Though not an island at all, Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck is perfect for a few day’s coastal walking. This hilly peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides, is where the South West Coast Path performs it last hurrah, ending in a succession of formidable cliffs and soft, sandy beaches.
On a short break here, you can explore the fossil-rich bay of Kimmeridge, explore the ancient town of Corfe with its imposing ruined castle, ride the bygone carriages of the Swanage Steam Railway through the verdant countryside and kick back in seaside Swanage. You can also climb up to Studland Hill to gaze out at the chalk sea stacks of the Pinnacles and Old Harry Rock before reaching Studland Bay, to walk along its golden sands and to discover the important part it played in the First World War. You can finish your wonderful walk by reaching South Haven Point – the National Trail’s official end – and celebrating with an excellent seafood lunch.
The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.
Walks from 13km to 16km
Rolling Countryside / Connecting Villages & Towns / By Water
History / Food & Drink / Coastal
Walking / Heritage
Here’s everything you need to help you plan your very own walking and exploring break on the Dorset coast and Isle of Purbeck. Click on the blue arrow tabs below for more information. To save this itinerary to view later, use the Save to My Rucksack button at the top of the page.
This itinerary is operated by Dorset-based Footscape, whose unrivalled local knowledge allows them to put together trails and experiences that only a local operator can provide. Footscape has been creating holidays and tours in Dorset for over a decade and this experience allows their knowledgeable team to anticipate exactly what makes a great walking holiday.
To find out more about this itinerary and make an enquiry or a booking, click on the Enquire Now button at the top of the page. The Save to My Rucksack button allows you to save itineraries to view later, or to download them as a PDF.
Escape to the Isle of Purbeck for four days of fabulous walking along one of the most spectacular stretches of the South West Coast Path, combining clifftop trails with castle ruins, fossil-flecked shores, sandy bays and delicious Dorset food and drink.
Footscape accommodates walkers in good village inns/hotels and the best available B&Bs; all rooms have ensuite/private bathroom facilities. There are two accommodation standards: A1 (hotels/inns/upmarket B&Bs) and A2 (village inns/B&Bs). Superior A* accommodation in luxury small hotels is available on request.
Excellent seafood – especially locally caught Dorset crab – is abundant on these sections of the path and will feature extensively on menus. Look out for distinctive local ales too. We can provide recommendations for places to eat. Here are a few favourites.
This grade of this tour is moderate.
Mix walks with other experiences along the South West Coast Path. We can recommend local points of interest.
The South West Coast Path wraps right around the shores of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, and will be part of the England Coast Path.
Wareham station is on the London Waterloo to Weymouth line. Connecting bus services run to Kingston. Buses run from Swanage to Wareham and Bournemouth.
Great Western Railway runs a regular service from Paddington station to the south west region.
Footscape provides walkers with full details of bus services and taxi companies operating in the area.
No special equipment required other than walking boots and outdoor clothing. Walks are graded moderate, with some climbs and ridgeway walks.
We advise that you check opening times and booking restrictions before travelling.
Please check out these links for latest advice when in the countryside
Click here to access the interactive map
The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.