Purbeck Festival Walks

These iconic walks will give you the best of Purbeck as they visit the top sites and provide the best views. Venturing along the coastal paths and through the unique landscape of Purbeck, they will be repeated during Friday, Saturday and Sunday to ensure as many people as possible get to enjoy them.

We have included a mix of distances and terrains so there will be something for everybody. You can choose whether to take a long walk and explore the area or include a few shorter ones in order to get to see the whole area on foot.

All you need to do is register for your chosen days and we will send you the full schedule for the days you have selected so you can plan your Festival and book onto those that take your fancy (priority given in order of festival booking date).

View The Festival Schedule
Festival Schedule

Hattie Brown's Brewery Tour WALX

Hattie Brown’s Brewery is nestled deep into the rolling Purbeck Hills as they fall into Swanage Bay. Hattie Brown’s is an iconic Purbeck beer brewed in Swanage by brewer Jean Young and her partner Kevin Hunt (who is also the Manager of the nearby infamous Square and Compass Inn where it has long been a favourite).

The beer has grown in popularity and people often try to locate the hidden gem of a rustic brewery – which we will take you to, but Shhhhh!

If you are not into the beer, you can sit outside and take in the wonderful sea views and Swanage while the rest of us breathe in the hoppiness!

Athelhampton House – walk and tour

Athelhampton is one of the finest examples of a Tudor Manor House in England.

​Over 500 years old, with its high hammer-beam roof, heraldic stained glass, and linenfold panelling the Great Hall is at the heart of the Manor house which is set in stunning Elizabethan Gardens

This hidden gem is under new ownership and we are delighted to be able to walk from the car park, returning for a visit to the House and Gardens at a reduced rate. There’s a kitchen garden, gift shop and tea rooms and even a restaurant so make sure you give yourself time to explore in full (charges apply)

Houns Tout & Golden Bowl out n back!

The Houns Tout is a stunning headland that we usually make you work to see by taking you on a circular route that involves steep steps on the edge of the cliff (still available for those who want it!)

However, we thought we would be kind this year and offer a flat scenic route which takes in the stunning Encombe Estate and views both ways along the coast when you get to the Houns Tout (which means lookout for the Norman Houns family by the way!)

Cider Tasting Walk

Join us for a real taste of Dorset as we leave the hub to explore the wild moors and woodland plantations that edge Poole harbour before heading back to the ridge between Swanage and Corfe after a delectable detour indeed!

We will take a trip through the newly planted orchards that make up part of the rapidly expanding Dorset Cider Farm before stopping for lunch (BYO food but they do have snacks and delicious ice cream) with the chance to try our favourite tipple in the rustic taproom bar! They do have fresh apple juice too!.

The great news is that our very own Driver Dick van Hike will pop up with the ‘Festivan’ to pick up any purchases and those who feel the rest of the walk might be a step too far after such a relaxing stop!

Explorez la beauté et l'histoire de Purbeck – French language walks

Fast becoming one of the most popular WALX activities for groups around the UK, the language WALX is a fun way to learn new words as you walk!

Now you can join linguist Michelle for a fun session where she will engage the group in topical conversation whilst exploring stunning Purbeck.

Jewel of Jurassic Geology

Get a real taste of the Jurassic coast with local expert, and author of walking and geology guides, Robert (Bob) Westwood.

The walk starts with a descent of Swyre head which itself reveals interesting geological features and a walk along the SW Coast path to Kimmeridge.

Bob will help you to see unique Jurassic features that make up this rare coastline including Portland visible in the distance.

As you descend into Kimmeridge (having passed the iconic Clavell Tower) he will pause for a snack stop and point out the famous beach which is famed for its fossils.

The walk back does include a couple of climbs but the views over Portland are worth it and the whole experience is informative and of course….iconic Purbeck!

This walk will contain info stops.

Check out the schedule as we add the walks and workshops.
View the 2022 Schedule

Yoga on the Lawns (plus garden entry)

Yes, in true Purbeck festival style we have teamed up with the most stunning gardens in Dorset to give you the opportunity to do some relaxing Yoga moves as you take in the lavender walks, wild meadows and stunning formal borders of Holme for Gardens

Our TMW expert will take you through a  Sequence that will leave you feeling calm refreshed and revitalised as you sit down for tea which is including in the reduced ticket price

The  delightful Orchard Cafe is situated by a tranquil carp pond filled with birdsong! And breathe……. !

