Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve

Durlston Country Park
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Durlston Country Park, National Nature Reserve and Castle, situated 1 mile from Swanage in Dorset, is a fabulous 280 acre countryside paradise, consisting of sea-cliffs, coastal limestone downland, haymeadows, hedgerows and woodland.

With stunning views, walking trails, the historic Great Globe, superb geology, fascinating wildlife there is always something different to see and do.

Durlston Castle features interactive exhibits for all the family about the wildlife and geology of Durlston and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, while the Fine Foundation Gallery, within the Castle, host an everchanging series of art, craft, scientific or historical exhibtions and a varied programme of performance and other events.

Venue Type:

Garden, parklands or rural site

Opening hours

10.00am - 4.00 (1st Nov - Easter Holidays)
10.00am - 5.00 (Easter Holidays - 31st October)

Admission charges

N/A.

Getting there

By car or bike: From Swanage, follow the brown tourist information signs.

On foot: From Swanage town centre, follow the South West Coast Path or Victorian Trail signs

Bike racks are located in the car park nearest Durlston Castle

Additional info

An offroad wheelchair and Tramper electric buggies are available for less mobile visitors - to book or for more information, please call 01929 424443, visit www.durlston.co.uk or email info@durlston.co.uk

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Fine Foundation Gallery

'Images of Purbeck': Swanage Photographic Society Display

  • 20 July — 11 August 2015

Visit the Belvedere to enjoy images by members of the Swanage Photographic Society and choose your favourite.

In the Belvedere, Durlston Castle

Daily 10.00am-5.00pm

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free of Charge

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Durlston Castle

'Inspiring Landscapes' Exhibition

  • 20 July — 11 August 2015

Historic artwork, photography and interviews about the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this exhibition looks behind the Dorset landscape to find out what inspires people to live, work and thrive here.
Curated by the Dorset AONB team

In the Fine Foundation Gallery: 10.00-5.00pm daily.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free of Charge

Fine Foundation Gallery

Discovering Dorset's History: Display

  • 13 August — 1 September 2015

Find out about the work of the Dorset History Centre and some of the recent projects, with a display in the Belvedere.

In the Belvedere, Durlston Castle.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

Free of Charge

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Exchange

'Exchange': Exhibition by Chris Drury and Kay Syad

  • 15 August — 1 September 2015

Maps, portraits, drawings, prints and a large book made from paper buried in the earth for ten months. As part of Cape Farewell's Rural Programme, artist Chris Drury and writer Kay Syrad spent a year on three Dorset farms, exploring sustainable living and farming.

Supported by The Arts Development Company.


Daily 11.00am - 5.00pm

Fine Foundation Gallery Free

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free of Charge

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Exchange

'Exchange': Exhibition Tour with Chris Drury and Kay Syrad

  • 19 August 2015 From 2:30pm

Meet the artists to explore the exhibition and the stories behind it.

Fine Foundation Gallery.

Admission

Free of Charge

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/index.php?nid=141&id=4

Anvil Point

Association of Lighthouse Keepers' Display

  • 3 September — 8 October 2015

Come along to the Belvedere to find out more about lighthouses, the life of a lighthouse keeper and the role of the Association of Lighthouse Keepers in keeping lighthouse heritage alive.

In the Belvedere, Durlston Castle

Open Daily 10am-5pm

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Fine Foundation Gallery

Purbeck Revisited: Exhibition by Southern Contemporaries

  • 11 September — 4 October 2015

An exhibition of new work by this diverse collective of contemporary artists, exploring the theme of Purbeck.

All Work For Sale

In the Fine Foundation Gallery, Daily 11am-5pm

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Stargazing

Stargazing at Durlston

  • 12 August 2015 9-10:30pm
  • 21 August 2015 8:30-10:30pm
  • 19 September 2015 7:30-9:30pm

Join the Wessex Astronomical Society for a short talk and the chance to use telescopes to view the sky at night.

April: The Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Lyrid meteors and the Spring Constellations.

12 August: The Perseids metor shower, Saturn, the Milky Way and Summer Constellations.

21 August: The Moon, Saturn, Star Clusters, the Milky Way and Summer Constellations.

19 September: The Moon, Saturn, Galaxies and Autumn Constellations.

Meet at the Learning Centre.

