly afterwards a view of the seafront will appear ahead of you. Follow the road with the beach on your left until you reach a small stone pier.

Swanage Seafront to the Railway Station
Swanage Seafront to the Railway Station

Start point: 50.6121 lat, -1.9578 long
End point: 50.6099 lat, -1.9598 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.

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network Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


3 comments for "Corfe Castle to Swanage"

We did this in July 2016. Fantastic views across Poole Harbour. Clear instructions and a good trip back on the steam train.

By Stevie27 on 28 May 2017

Wow and Wow again. This is a fantastic walk with views to die for. Weather was beautiful, a spectacular summer's day. We highly recommend this walk no matter where you live. We live 2 hrs away.

By Karen877 on 13 Aug 2017

Walked this a few days ago. Poor visibility on the first part but once it cleared very nice views, particularly towards Studland and Arne. We parked in Swanage and caught the steam train to Corfe Castle. There's a large car park about 5 mins walk from the station.

By peejay on 16 Oct 2017

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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16 gallery images for "Corfe Castle to Swanage"

171_0burty631498221850 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Andy
Uploaded: 23 Jun 2017

171_1burty631498221851 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Andy
Uploaded: 23 Jun 2017

171_2burty631498221851 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Andy
Uploaded: 23 Jun 2017

171_3burty631498221851 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Andy
Uploaded: 23 Jun 2017

171_0Karen8771504372569 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
Corfe Castle & village grave yard - 8.15am on a glorious Summers day
171_1Karen8771504372570 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
The 1st ascent starts on the left by the blue sign just past the bridge
171_2Karen8771504372571 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
Corfe Castle - taken with 200mm zoom lens
171_3Karen8771504372572 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
Views are amazing
171_4Karen8771504372573 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
You MUST walk over to the left on & off. If you do you'll stunned by amazing views. Here you can see Round Island & Brown Sea Island.
171_0Karen8771504374520 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
On our 1st descent with sun sparkling off the sea in Swanage
171_adminv1559 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
Be warned, this is a major steep ascent to the Obelisk which goes on forever. Having said that it's well worth it once you reach the top.
171_2Karen8771504374521 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
Here you can see: Brown Island, Studland Beach, Sand Banks, Poole and Bournemouth.
171_3Karen8771504374521 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
In the distance is the Isle Wight Needles.
171_4Karen8771504374521 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
Such a fabulous view & the colours of the sea are outstanding, though the camera doesn't really do it justice.
171_0Karen8771504374992 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
My wonderful Hubby. From here we walked in the sea & along the beach into Swanage, with a pit stop along the beach to have our picnic lunch.
171_1Karen8771504374993 Corfe Castle to Swanage Walking Guide Image by: Karen877
Uploaded: 02 Sep 2017
We took the steam train back to Corfe. Do visit the museum at Corfe Station it's fascinating.

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