Make sure you leave enough time to explore the farm shop and garden centre.

What a way to end a perfect Purbeck weekend!

* additional charges apply

Purbeck Stone Special including Dinosaur Footprints

This gentle 3-mile stroll will give you a real insight into the magnificent stone quarrying area of Purbeck. You will see actual Dinosaur footprints from 140 million years ago and have an optional visit to the Burngate Stone Carving Centre (for tea!).

The walk also includes the preserved remains of an underground working quarry that was closed 80 years ago. We will pass through the idyllic old stone quarrying hamlet of Acton and walk a circular route high up along the coast and past current quarry sites where the layers of stone that define the area are clearly visible.

Following a high coast path, there are distant views of the Norman Chapel at St Aldhelm’s Head and the nearby coastguard cottages, the sea to the south and the Purbeck Hills to the north. We will return along the Priest’s Way and a short detour takes us to the site of dinosaur footprints discovered by local quarryman, Kevin Keats in 1996 whilst quarrying for Purbeck stone!

Promenade and Prosecco

Finish a busy Friday of walking with a beach walk and early evening Aperitif.

Our promenade and Prosecco walk is the perfect way to unwind especially if you are planning a busy walk schedule on Saturday or maybe even one of the challenge walks?

Your Instructor will combine mindfulness and a few gentle exercises to show how the natural environment can improve mind and body.

The walk will finish at a beach cabin where you can enjoy a glass of Prosecco (or a nosecco alternative) as you wind down before a stroll back to the start.

* additional charges apply

Hub to Hartland Moor Loops

Relatively flat and atmospheric circular loops that really take in the unique habitat of the Purbeck heathland which houses all of the UK’s rarest species. This wild landscape is steeped in history and the walk takes you on an ancient trailway past bird hides overlooking Poole harbour and an ancient thatched farm that is now a cart-making museum and wheelwrights.

Get a real feel for the diverse Purbeck landscapes that have shaped the area for centuries.

There are two distances to choose from Hartland short loop and Hartland Explorer.

Hub to Harmans Cross Shorter Steam Railway Walk

This loop will take you out from the hub on a Steam Train to Harmans Cross which sits halfway between Corfe and Swanage and boasts its own little station on the Steam railway. This makes it a perfect crossover point with access to both Corfe and Swanage and the walk embraces the railway with lots of chances to see trains as we walk. We will walk back via Afflington Manor and Corfe Common to the Hub.

Great views and a bonus is that this walk does not climb the ridge (like the longer Swanage to Corfe version) but does give you the chance to enjoy a steam train ride from the HUB or even Swanage (inspired eh?)

Note: there is an option to join this walk at Harmans Cross (see schedule). This one-way walk is beautiful and although we do have to gently climb out of the valley it’s not steep or arduous and you get great views and a range of terrains.

Can be muddy when wet and grazing cattle are common.

* additional charges apply

Wareham Walls and Waterways

Explore the Saxon walled town of Wareham, once an important trading port leading into Poole harbour.

This walk is packed with fascinating historical facts and is ideal for those looking for a slower-paced level walk.

Starting at the bustling Old Town Quay where the market will be winding down, we will proceed past the site of the old Norman Castle and onto the Saxon walls (known as bloody bank)

We will divert onto the common but take in the bulk of the ancient wall plus the churchyard, green and some of the riverbank.

There is some road/pavement walking but the majority is off-road and the paths are sociably wide.

The exact route along the River Piddle will depend on conditions at the time

Wareham Forest Explorers

To celebrate our Partnership with Forestry England we thought we just had to include a walk in our favourite Forest. Wareham Forest is vast and stunningly beautiful with miles of good gravel tracks that are even underfoot and pass through a unique bog wildlife reserve where deer roam freely. There is a hidden hill fort, some exceptional viewpoints and wildlife galore.

The longer route explores the best parts of the forest and includes great views with the chance to immerse yourself in birdsong, whilst the shorter route will include flatter paths, a slower pace and the opportunity to breathe in the power of nature.

Part of this amazing forest was destroyed by fire in 2020 due to a discarded barbeque but we are delighted to have witnessed the regeneration and it just has to be walked in!

