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.
Richard Tratt

Wildlife Landscapes Exhibition

  • 18 July — 8 August 2017 *on now

Paintings of Durlston and Dorset by internationally renowned wildlife artist Richard Tratt. Meet the artist who will be creating paintings of Durlston during this exhibition.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery.

Free of Charge

Fine Foundation Gallery

All things Wildlife Exhibition

  • 1 — 16 August 2017

The children of the Nature Nursery, with artist Jane Colquhuon, are presenting an exhibition inspired by all things wildlife.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery, Daily 10.00am-5pm

Free

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

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

Fine Foundation Gallery

'Soup' An exhibition by Mandy Barker

  • 11 — 28 August 2017

Exhibition of beautiful and thought provoking images by Mandy Barker demonstrating the catastophic effects of 'Soup' (a description given to suspended oceanic debris)

In the Fine Foundation Gallery 10.30am - 5pm

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Fine Foundation Gallery

Discover Madagascar with the Bournemouth Natural Science Society

  • 11 — 27 September 2017

Discover the wildlife of one of the most amazing places on earth with artefacts and photographs from recent joint expeditions by the Bournemouth Natural Science Society and Bournemouth University.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery, daily 10.00-5.00pm

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.
photograph of moth

Meet a Moth

  • 29 July 2017 From 10:30am
  • 5 August 2017 From 10:30am
  • 12 August 2017 From 10:30am
  • 19 August 2017 From 10:30am
  • 26 August 2017 From 10:30am
  • 9 September 2017 From 10:30am
  • 30 September 2017 From 10:30am

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

Madelaine Devenay

Drawing and Pen Workshop

  • 16 September 2017 11am-2pm

Draw in pencil, pen and ink. Learn drawing skills and go home with 2 pieces of work!
Suitable for beginners or improvers.

Booking essential.

Contact Madelaine Rdevenay@aol.com

In the Learning Centre

Admission

£20

Anvil Point

Dementia Friendly Stroll

  • 2 September 2017 From 2:30pm

A half-hour stroll along easy terrain-all welcome but especially suited for people with dementia and their carers.

Donations welcome.

Meet at the Learning Centre

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

Donations welcome

Website

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

Durlston Castle

Castle Tour

  • 3 August 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 7 September 2017 From 2:30pm

Half hour tour of Durlston Castle.

Meet at the Castle

Donations Welcome

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Donations Welcome

Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking

  • 5 August 2017 10-11am
  • 1 September 2017 10-11am

Join a local Nordic Walking UK instructor to see how this fun activity can help you get fitter in the fresh air. No experience necessary, poles provided.

Booking Essential.

Free

Meet at the Learning Centre

Durlston Castle

Victorian Durlston Walk

  • 24 September 2017 From 2:30pm

Victorian Durlston Walk
Walk to discover Durlston's curious Victorian history.

£3

Meet at Durlston Castle

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Website

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

Anvil Point

Durlston's Dino Trail

  • 21 July — 3 September 2017 *on now

Step back in time for Durlston's pre-historic trail around the park and win a prize!

£3

Admission

£3

Julian Sawyer

‘Purbeck Footprints' Wildlife Photography Walk

  • 27 August 2017 From 10:30am
  • 17 September 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

Wild Wednesdays at Durlston

  • 26 July 2017 11am-3pm *on now
  • 2 August 2017 11am-3pm
  • 9 August 2017 11am-3pm
  • 16 August 2017 11am-3pm
  • 23 August 2017 11am-3pm
  • 30 August 2017 11am-3pm

Free drop-in craft activities for families.

Donations welcome.

In the Belvedere

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Donations welcome

photograph of dolphins

Dolphins and the Deep Blue Sea

  • 27 July 2017 2:30-4pm

Discover the lives of Durlston dolphins with games and activities

At the Learning Centre: 2.30pm

Booking essential

£3

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Website

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

Female Glow Worm

Glow-worm Walk

  • 28 July 2017 From 9pm

Join a Ranger for a short talk and night walk to discover these amazing creatures.

