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.
FFG

Milking Parlour Exhibition

  • 19 November — 22 December 2016 *on now

Milking Parlour Exhibition Exhibition exploring our human relationship to milk and the
environmental impacts of our farming system. How do we feed the planet without it costing the earth?

Fine Foundation Gallery: Free

Daily 11.am-4.00pm

Admission

Free of Charge

Website

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

Wedding at Durlston

Durlston Wedding Christmas Fair

  • 11 December 2016 11am-3pm *on now

Wedding Christmas Fair
Meet our wedding planning team, caterers and fantastic local suppliers who can help make your wedding dreams come true!

Fine Foundation Gallery

Suitable for

  • Any age
Fine Foundation Gallery

Durlston Castle Christmas Fair

  • 15 — 23 December 2016

Durlston Castle Christmas Fair

Meet suppliers of local produce and gifts. From Saturday 17th -Friday 23rd, you can even get the chance to meet Father Christmas in our special Castle Grotto.
Mulled wine, carol singers and mince pies a plenty - the perfect excuse for your last minute Christmas shopping.

Fine Foundation Gallery

Free Entry

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Fine Foundation Gallery

Inspiring Landscapes: Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Exhibition

  • 4 — 22 January 2017

Discover what makes the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so special, with
winning entries from their photography competition and the stories of people who live and work in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery, Daily 10.30am-4pm

Website

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

Durlston Castle

Durlston Past & Future

  • 24 January — 14 February 2017

Exhibition tracing the history of Durlston through the 20th Century, using photos and recollections and a chance to see and comment on our plans for the
future.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery

Free entry.

Open Daily 10am-5pm

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

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

Durlston Castle

Celebrating Picture Book Art Exhibition

  • 16 — 24 February 2017

As part of the Purbeck Literary Festival children’s program, find out how a picture book is made with a display from some of the UK’s best contemporary authors and illustrators.

Fine Foundation Gallery, daily 11am-4pm.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free

Website

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

George Burt

Victorian Durlston Exhibition

  • 27 February — 14 March 2017

Exhibition exploring the curious Victorian history of Durlston and George Burt’s Grand Plans for the estate.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery daily 10.00-4.00pm

Fine Foundation Gallery

The Miracle of Migration: Exhibition

  • 16 March — 5 April 2017

Discover the amazing journeys undertaken every year by birds, butterfl ies and moths,
with this free exhibition.

Daily: 10.00-4.00pm in the Fine Foundation Gallery

Durlston Castle

Durlston Pleasure Grounds Display

  • 8 April — 1 May 2017

Find out about our exciting plans to reinvigorate George Burt’s landscape for people
and wildlife and share your ideas.

In Belvedere, daily 10.00-5.00pm

Free

Hamish Murray

‘Purbeck and Beyond’: Paintings and Photographs by Hamish Murray

  • 8 April — 1 May 2017

Photographs, sketches and paintings by Hamish Murray reflecting the area’s stunning
wildlife and landscapes.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery, daily 10.30-5.00pm

Free

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.
Durlston Castle

Wild Wednesdays at Durlston

  • 28 December 2016 11am-3pm
  • 15 February 2017 11am-3pm
  • 12 April 2017 11am-3pm
  • 19 April 2017 11am-3pm

Free drop-in craft activities for families.

Donations welcome.

In the Belvedere

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Donations welcome

Stargazing

Stargazing at Durlston

  • 4 February 2017 From 7:30pm
  • 4 March 2017 From 7:30pm
  • 18 March 2017 From 8:30pm
  • 1 April 2017 From 8:30pm
  • 14 April 2017 From 8:30pm
  • 28 April 2017 From 8:30pm

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

October: Mars, Galaxies, Star Clusters and the Autumn Constellations

December: Star Clusters, Nebulae, Galaxies and the Winter Constellations.

February: The Moon, Venus, Star Clusters, Galaxies, Orion Nebulae and the Winter Constellations

March 4th: The Moon, Venus, The Orion Nebula, Galaxies and the Spring Constellations.

March 18th: Star Clusters, The Orion Nebula, Galaxies and the Spring Constellations.

April 1st: The Moon, Jupiter, Star Clusters, Galaxies and the Spring Constellations

April 14th: Jupiter, Nebulae, Galaxies and the Spring Constellations

April 28th: New Moon, Jupiter, Nebulae, Galaxies and the Spring 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

Julian Sawyer

‘Purbeck Footprints' Wildlife Photography Walk

  • 12 February 2017 From 10:30am
  • 9 April 2017 From 10:30am

Join wildlife photographer Julian Sawyer to develop' your photographic skills.


Booking essential.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5.00

Website

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

Durlston Castle

Castle Tour

  • 5 January 2017 2:30-3pm
  • 2 February 2017 2:30-3pm
  • 2 March 2017 4:30-3pm
  • 6 April 2017 2:30-3pm

Half hour tour of Durlston Castle.

Meet at the Castle

Donations Welcome

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Donations Welcome

Bird

Monthly Bird Walks

  • 11 December 2016 From 10am *on now
  • 22 January 2017 From 10am
  • 5 February 2017 From 10am
  • 12 March 2017 From 10am
  • 2 April 2017 From 10am

Enjoy a guided walk to see what's about.



Meet at the Castle.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Durlston

Durlston Christmas Trail

  • 17 December 2016 — 3 January 2017

With Christmas quickly approaching come down to Durlston and get in the festive
spirit with our Christmas Trail.

Daily10.30-3.00pm

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£3

Coastal Path

Orienteering Taster

  • 11 February 2017 From 2pm

Complete a course in the fastest time, learn to read orienteering maps, with a British Orienteering trained instructor..