Check out the schedule as we add the walks and workshops.
View the 2022 Schedule

Heaven’s Gate Gentle Circular Walk

We think this local beauty spot is so named because it is literally a view to die for! As we don’t want anybody doing that at Purplebeck, we are taking the gentle route through the private Encombe Estate out to the famous viewpoint and back via swyre head. This walk will appear on the timetable as an evening walk too as its the perfect place to wind down after a long day!

On a clear day, you can see as far as Portland and marvel at the giant Flowers Barrow hill which features on more energetic walks. Some field tracks, a bit of country road but no steep hills or stiles and no striding out!

Just the best of Purbeck views and great company.

Dynamic Dunescapes

Explore one of the most amazing beaches in the UK and get a real feel for the unique habitat and why it is home to so many rare species.

This walk explores the dunes on the edge of the most amazing stretch of sandy unspoilt beach in the UK.

The expanse of sand starts at the Studland Ferry (opposite the exclusive Sandbanks) and curves around towards Studland Village.

The walk includes an inland freshwater lake known as the little Sea and some unspoilt woodland too – it is wild and stunning but under threat, so your guide will help you understand the delicate but vital management programme that’s underway. This walk is slow paced with lots of info stops as we explore the eco system and explain the work we are doing along with the dynamic Dunescapes project to restore and maintain vital habitat.

There is soft sand and undulating dunes on the walk and it can be exposed and windy.

Grange Arch Spectacular

This walk captures views across Poole Harbour and out towards Portland as well as the lush valleys of Purbeck. Discover a secret arch with a view to the old Manor House below and traverse ancient routes which take in a beautiful typical Dorset village with one of the oldest churches in the area.

This walk is 5 miles of perfectly formed Purbeck landscapes including chalk ridges, rolling pastures and total tranquillity.

Mainly on level open terrain, the walk has one steady climb but is mainly on good paths with a couple of stiles.

Alpaca Experience Walk with optional cream tea

Enjoy a stunning woodland walk at a pace dictated by the characterful Alpacas from Longthorns Farm (a true Purbeck gem).

This walk is pole free because you will learn how to handle an Alpaca and experience how they love to trek through a variety of terrain in their gentle calming manner.

Truly relaxing, educational and with a massive aaah factor – we just know this will be a Purplebeck favourite in years to come!

50-minute walk – varied pace on slightly uneven terrain.

Please note that this walk is approx. 30 minutes from the Hub.

* additional charges apply

Paella on the Beach

One of our Friday night supper walks – This stunning location at the south end of Studland Beach is truly magical and accessed only on foot.

Joes Café is a rustic surf shack-style café with tables that look out onto the Bay.

Come and watch the sunset as the huge Paella pan is fired up and the scent of paprika fills the air! We will have two evening routes of different durations that will finish in time for you to join us for some iconic Purbeck beachside hospitality.

*Subject to Covid restrictions on group gatherings

* additional charges apply

Corfe Castle to Nine Barrow Down ridge loop walk

This is our iconic Corfe/Swanage train route but without the train or the final climb before descending into Swanage.
We will climb the ridge out of Corfe and head along it to take in views across Poole Harbour and the whole of Purbeck.

Once on the top, this walk is bracing and exhilarating with undulating but good paths.
Views in all directions will include Poole Harbour, Studland bay and the whole Isle of Purbeck – It really feels like an Island as you glimpse the sea in all directions.

We will stop for a snack above Ulwell before heading back the way we came as the views are completely different

Corfe Castle, Creech and Coffee

This walk takes in the highest point in Purbeck (Creech Barrow) and one of the major chalk ridges that straddle Corfe Castle.

Although a longer tougher route than many, this route rewards you with views on all sides plus a drop into a stunning unspoilt Dorset Village complete with Duck Pond and a perfectly placed tea room where we pause for a mid-walk refreshment before heading through a nature reserve and woodland and back into Corfe Castle.

Distance circa 6 miles

* additional charges apply

Check out the schedule as we add the walks and workshops.
View the 2022 Schedule

Explore Kimmeridge with an optional visit to the Fossil Museum and cafe

Steve Etches is a renowned fossil collector and his collection fills the new Fossil museum in Kimmeridge which is literally jaw-dropping! It is so extensive that those of us at HQ who have annual passes have yet to see many of the specimens – see The Etches Collection.

Kimmeridge Bay is also famous for surfing, fossils and the Clavell Tower as well as the wonderful picturesque café with the same name.

