'Things to Do' in Swanage

Swanage, Durdle Door, Swanage Railway, Old Harry Rocks, Isle of Purbeck, Jurassic Coast, South West Coast Path, Colmers Hill to name just a few, there are so many places to visit and things to do whilst staying in Swanage that we can’t name them all!

Look further down for a list of walks, again there are so many places to walk that we can’t list them all but these are firm favourites for us and our guests.

We also update our Blog with places we visit so take a look there too for some great ideas on things to do in Swanage and the surrounding Dorset area.

If you like the great outdoors, then we are the perfect location for you to stay whilst exploring the Swanage & Purbeck area including the South West Coast Path. The beginning/end of this famous 630-mile South West Coast Walk is just a few miles from here at South Haven Point at the eastern end of the beautiful Studland Beach.

Due to the geography of the Purbeck coast, Swanage is the ideal base for the two legs between Lulworth and Worth Matravers (14 miles) and Worth Matravers to South Haven Point via Old Harry Rocks (14 miles).

In fact, if you will be completing your South West Coast walk then stay for a few extra days and celebrate your achievement in the local Bars, Cafes and Restaurants.

We are also perfectly located for the Jurassic Coast, the world-famous heritage site. The Jurassic Coast stretches ninety-five miles from Swanage to East Devon with rocks recording 185 million years of the Earth’s history with Swanage being the ideal base for the eastern (Jurassic) section.


Our Favourite Walks

Being situated on the Jurassic Coast and surrounded by the Purbeck Hills and Dorset countryside we are spoilt with places to walk. In fact, there are so many to choose from, here are a few of our favorite’s.

The South West Coast Path starts (or ends) at Studland which makes us an ideal base for the first (or last) few stages of the walk.

However you don’t have to just walk the 630 mile South West Coastal Path and here are a few of our favourite local walks.

We have plenty of maps and books that you can peruse or borrow when you stay with us or simply ask for directions, none of the walks require many map or orienteering skills.


Take the bus or drive to Studland and take this short but spectacular walk to Old Harry Rocks.

Click here to see the route on South West Coastal Path website.


From Millbrook you can walk through the church, up past ‘The Black Swan’ and onto Townsend Nature Reserve and then enter Durlston Country Park before looping round past the lighthouse, Durlston Castle (Visitor Centre and Cafe/Restaurant) and onto Peverill Point and Swanage Pier / Town. 

Click here to see a route for Durslton on the South West Coastal path website.


Agglestone Rock is one of our favourite walks and allows you to see the natural beauty of Studland and Poole Harbour. Most of the walks we have listed here can be combined to make more challenging loops but for this walk drive or catch the bus to Studland village.

Click here to see the route details on the National Trust website


Walk directly from Millbrook Guest House, along the beach and up onto the headland, past Old Harry Rocks and onto Studland Village and Beach. Have lunch there and if you are still feeling fit walk back, if not catch the Number 50 ‘Breezer’ bus back to Swanage.

Click here to see the route on South West Coastal Path website.


One of our longest walks, take the scenic route along the official South West Coastal Path and enjoy the Jurassic Coast scenery ending up at Worth Matravers. If you are feeling fit walk back along the Priests Way to Swanage or catch the bus back (Number 40 on the main Swanage to Kingston road). Either way stop at the famous Square and Compass pub which is a truly unique inn.

Click here for the official South West route from South Haven Point (Studland Beach by the chain ferry) to Worth Matravers.

Click here to see the Priests Way walk from Worth Matravers back to Swanage.

Click here for a shorter loop from Langton Matravers


It is possible to make a long walk by combining the Worth Matravers walk with this one to walk a full loop. However we recommend taking the Steam Train to Corfe Castle and then walking back over the ridgeway towards Swanage with amazing views to the East across the whole of Poole Harbour and to the west the local Purbeck Area, plus the best view of the castle itself.

Click here to see the route details.


Park at Langton Matravers and walk across flat fields to the cliffs above Dancing Ledge, if you are feeling fit then head down to the ledge, if not enjoy the fantastic views.

Click here to see the route on the National Trust site. 


Walk through the woods and see the natural beauty of Poole Harbour. Featured on both Spring and Autumn Watch this is a brilliant place to admire nature first hand. If you are lucky you will see Ospreys, Seals and any of the 6 native reptiles.

Click here for details on AndrewsWalks website.


There are 2 rivers flowing through Wareham, the River Piddle and Frome both with nice scenic walks. Click here for more details.

Wareham is a Saxon walled town and you can walk a circular route around, click here for details. 

Combine with a visit to Wareham Town centre for a good day out. 


Local Area Blog

Swanage Town Trail Map

Swanage Town Trail

A hand drawn Swanage Town Trail map which was kindly given to us by some of our regular guests. Well worth investigating whilst visiting Swanage.

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