Weather dependent - phone 01929 424443 on the day to confirm. £3.00 per person.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

photograph of moth

Meet a Moth

  • 26 July 2015 10:30-11:30am
  • 1 August 2015 10:30-11:30am
  • 8 August 2015 10:30-11:30am
  • 15 August 2015 10:30-11:30am
  • 18 August 2015 10:30-11:30am
  • 22 August 2015 10:30-11:30am
  • 29 August 2015 10:30-11:30am
  • 12 September 2015 10:30-11:30am
  • 19 September 2015 10:30-11:30am

Discover the beauty and strangeness of these creatures of the night, as we rummage through last night's moth trap

Meet at Durston Castle: Donations welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Donations Welcome

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Peregrine at Durlston

Clifftop Tour

  • 2 July 2015 11-11:30am

Enjoy a half-hour guided stroll along the cliffs-Guillemots, Peregrines, Ravens and more...

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Donations welcome.

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/index.php?nid=8&id=4&evnt_id=1127

Durlston Castle

Castle Tour

  • 14 July 2015 10:30-11am

A half hour tour of recently restored Durlston Castle.

Meet at the Castle

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Donations Welcome

DurlstonCountry Park

Durlston Country Park Victorian Tour

  • 12 July 2015 2:30-4pm

Guided walk to discover George Burt's grand plans for Swanage and the Durlston Estate.

Meet at Durlston Castle
.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Donations welcome

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

George Burt

Victorian Durlston

  • 12 July 2015 From 2:30pm
  • 27 September 2015 From 2:30pm

Guided walk to discover George Burt's grand plans for Swanage and the Durlston Estate.

Meet at Durlston Castle

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Lino Print

Printmaking Workshop

  • 18 July 2015 10am-4pm

Join Catherine Anne Pitchford to learn to make a lino block and use it to create a print, inspired by the natural world.

Meet at the Learning Centre

Booking Essential

Admission

£35

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Babi Babett

'The Comedy of Babi Babett'-The Rude Mechanical TheatreCompany

  • 18 July 2015 From 7:30pm

Outdoor theatre production from the fantastic Rude Mechanicals, blending slapstick, comedy, music, poetry and magical storytelling.
"Rich men are very attractive. There's nothing so romantic as the creak in the moonlight of a chequebook opening".

At the Learning Centre.

Advanced booking recommended

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£13
Concessions £12
Family £33

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Widget

'What the Dog Saw': Family Activity Trail

  • 18 July — 3 September 2015

Follow in the Paw-prints of Park Dog Widget, with our Summer trail, for some amazing activities and fun challenges, with a prize waiting at the end.

Daily from 18th July to 3rd September.
Turn up at the Castle anytime between 10.00am and 4.00pm

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

£3.00.

Local Vocals

Live Music: Local Vocals Outdoor Choir

  • 19 July 2015 2-3:45pm

Enjoy spectacular sea views from the amphitheatre at Durlston Castle and listen to this fantastic choir.

2.00pm and 3.00pm

Donations welcome

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

donations welcome

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Spring flower Walk

Late Summer Flower Walk

  • 19 July 2015 2:30-4pm

Join botanist, Ted Pratt, to discover Durlston's late spring flowers, including orchids.

Meet at Durlston Castle

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

photograph of dolphins

Dolphins and the Deep Blue Sea

  • 23 July 2015 2:30-4pm

Family Event. Discover the amazing lives of the Durlston Dolphins with games and activities.

At the Learning Centre: 2.30pm

Booking essential

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Durlston Country Park

Marvellous Meadows

  • 26 July 2015 From 2:30pm

Take a stroll through some of the best wildflower meadows in the country and enjoy butterflies, wildflowers and one of Britain's biggest insects.

Meet at the Castle

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Purbeck Fossil

Delinquent Dinosaurs and Fantastic Fossils

  • 30 July 2015 From 2:30pm

Family event. Take a trip through time to Durlston's prehistoric past and walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs, with games and activities.

At the Learning Centre

Booking Essential

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Female Glow Worm

'Stars in the Grass' Glow Worms at Durlston

  • 31 July 2015 From 8:30pm

Join a Ranger for a short talk and night walk to look for glow worms, bats and moths.

Meet at the Learning Centre

Booking Essential

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Durlston Castle

Children's Printmaking Workshop

  • 1 August 2015 2-4pm

Kid's Event.

Create your ownbeautiful print inspired by wildlife, with Catherine Anne Pitchford.

Suitable for Ages 8+.