This tranquil village is made up of traditional thatched houses with pretty gardens overlooking the Bay.

We will lead you down to the cove where Steve found most of his unique specimens (over 2,000 specimens collected over 30 years) to explore the geology that makes this area so unique. You can take time to visit the museum too (additional cost)

There will be lots of stopping – poles are not essential but could help on slippery surfaces.

Kimmeridge Bay
Clavells Tower
Clavells Café
Etches Collection Fossil museum

Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Old Harry Loop from the Bankes Arms and Back

The chalk stacks known as Old Harry Rocks mark the start of the World Heritage site of the Jurassic Coast. Old Harry Rocks were created through thousands of years of erosion by the sea and were originally a part of the chalk ridgeline that runs across the south coast joining up with the Needles on the Isle of Wight.

The chalk ridge was formed approximately 65 million years ago but you can join us to walk towards the rocks and look down on them from the cliffs. This walk has one steep climb but is otherwise fairly flat and has views across Studland bay and out to the Isle of Wight.

Reward yourself at the end with a drink in the Bankes Arms overlooking the bay or in our favourite rustic beach cafe.

Corfe Castle Circular

The symbol of Purbeck, Corfe Castle tends to star in many NWUK photos too! Blown up by Cromwell in the Civil War it sits on a mound in between two massive chalk ridges surrounded by tiny cottages that make up the village (used in many film sets including Thomas Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge & Bedknobs & Broomsticks). Join us for our favourite circular loop that takes in the best views of the Castle and the whole of the Isle of Purbeck.

We will climb one of the ridges to look down on the castle and village from above plus taking in the delightful Copper Bridge and views across Poole Harbour. This walk involves a steady but manageable climb and no stiles – one area can be muddy in wet weather and the area is predominantly used for livestock grazing so Cattle/Sheep could be encountered.

Distance: 4 miles
Start and Finish at the HUB

Other things to enjoy in the area:-

Corfe Castle Breakfast Walk

A gentle walk around Corfe Castle that does not include any hills and rewards you with an optional breakfast in a local hostelry.

This walk starts at the Hub and takes you out beside the Castle and onto a circular path that goes below the West Hill ridge before taking you back into Corfe for breakfast. After breakfast, you can stay in Corfe to tour the model village and make your own way back to the Hub, your next walk, or the train to Swanage when you are ready!

Distance: 3 miles
Start and Finish at the HUB

Other things to enjoy in the area:-

* additional charges apply

Purbeck Long Explorer – Corfe to Studland via Old Harry (one way walk)

This is the ultimate Purbeck walk which traverses the nine Barrow ridge all the way from the HUB to Knoll Beach at Studland.

On the way, we will pass Old Harry Rocks and get to see the sea in all directions.

This walk is one way with a lift back in the Festivan or option to take the bus if you want to relax on the best beach in Purbeck for a while.

This is a no nonsense walk so not suitable for those looking for a stroll.

There are refreshments available at Knoll beach but walkers will need snacks for the stops en route.

Corfe Castle Afternoon Tea Walk

A gentle walk around Corfe Castle that does not include any hills and rewards you with an optional Afternoon tea back at the HUB

This walk starts at the Hub and takes you out beside the castle and onto a a gentle walk that takes in the best of Corfe before you make your way back to the Hub.

Option to stay in Corfe Village to browse the shops, castle and museum or take the train to Swanage when you are ready!

Distance: 3 miles
Start and Finish at the HUB

Other things to enjoy in the area:-

* additional charges apply

Corfe Castle Tale of Two Hills

This walk is not for the fainthearted but is a great way to see the whole of the Isle of Purbeck and get a great workout at the same time!

This walk does a figure of 8 around the Castle and Village in order to climb both East and West Hills! Steep with some steps, the hills are worth the climb as they provide stunning vistas in all directions. This walk will be at a brisker pace (apart from the hills) and is for those who like a blast!

Distance: 5 miles
Start and Finish at the HUB

Other things to enjoy in the area:-

The Spiffing Enid Blyton Walk

Purbeck was the favourite holiday location for Enid Blyton and is said to be the inspiration for many a tale!

From Knoll House Hotel this 2-hour walk takes us across Studland Heath, with views of the Agglestone, Poole Harbour and the Purbeck Hills.

