Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve

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.
Durlston Country Park
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Parking icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

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:

Environmental or ecological centre, Heritage site, Garden, parklands or rural site, Historic house or home, Gallery, Artist studio or collective

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.
Durlston Gallery

Life, Light and Landscape': New Paintings and Sculpture by Bruce Pearson & Anne Shingleton

  • 26 October — 23 November 2014 *on now

A mixed exhibition by two experienced artists whose work is inspired by the natural world. There will be paintings in oil and watercolour, relief and monotype prints, drawings and studies from the wild – from oceanic seabirds to swans at Abbotsbury, from seahorses in Studland Bay to the cliff nesting birds at Durlston. A selection of Anne Shingleton's small animal bronzes will be on display from Italy.

Daily 11.00am - 4.00pm

Fine Foundation Gallery Free

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free of Charge

Fine Foundation Gallery

Creative Campus': Exhibition of work by short courses students at the Arts University Bournemouth

  • 10 December 2014 — 11 January 2015

Be inspired by a creative arts show featuring work produced by the community of short course students, curated by AUB staff. Includes mixed-media work such as photography, drawing and painting, print and textiles, jewellery, fashion, digital work and more.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery, Durlston Castle.

Daily: 10.30-4.00pm

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free of Charge

Tilly Whim

Exploring the Wonders of World Heritage: Exhibition

  • 14 January — 5 February 2015

Discover how the Jurassic Coast fits into a global family of the most amazing cultural and natural sites on Earth, with an exhibition curated by the Jurassic Coast Team .

In the Fine Foundation Gallery, Daily: 10.30am-4.00pm

Admission: Free

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk

PLF

BOOKS .....but not as we know them!': Purbeck Literary Festival Exhibition

  • 11 — 24 February 2015

The art of the folded, sculptured and handmade book. An exhibition of artworks, handprinted and literary items by local and invited artists in support of the second Purbeck Literary Festival.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery

Daily: 11.00-4.00pm

Suitable for

  • Any age
Gorse Clearing

Outline South West' & 'Postcards from the Path' 

  • 2 — 19 March 2015

An exhibition of artwork produced by Anita Reynolds whilst walking the South West Coast Path, along with pieces by four guest artists in response to the coastal path. During the exhibition there will be opportunities to take part in special art workshops with the five artists. Supported by Villages in Action

In the Fine Foundation Gallery: 10.30-4.00pm daily.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free of Charge

Wedding at Durlston

Durlston Wedding Fair

  • 22 March 2015 10:30am-3pm

Durlston Castle Wedding Fair. A great chance to explore this beautiful venue, meet the suppliers who can help with your big day and discuss your ideas with our Wedding Planner.

Fine Foundation Gallery

Suitable for

  • Any age
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.
photograph of fossil

Delinquent Dinosaurs and Fantastic Fossils!

  • 2 April 2015 2-4pm

Family activity. Discover Durlston's prehistoric past, with games and activites.

Booking Essential!

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

£3.00.

Durlston Whitethroat

Bird Sounds in Close Up!: Guided Walks

  • 12 April 2015 10-11:30am

In Autumn: Using a directional microphone, join a Ranger to listen to some of the huge variety of migrants passing over Durlston as migration gets underway.

In Spring: Listen to Durlston's spring birdlife and more, using a directional microphone and find out how and why birds sing.


Booking essential. £3.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

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

photograph of moth

Meet a Moth

  • 27 October 2014 10:30-11:30am
  • 21 March 2015 10:30-11:30am

Come along as we open last night's moth trap to enjoy the beauty and strangeness of these creatures of the night.

Meet at Durston Castle: Donations welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

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

photograph of red kite bird

Go Wild at Durlston!

  • 29 October 2014 11:30am-3pm
  • 18 February 2015 11:30am-3pm
  • 1 April 2015 11:30am-3pm
  • 8 April 2015 11:30am-3pm

Family activities. Drop in to the Learning Centre any time between 11.30 and 3 to take part in craft activities, games or experiments about wildlife or geology. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Donations welcome.
Every Wednesday during the school holidays.
Meet at Learning Centre.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Admission

Free but Donations welcome.

Stargazing

Stargazing at Durlston

  • 30 October 2014 7:30-10pm
  • 29 November 2014 7-9:30pm
  • 24 January 2015 7-9:30pm
  • 27 February 2015 7:30-10pm
  • 28 March 2015 7:30-10pm
  • 22 April 2015 9-8:30pm

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

October: The Moon, galaxies, star clusters and the Autumn Constella'

November: The Moon, nebulae, galaxies and the Winter Constellations.

December: TBC

January: The Moon, Jupiter, Star clusters, Galaxies, Orion Nebula and the Winter Constellations.