Meet at the Learning Centre

Booking Essential

£5

Admission

£5

Website

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

Durlston Castle

Durlston Past and Present

  • 30 July 2017 From 2:30pm

Discover the fascinating past and the future of Durlston's historic landscape.
£3

Learning Centre.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Durlston Castle

Bottle Rockets

  • 31 July 2017 From 2:30pm

Bring along a pop bottle and have a go at building and launching a rocket.

Booking Essential.

£3

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£3

Durlston Castle

Den Building

  • 3 August 2017 From 10:30am

Test your survival skills and design and make the perfect wilderness shelter.

Booking Essential.
At the Learning Centre
£3

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Durlston Country Park

Wild Summer Stroll

  • 6 August 2017 From 2:30pm

Enjoy Durlston's Summer wildlife

Meet at the Castle

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 per person.

Website

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

Durlston Country Park

Brilliant Bird Feeders

  • 10 August 2017 From 2:30pm

Make a brilliant bird feeder to get our flying friends into ourgardens.

£5. Booking Essential.

At the Learning Centre

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£5

Stargazing

Stargazing at Durlston

  • 12 August 2017 From 9pm
  • 25 August 2017 From 8:30pm
  • 29 September 2017 From 8pm

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

12 August: Perseid, meteors, Jupiter, Saturn, Milky Way and Summer Constellations.
25 August: Mars, Saturn, star clusters, Milky Way, Summer Constellations.
29 September: Moon, Saturn, galaxies, 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

Durlston Castle

Wildlife Forensics

  • 15 August 2017 From 2:30pm

What did what, who lived where, who's been here and who's eaten what?
Animal tracks, trtails and signs.

Booking Essential: £3

Admission

£3

Durlston Castle

Beautiful Butterfly Gardens

  • 17 August 2017 From 2:30pm

Learn about Durlston's beautiful butterflies and learn how to make your own butterfly garden.

At the Learning Centre £5

Admission

£5

Durlston Castle

Mini Beast Safari

  • 24 August 2017 From 2:30pm

Go on safari in the meadows and hunt for one of Britain's biggest insects.

Booking Essential.

In the learning Centre\: £3

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

£3

Website

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

Durlston Castle

Willow Weaving

  • 26 August 2017 11am-3pm

Drop in to try beginner level willow crafting. Several makes available starting from 50p.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Coastal Path

Orienteering for Beginners

  • 29 August 2017 From 2:30pm

Learn to orienteer with a qualified British Orienteering Council Instructor.

Booking essential

£3,£4,£10

In the Learning Centre

Admission

£3, £4, £10

Durlston Castle

Let's Go Fly a Kite

  • 31 August 2017 From 2:30pm

Family event.
Make your own kite then try it out.

Booking Essential. £5

At the Learning Centre

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£5

Maiden Oak

Barn Dance with Maiden Oak

  • 1 September 2017 From 7:30pm

Folk legend, Rollo Woods, with caller, saxophone, fiddle, squeezebox, guitar, piano and drums. Tunes to suit dancers of all ages and abilities.

Parking included in advance sales.

Booking essential, £8

In the Fine Foundation Gallery

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£8

Fiona Sitruk

Chamber Music

  • 2 September 2017 From 5pm

A performance by world renowned harpist, Florence Sitruk joined by string soloists.

Booking essential through purbeck-chambermusic.org.uk

£15

In the Fine Foundation Gallery

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Booking Recommended £6

Website

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

Durlston Castle

Chamber Music, Kids' Concert

  • 2 September 2017 From 11:30am

Experience and participate in live classical music with Purbeck International chamber Music Festival. Bring along instruments if you like.

Children Free; £5 for adults

Booking Essential through purbeck-chambermusic.org.uk

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Adult £5
Children Free

Website

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

Bird

Bird Walks

  • 3 September 2017 From 10am
  • 24 September 2017 From 10am

Enjoy a guided walk to see what's about.



Meet at the Castle.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

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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