Park at Knoll House Hotel Car Park  BH19 3AH. This is a private car park and you will be provided with a pass for display on the windscreen for the duration of the walk.

This is the hotel in which Enid Blyton wrote her tales of the Famous Five, and you can view lots of historic photographs in the hotel (she stayed in room 40!) The former 1930’s summer retreat sits overlooking Studland Bay and has retained its period charm.

Distance: 4 – 4.5 miles
Location: L35
Start and Finish at Knoll House Hotel, Studland

Other things to enjoy in the area:-



Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Hardy's Dorset - Tess of the D'Urbervilles Walk

This walk is worth the drive from the Hub because it truly immerses you in the stunning landscapes that are depicted in Thomas Hardy novels as well as the woodland planted by Brian May of Queen as part of a huge conservation project

Voted as the most popular scenic walk by the local NW group, it incorporates the ancient village of Bere Regis with links to Kings John, Henry III and Edward I.

The village and nearby Woodbury Hill feature in many of Hardy’s novels and the church is where Tess of the D’Urbervilles found the relics of her supposed Ancestors.

A delightful walk through woodland, heath, river meadows and rolling farmland  – not to be missed.

Studland to Agglestone Rock

Agglestone Rock is yet another unique feature of the area. Also known as the Devil’s Anvil, it is a sandstone block of about 400 tonnes weight, perched on a conical hill on the wild heathland that borders Poole Harbour.

Your walk leader will take you through Studland Village and out onto the heathland before a short climb takes you along a ridge towards the iconic rock where you can get up close and marvel at the magnitude before dropping down towards Studland Road and through the woods to the village and the three stunning beaches of Studland Bay. This is a fairly easy walk with no significant climbs, on sandy heathland terrain. There is a short road section at the start.

Distance: 3 miles
Location: L15
Start and Finish at the Bankes Arms Car Park, Studland – Free to National Trust Members (circa £4 a day for non members)

Other things to enjoy in the area:-



Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Worth Matravers Smugglers Loop

Experience the real essence of Purbeck on this circular walk which starts near the famous Square and Compass Pub in the beautiful village of Worth Matravers.

This tranquil setting has a history of quarrying for Purbeck stone and the landscape has been shaped by this heritage. The pub seems to have changed very little since it was frequented by the quarrymen (apart from now having a Cider Cart and Fossil Museum).

On this walk, your leader will take you out from the village to the coastal trails. Note – Walk is subject to change in the event of sea fog (alternatives have been planned)

Known as theSmugglers Way, the walk will take you via the East Man and Seacombe before climbing back to Worth Matravers. There are a couple of climbs (circa 50 steps) and one small stone ‘gap’ stile to negotiate.

Distance: circa 3 miles
You will finish back at the Square and Compass where you can enjoy a glass of local Cider with views out to Sea.
Walk starts and finishes at Worth Matravers Village Car Park – honest box £2.

Other things to enjoy in the area:-


Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Kingston to Houns Tout Walk with optional cider!

A stunning circular walk that provides a unique view of Chapmans Pool and the Encombe Valley which is also known as the golden bowl. Walk through a stunning valley to the coast and then climb a steep uphill section (which is via steps but does have a drop to the sea to one side) to take in the views towards Portland and Kimmeridge Bay from Houns-Tout cliff.

Return via a ridge that provides more stunning views of the Encombe Valley (including the house, lake and Walled Garden).

Refresh yourself at the end with a drink at the Scott Arms pub which has unrivalled views of Corfe Castle.

The Fox Trot

This walk will introduce you to the lesser-known byways of Corfe Castle, where the wildlife lives and the locals roam. Why the FOX trot – simply because we venture onto ‘Fox Island’ and finish at the Fox Pub (optional but exceptional!). We definitely won’t be trotting whilst we explore the nature of Corfe.

The walk follows the valley carved out by the Corfe River which eventually runs past the castle and out to sea in Poole Harbour.

On the edge of Corfe Common, this river and its tributaries have carved a wild habitat that has remained untouched and idyllic.

The ancient twisted trees provide habitats for deer, foxes and badgers whilst wildflowers from orchids to cotton grass feature throughout the seasons.

The walk crosses the river via a charming packhorse bridge before crossing a further wooden bridge where we step onto the ‘Island’ which is small but wild.

We will take time to connect with nature on this walk so be prepared to take things more slowly than usual.