Booking essential

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£5 adult.

Durlston Castle

Walk and Draw Naturally

  • 14 February 2017 10:30am-1pm
  • 11 April 2017 10:30am-1pm

Be inspired by beautiful Durlston to walk and draw from the natural environment. Suitable for all abilities. Bring your sketchbook and pencils.

Booking essential, ring 07720353454.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10.00 per person.

Website

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

Purbeck Literacy Festival

Purbeck Literacy Festival: Wild Bug Party

  • 16 February 2017

Drop into best-selling illustrator Paul Stickland’s Pop-up Bug Store and make wild and wonderful pop-up paper bugs.

Children 4+ (must be accompanied by an adult)

£4

Fine Foundation Gallery: 11.00-12.30: 1.00-3.00

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£4

Nicholas Frith

Wild Picture Book Party

  • 17 February 2017 2:30-5:30pm

Join prize-winning children’s picture book author/illustrator Nicholas Frith for a story and craft session based on his book, Hello,Mr Dodo.

Children 3+ (accompanied by an adult) £3.50.

Booking essential.

Fine Foundation Gallery

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£3.50

Rachel Bright

Wild Picture Book Party

  • 17 February 2017 11am-12pm

Join best-selling children’s picture book creator, Rachel Bright, for a story and craft session based on her newest book, "Love You, Hoo!"

Children 3+ (accompanied by an adult)

Booking Essential: £3.50

Fine Foundation Gallery.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£3.50

Purbeck Literacy Festival

Wild Big Draw

  • 18 February 2017 11:30am-3pm

Drop in and Draw! Meet five best-selling contemporary children’s illustrators: Sarah Warburton, Mark Sperring, Lauren Tobia, Paula Bowles and Rachel Bright as they draw live and create a giant Big Wild Scene. Join in, or make your own picture.

Family event (children accompanied by an adult) £2

Fine Foundation Gallery

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2

Marianne Suhr

An Old House for the Future-Meet Marianne Suhr

  • 18 February 2017 5:30-7pm

Meet Marianne Suhr, historic building specialist, co-presenter of BBC’s Restoration and C4’s Restoration of the Year and author, as she tells of her adventures in old buildings and gives tips for how to make them fit t for the 21st Century.

£8.50 to include a glass of wine.

Booking essential at www.purbeckliteraryfestival.info
or at Durlston

Fine Foundation Gallery.

s.

Admission

£8.50

Website

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

Keartons

An Introduction to The Keartons - The First Wildlife Photographers

  • 19 February 2017 2:30-4pm

Talk and Question and Answer and Book signing with author John Bevis.

£4 at the Learning Centre

Booking Essential at www.purbeckliteraryfestival.info or at Durlston.Country Park

Admission

£4

Sam Scriven

Ancient Wildlife: Fossils of the Jurassic Coast

  • 19 February 2017 11am-1pm

Question and Answer and book signing with Sam Scriven. Includes fossil road
show – bring your finds to be identified.

£4. at the Learning Centre

Booking essential at www.purbeckliteraryfestival.info or at Durlston.

Admission

£4

Andrew-Lownies-Stalins-Englishman

Wild Lies and Spies –Stalins Englishman - the Lies of Guy Burgess

  • 22 February 2017 From 2:30pm

Talk and Q&A and Book signing with author Andrew Lownie.

£6 at the Learning Centre

Booking essential at www.purbeckliteraryfestival.info or at Durlston Country Park

Admission

£6

Maiden Oak

Barn Dance with Maiden Oak

  • 11 March 2017 From 7:30pm

Music in the old village style. Folk legend Rollo Woods, with caller, saxophone, fiddle, squeezebox, guitar, piano and drums. Tunes to suit dancers of all ages and abilities. Dance the night away.

Parking included in advance sales.

Booking essential, £8

In the Fine Foundation Gallery

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£8

Spring flower Walk

'The Spring is Sprung': Spring Wildlife at Durlston

  • 26 March 2017 From 10:30am

Walk to explore the delights of Durlston.

Meet at Durlston Castle

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

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

Anvil Point

Nature's Harvest

  • 1 April 2017 From 10:30am

Discover how humans and nature use the wildlife to be found at Durlston.

Admission

£3

Aviary Glade

Easter Trail

  • 8 — 23 April 2017

An exciting Easter trail around the park with a delicious prize
to be won!

11-4.pm

£3

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£3

Durlston Country Park

Bird Feeders

  • 13 April 2017 From 2:30pm

Join a rangers to make a brilliant bird feeder and the ingredients involved to get our
flying friends into our gardens.

£5. Booking Essential.

At the Learning Centre

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£5

Fossil

Delinquent Dinosaurs and fantastic fossils.

  • 20 April 2017 From 2:30pm

Discover Durlston’s prehistoric past with games and activities.

£3. Booking Essential.

At the Learning Centre

Admission

£3

Wildflower walk

Early Spider Orchids and Other Spring Flowers

  • 23 April 2017 2:30-4pm

Join botanist Ted Pratt to enjoy some of Durlston's magnificent Spring flowers.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

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

Tilly Whim

Life on the Edge: Seabirds of Durlston Walk

  • 30 April 2017 From 2:30pm

Join a Ranger for a walk to find out more about life in Durlston’s bustling seabird
colonies.

£3

Admission

£3

Claymation

Purbeck Film Festival: Claymation Workshop

  • 27 October 2017 10am-2pm

Dougal Dixon, of Rex Cinema fame, will be leading an exciting claymation workshop.

Booking essential. Further details see www.purbeckfilm.com

Children aged 8+

£12 includes materials and refreshments.

Meet at the Learning Centre

Admission

£10

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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