Booking essential.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

Children accompanied by an adult: £12

Durlston Castle

Let's Go Fly a Kite

  • 6 August 2015 From 2:30pm

Family Event,

Make your own kite then try it out on the Durlston downland.

Meet at the Learning Centre

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Booking Essential: £5

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Stone Walling

Dry-Stone Walling Taster Session

  • 6 August 2015 10am-1pm

Try your hand at this fascinating traditional craft.

Meet at the Learning Centre

Booking Essential

Admission

Free of Charge

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Thrift

Wild Summer! Guided Tour

  • 9 August 2015 From 2:30pm

Join a Ranger to enjoiy Durlston's wildlife in its Summer glory.

Meet at the Castle

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Froghopper

Minibeast Safari

  • 13 August 2015 From 2:30pm

Family Event:

Discover life in the undergrowth and hunt for Britain's second biggest bug.

Booking Essential

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

David Buckland

The Artists of Cape Farewell in Conversation

  • 19 August 2015 From 7:30pm

Internationally acclaimed sculptor and writer Kay Syrad talks to David Buckland, director of 'Cape Farewell' about their work and the role art can play in tackling climate change.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Durlston Castle

Wild About Art: Paper Making and More...

  • 20 August 2015 From 2:30pm

Family Event.

Have a go at making paper, then explore Durlston and bury the paper ready for next week's workshop!

Booking Essential

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Six Spot Burnet Caterpillar

Life in the Grass

  • 23 August 2015 From 4:30pm

Take a stroll with a Ranger to hunt for Durlston's amazingly varied invertebrate life.

Meet at Durlston Castle

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Durlston Castle

Wild About Art! Amazing Paper Artworks

  • 27 August 2015 From 2:30pm

Family Event

Dig up amazingly worm-nibbled buried paper and use it to create a beautiful piece of art.

Booking Essential

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Natalie Clein

Natalie Clein and Friends: Family Cello Concert

  • 5 September 2015 From 11am

Join cellist, Natalie Clein and friends for a short and fun family concert-singing and dancing encouraged! Part of the Purbeck Chamber Music Festival.

Booking Recommended

In the Learning Centre

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Booking Recommended at purbeck-chambermusic.org.uk £2.50

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Jurassic Coast

YHA Jurassic Coast Discovery Day

  • 6 September 2015 11am-4pm

Join staff from the YHA for family activities to discover more about the Jurassic Coast.

In the Learning Centre

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Donations Welcome

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

MahanEsfahani

Harpsichord Concert: Mahan Esfahani

  • 6 September 2015 From 10:30am

As part of the Purbeck Chamber Music Festival, a concert by Mahan Esfahani-an internationally acclaimed young harpsichordist, whose playing 'sparkles and dances'.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery

Admission

Booking Essential at purbeck-chambermusic.org.uk
£12 Students £2

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Durlston Castle

Introducing Family History Workshop

  • 12 September 2015 2-4pm

Wondering how to get started on your family history? Or having hit a brick wall? Come along for expert advice from the Dorset History Centre on using sources and recording your results in this 2 hour workshop.

In the Learning Centre

Admission

Booking Essential: £5

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Time Walk

Durlston Rocks! Guided Tour

  • 13 September 2015 From 2:30pm

Find out more about Durlston's geology, landforms and amazing fossil record on this guided walk.

Meet at Durlston Castle

Admission

£3

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Carlotta Barrow

Swanage Seen: Swanage Artists Revealed Talk

  • 20 September 2015 From 2:30pm

Join Carlotta Barrow (creator of Swanage Seen Art Trail) for a talk to discover Swanage's rich artistic history, including artists such as Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland and others.

In the Learning Centre

Admission

Booking Required: £3.00

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Oxeye Meadow

Mindfulness Walk

  • 26 September 2015 From 10:30am

Join the 'Mindful Nurse' for a relaxing, meditative walk around the beautiful Durlston meadows and learn some simple mindfulness techniques.

Meet at the Learning Centre

Admission

Booking Essential £5

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/events.aspx

Getting there

By car or bike: From Swanage, follow the brown tourist information signs.

On foot: From Swanage town centre, follow the South West Coast Path or Victorian Trail signs

Bike racks are located in the car park nearest Durlston Castle

Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve
Durlston Country Park NNR
Lighthouse Road
Swanage
Dorset
BH19 2JL
England

Website

www.durlston.co.uk

E-mail

info@durlston.co.uk

Telephone

01929 424443

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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