Dancing Ledge from Putlake Farm

This really is following in the footsteps of the Dinosaurs because footprints in the rocks have been found in most of the local quarries along the route including Keats Quarry where they were a metre in diameter and belonged to a 30-metre, 30-ton Diplodocus.

A fairly challenging walk with steep descents (sometimes slippery) this walk captures the essence of Purbeck stone and its importance to stonemasons and fossil hunters. Dancing Ledge itself is a platform where ships used to come to collect the stone and is so named because it is the size of a ballroom.

It now also has a natural swimming pool area which was blasted out for use by a local prep school. Sea views, old caves and the Priests Way – this walk has a bit of everything.

Distance: 4. 5 miles
Starts and Finishes at Putlake Farm, Langton Matravers

Things to do in the area
Burngate Stone Carving Centre
Square and Compass

Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Swanage to Corfe (return by Steam Train)

Leave Swanage and climb up to Ballard Down where expansive views of Studland Bay reward you for the effort! Note on the Saturday this route is longer than the other days as we start in central Swanage and not Ulwell – please check.

This walk is like walking along the spine of Purbeck with far-reaching views across Studland Bay and Poole Harbour as well as to Corfe Castle and beyond.

The walk continues along the ridge undulating with the natural chalk formations until the path eventually descends into Corfe Castle where you can watch the steam trains come and go from the old Victorian Station.

This is a one-way only route so you will need to catch the steam train back to Swanage (or a bus) after taking some time to explore the Festival Hub, castle, village, National Trust shop and several tea rooms of course! A fairly gentle walk but with some moderate climbs where we stop frequently to admire the views! NOTE On Saturday the route is much longer and starts at L3 not L10 this avoids the urban element if walking to the start  from central Swanage or the need to park at Ulwell but it is a bit tougher with extra climbs

Train tickets purchase separately  – we advise you buy these on arrival in Corfe.

Other things to enjoy in the area:-



Church Knowle to Kimmeridge Valley Loop

A complete taste of Purbeck, this walk combines both of the chalk ridges that define the ‘Isle’.

This walk literally crosses Purbeck taking in expansive views in all directions. Starting in Church Knowle a village with a stunning 13th-century church it takes in both hills and dale, arable land, woodland and stunning cliff tops.

Incorporating a drink/snack stop overlooking Kimmeridge Bay (option to visit the café 5 mins down a steep hill – for ice cream and comfort stop) the walk then climbs up to Heaven’s Gate along the cliff tops before dropping back down into the valley, through old farmyards and back into Church Knowle with its welcoming pub. Undoubtedly the best views from all directions on this walk which is the only one on our programme that covers the Corfe ridge and the Coastal Path.

This walk contains a couple of moderate climbs and two fairly steep ones. The terrain varies from rocky tracks to arable fields and there is one narrow footpath section that can be overgrown (long trousers advised!) The route includes areas where livestock may be grazing and a farmyard area in a valley that can be muddy in wet weather. There are several stiles en route and a couple of areas where it’s uneven underfoot.

Distance: circa 7 miles
Start and Finish: New Inn Church Knowle

Things to do in the area
Margaret Green Animal Sanctuary

Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Swanage Pier to Durlston Loop via Peveril Point

A favourite of the local groups, this relatively short walk is guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away.

A route that has been popular since Victorian Swanage, this trail winds up from the pier and seafront along the coastal trail and up into the amazing Durlston Country Park and around Peveril Point.

From Durlston you can view the bay where dolphins are often spotted and wildlife abounds, plus experience the Victorian link by spotting the London bollards which are a feature of the park. (They were used to weigh down the empty ships that came to collect the Purbeck stone used in many major London buildings).

No stiles involved but a brisk climb up to Durlston.

Distance: 3 miles
Starts at Swanage Pier Meet near Roman Columns

Other things to enjoy in the area:-
Swanage Pier

Swanage Seafront

Swanage Town Centre

Kimmeridge to Heavens Gate – including an option to visit to the Fossil Museum

A stunning walk on good wide stony paths blessed with some of the best views in Purbeck. This walk starts above Kimmeridge village in a quarry car park where the track takes you up onto the ridge overlooking the iconic Clavell Tower. Views are expansive and include St Aldhems chapel in one direction and Portland in the other!