February: The Moon, Jupiter, Orion Nebula, Galaxies and the Spring constellations.

March: The Moon, Jupiter, Star Clusters, Orion Nebula, Galaxies and the Spring constellations.

April: The Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Lyrid meteors 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

photograph of durlston

‘Purbeck Footprints' Wildlife Photography Walk

  • 2 November 2014 2-3:30pm
  • 19 April 2015 10:30am-12pm

Join wildlife photographer Julian Sawyer from 'Purbeck Footprints' and learn the basics of wildlife photography, fieldcraft and getting the best from your camera, in the beautiful setting of Durlston.

Meet at Learning Centre.

Booking essential.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5.00

Website

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

Photograph of Swanage Beach

Swanage Beach Clean

  • 9 November 2014 2-4pm
  • 1 March 2015 2-4pm
  • 26 April 2015 2-4pm

Join the Durlston Rangers to help keep Swanage Beach beautiful. Gloves and bags provided. Meet outside Bull and Boat restaurant (north end of Swanage Beach).

N.B. March and April times TBC.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

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

Peregrine in flight

Monthly Bird Walks at Durlston

  • 16 November 2014 10-11:30am
  • 14 December 2014 10-11:30am
  • 11 January 2015 10-11:30am
  • 8 February 2015 10-11:30am
  • 22 March 2015 10-11:30am

Join top birder Hamish Murray for guided bird walks

November to see what late migrant and resident birds can be found around the National Nature Reserve;

December for a gentle stroll to enjoy Durlston's winter bird life;

January to see what late migrant and resident birds can be found around the National Nature Reserve;

February for a stroll to look and listen for Durlston's birdlife;

March to enjoy the chorus of birdsong and look for newly arrived migrants.

Meet at the Castle at 10.00am: £3

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

All walks £3.00 per person.

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/Dorset-Bird-Week.aspx

Pyramidal Orchid

The Special Wildflowers of the Isle of Purbeck

  • 30 November 2014 2:30-4pm

Join botanist Ted Pratt, author of 'The Wildflowers of the Isle of Purbeck' for an illustrated talk exploring the flowers of this very special area.

Meet at Learning Centre. £3.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

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

DurlstonCountry Park

Durlston Country Park Victorian Tour

  • 25 January 2015 2-3:30pm

Guided tour exploring the curious Victorian past of Durlston Castle and Park.
.

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

  • 19 February 2015 2-4pm

Family activity. Games and activities to discover the amazing lives of the Durlston Dolphins.

Booking essential

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Website

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

photograph of bee on flower

Purbeck's Mini-beasts: An Illustrated Talk

  • 22 February 2015 2-4pm

Join entomologist Chris Spilling for a talk to discover the amazing variety of insect life in Purbeck and the struggle for survival going on all round us, featuring amazing macro photography.

In the Learning Centre.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00.

The lighthouse

Deep Freeze or Hothouse?': Understanding Climate Talk

  • 8 March 2015 4:30-4pm

An illustrated talk with demonstrations by meteorologists Sylvia and Howard Oliver. Earth’s climate has changed many times in the past.How has this happened and how can wildlife respond to these changes?

In the Learning Centre

Admission

£3.00

Tilly Whim

Durlston's Coastal Landscape

  • 15 March 2015 2-3:30pm

Join a Ranger for a stroll along the Coast Path, to discover how geology, coastal change, history, weather and wildlife combine to create this spectacular landscape

Meet at Durlston Castle

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

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

Peter Rush

50 Years, Man and Boy': The Artwork of Peter Rush

  • 27 March — 20 April 2015

An exhibition of the witty, beautiful and unique work of Peter Rush including book illustrations, oil paintings, TV captions, puppets and wire and paper sculptures. Ongoing live demonstration of sky and seascape painting.

Also workshops for children. www.peterrushart.co.uk

In the Fine Foundation Gallery

Daily 10.30-4.00pm

Suitable for

  • Any age
Widget

A Wildlife Wander with Widget

  • 9 April 2015 2-3:30pm

Join Park Dog Widget and Katie the Ranger to sniff out Durlston's wildlife and get a dog's eye view of the Park.

Booking essential.

Meet at the Castle.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00.

photograph of durlston

Durlston Country Park Clifftop Tour

  • 22 April 2015 10:30-11am

A half-hour tour of the clifftop.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Donations welcome

Website

http://www.durlston.co.uk/index.php?nid=141&id=4&evnt_id=1132

Wildflower walk

Early Spider Orchids and Other Spring Flowers

  • 26 April 2015 2:30-4pm

Join botanist Ted Pratt to enjoy some of Durlston's rare and beautiful spring flowers.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

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

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