The walk continues to Heavens Gate, a viewpoint and on to Swyre Head, before heading inland overlooking the tranquil Encombe Estate and back along the cliff to the start.  Or you might take the opportunity to venture down into the village and/or bay below.

Kimmeridge Bay is a hotspot for surfers and snorkelers and is the home of the Etches collection of fossils which are held in the new Village Hall complex opposite an equally fantastic café!.

It simply is iconic Dorset with terrain varying from arable and parkland to Jurassic coast and picture box village.

Distance: 6.5 miles
Start and Finish at Kimmeridge Quarry car park.

Things to do in area


 (parking £5

Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Corfe Castle History Walk

Gentle paced to allow for all the history to sink in, it’s the only way to walk around Corfe Castle which is steeped in history – including the murder of a King in the square and Civil War battles that led to the term Turncoat!

Learn about the historic buildings, the smallest town hall in England, the oldest pub and even the famous steam railway. It’s no wonder many of the buildings in this picturesque village are now in the care of the National Trust. Our local guides will immerse you in Corfe through the ages and explain how this tiny place was once a significant Royal seat due to its unique geographical location. After the walk you can stay in the village and make your own way back to the Hub, your next walk or the train to Swanage when you are ready!

Distance: circa 2 miles
Start Location: Main Festival Hub, Corfe Castle

Other things to enjoy in the area:-
Clay Mining Museum at Park n Ride

Old tramways which transported clay to Poole Harbour
Steam Train
 Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle to Chapmans Pool Loop

Capture the essence of Purbeck in one walk of just under 8 miles.

This walk leaves the stunning stone village of Corfe Castle and heads up to the ‘Look Out’ via Corfe Common, a heathland area where wild horses graze. From this higher viewpoint, the walk descends down quarrymen’s paths towards the coast before heading round towards Chapmans Pool a stunning cove nestled on the Jurassic Coast. From here, the walk follows a tranquil valley back to the Kingston ridge before another descent back to Corfe Castle past a wonderful old mill.

Bring plenty of water and a snack to eat when we stop to view the pool from the track above.

There is livestock grazing on this route and it can get muddy in places. There are 3 stiles, stony paths and two gradual climbs – see the elevation profile.

Distance: 8 miles
Location: L13 Festival Hub

Chapmans Pool
Kingston Church
Corfe Castle

Ulwell and Nine Barrow Downs

A walk that gives you a real feel of the Isle of Purbeck. We begin a gradual ascent onto the ridge that sits between Swanage Bay and Studland Bay, the climb is one of the most pleasant ways to get up to the Ancient Barrow which provides breathtaking and expansive views.

Poole Harbour and Studland Bay open up in one direction whilst Swanage Bay and the Isle of Purbeck reveal themselves in the other!

This walk will be at a gentle pace and is a great way to see Purbeck and beyond

DISTANCE circa 4 miles

Swanage bay
Steam Railway

Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Brownsea Island

The magical Brownsea Island sits in the middle of Poole Harbour and is famous for a castle built by Henry VIII, red squirrels and of course Baden Powell and the scouting movement.

This year there are restrictions on groups and things need to be booked nearer the time, so we have worked out a way for you to enjoy this walk at your leisure (subject to booking) to avoid crowds.

Our Host will be on hand to meet and greet and provide walking routes for you that cover the whole island which has a mix of woodland, unspoilt beaches and other unique habitats. Completely different from anywhere else, this island is a gem. An entry fee (for non-NT members) to the island plus ferry charges will apply. A great idea for the Sunday if you have tired legs after the Challenges and not something to try and cram into your schedule – take time to enjoy! Times, Prices and Booking details subject to change

Distance: Circa 3 miles

Points of Interest:
Red Squirrels
Brownsea Castle
Visitor centre and Cafe
Baden Powell
Poole harbour ferry ride
Sandbanks/Millionaires row

Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.- it also involves a Ferry ride.

* additional charges apply

Walking and Wellbeing at the BLUE POOL

Enjoy a gentle walk around this famous and unique local beauty spot at your leisure.

The lake in a former chalk pit constantly varies in colour because very fine clay in suspension in the water diffracts light in different ways, producing a spectrum of colour sometimes green, sometimes turquoise.

The surrounding 20 acres of heathland and woodland make it a tranquil visitor attraction that also houses a tearoom!

As a special arrangement with NWUK the Blue Pool have offered Purbeck festival-goers who book this session entry to the Blue Pool for a reduced rate with a special festival pass

Our Festival Host will be on hand to meet and greet and provide advice and routes  – one wellbeing session will be host lead, otherwise visit and enjoy at your own pace

Distance: Circa 3 miles

*Additional charge for entry to Blue Pool will be required

Swanage Victoriana History Walk

A gentle urban history walk that encompasses the Victorian heritage of Swanage. Take in the old mill pond, church, steam railway and the home of George Burt whose mission it was to create a resort from a small seaside town linked to the shipping of Purbeck stone from local quarries, which was used to build some of London’s most prized buildings.

This will open up a totally different Swanage and is well worth the gentle pace and occasional road crossing – it rated as high on previous feedback!

At the end of the walk, why not enjoy some oysters on the old quay or traditional fish and chips by the beach huts!.

Distance: 1 – 2 miles
Note this is a History trail no poles needed as it is urban and not for those seeking a yomp!

Points of Interest
Steam Railway

Durlston Coastal Loop

Durlston is one of the best places to see dolphins and other wildlife and it’s the point where the swallows say farewell to the UK as they head for warmer climes (we defy you to not to have a tear or two as they do). We will have a mix of routes that take in this award-winning country park which has everything from a lighthouse to a Victorian castle (now a café) plus woodlands, meadows and clifftop trails.

NWUK have a unique partnership with Durlston and are working together to make it one of the best places in the UK to get Active in the great outdoors

Distance: Circa 1 hour gentle walks to 2-hour explorer trails (plus our Ultimate Nordic workout walks)
Start at Durlston Visitor Centre, Durlston Country Park

Things to do nearby
Durlston Castle Visitor centre

Seventh Wave Café

Swanage town centre

Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Hardy Trail plus optional visit to his birthplace

Take a route through Thorncombe Wood from the tranquil cottage where Thomas Hardy was born to the churchyard at Stinsford where his heart is buried.

This countryside is steeped with locations that feature in his novels and form his fictional Wessex. A mixed trail that takes in wooded heathland, typical rolling Dorset grazing land and open meadowland. This route can be quite muddy due to the proximity to the river valley and there are a lot of stiles on the route due to the farming activity that makes this iconic Hardy Country!

Optional visit to Hardy’s Cottage and Gardens (National Trust).

Please note that this walk is approx. 30 minutes from the Hub.

Arne Bird Watching & Wildlife Walks

Explore the amazing RSPB reserve at Arne which sits on the tidal salt marshes of Poole Harbour and featured on BBC Autumn Watch. WALX Dorset have a unique Partnership with this reserve which we invite you to enjoy at your leisure to avoid crowds.

There are a range of walks starting at the RSPB visitor centre which include the unspoilt secluded beach at Shipstal Point where you can view the tiny Long Island and watch sea birds and sika deer feeding along the shoreline.

Another loop takes you onto the surrounding heathland that is a haven for all kinds of wildlife and provides breathtaking views across the harbour and towards Corfe Castle. Many of these walks are on fairly flat and even terrain and we will have festival Hosts on hand to guide you and provide advice.

Distance: Approx 4 Miles
Location: Starts at RSPB Arne

Parking/entry fee apply on the reserve

Things to do nearby
RSPB visitor centre and café

Wareham – walled Saxon Town with Quay

Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

Magical Nightime Walk with Campfire Grill Supper

Join us for a walk with the wildlife in a magical remote location shared by sika deer and a host of birds and wildlife. Courtesy of the amazing Arne RSPB nature reserve we have exclusive access to a tranquil mix of beaches, moors and woodland in which to explore as dusk falls. We will make camp by a remote beach as our supper is cooked by the RSPB team while we watch the sunset over Poole Harbour. After supper, we will head back through the darkness totally at one with the wildlife.

Headtorches will be essential but paths are relatively well managed and trained leaders will be on hand to keep everybody safe.

This walk will only be available on the FRIDAY evening as part of our Friday Supper series and there will be limited spaces. 

*Campfire Grill Supper – Vegetable and meat options will be available

Distance: – 2 – 3  miles depending on conditions underfoot

Things to do nearby:
RSPB visitor centre and café
Wareham – walled Saxon Town with Quay

Note: this walk starts at a location away from the Main festival hub so transport will be required.

* additional charges apply