Durlston Country Park

castle-front-view-265Contact details

Durlston Country Park, National Nature Reserve and Castle, Lighthouse Road, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2JL

01929 424443
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How this location helps make the Jurassic Coast a World Heritage Site:

Imposing sea cliffs of Jurassic limestone sweep round into two bays where rocks record the entire Cretaceous period.

How this Centre showcases the geology and associated local stories:

The new Timeline serpentine path that winds its way gently down from the car park to the Castle takes you on a journey through time from 4.6bn years ago to the present day, via stone monoliths and inscriptions carved and designed by artist Gary Breeze.

The Fine Foundation Gallery is a key hub of the new building, offering a varied programme of art exhibitions, live music and performance. There is a four screen film showing a year at Durlston and all its aspects along with The Rock an 8 minute audio and visual show helping visitors to read a large slab of Purbeck marble and stories it can tell us.

There are also stunning roof top and clifftop path views of the Jurassic Coast with interactive displays within the Castle

Durlston Country Park is a key gateway site to learn about the Jurassic Coast. Come and visit the newly refurbished Durlston Castle visitor centre.

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 and the newly renovated Durlston Castle, there is always something different to see and do. Use the following link to view the latest events at Durlston Country Park.


Durlston Castle is an extraordinary Victorian building, which with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and many others has been transformed over the last 8 years to now  provide a unique and beautiful facility for visitors to Durlston and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

The Castle is now the hub of the activities at Durlston, this restored building, competed in November 2011 is a must for all, not just for the amazing restoration that has taken place, but it is also the Visitor Centre, offering a wide range of exciting interactive displays and exhibitions.  Also within the building is the seventhwave cafe and restaurant, a shop, Gallery with different exhibitions every month, plus spectacular views from the Belvedere and roof terraces.


  • Museum

  • Visitor Centre

  • Bridport Museum

    Bridport Museum The small Jurassic Coast gallery in Bridport Museum boasts some wonderful specimens of local fossils including ammonites, starfish and even a plesiosaur.

  • Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre

    Charmouth Heritage Coast CentreThe active landslides of Black Ven and Stonebarrow readily release fossils onto the beach. Visit the Centre and see the superb display of local finds then join a fossil hunting walk to discover your own.

  • Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

    Dorset County MuseumWelcome to the Dorset County Museum, where the story of Dorset's rich landscape unfolds in a range of fascinating displays. The Museum was founded in 1846 to help protect and record the county's unique historical and natural environment.

  • Dorset Wildlife Trust Fine Foundation Marine Centre


    There is a wealth of information on the rich marine life at Kimmeridge Bay and the surrounding Purbeck Voluntary Marine Nature Reserve. The centre also offers 'Snorkelling for softies' and a live underwater camera.

  • Durlston Country Park


    The combination of unrivalled geology and wildlife make Durlston Country Park a very special place.

  • Fairlynch Museum, Budleigh Salterton

    Fairlynch MuseumThe ancient red cliffs at Budleigh evidence the desert conditions of the Triassic. Come to the museum and see first-hand the fossils unique to this area and discover the story of the Budleigh Pebbles.

  • Honiton Museum

    Honiton MuseumHoniton Museum's geology display focuses on the Honiton Hippo which was discovered when the bypass was constructed in the early 1960's.

  • Lulworth Cove Heritage Centre

    Lulworth Cove Heritage Centre

    Dramatically contorted layers of hard and soft rock eroded by the sea to create spectacular features, contrast with a sheltered cove. Have a look at the displays in the Centre which tell the story of Lulworth as the first rocks formed, to the landscape and village you see today.

  • Lyme Regis Museum

    Lyme Regis Philpot MuseumA range of Lyme Regis' famous fossils can be seen in the geological galleries. You can also take a journey through the local history of Lyme and discover the fascinating life of fossil hunter, Mary Anning, whose fossil collecting began the study of geology.

  • Portland Museum

    Portland MuseumA small museum which covers the Island's history of smuggling and shipwrecks, quarrying and also houses a comprehensive fossil collection.

  • Seaton Jurassic

    thumb Seaton-Jurassic-Coast-Aerial-ViewSeaton Jurassic is the new exciting visitor attraction for East Devon that will tell the uniquely powerful story of the geology and marine ecology of the Jurassic Coast, England's first Natural World Heritage Site. Opening spring 2016.


  • Sidmouth Museum

    Sidmouth MuseumThe museum houses a variety of fossils, rocks, mosaics and other artifacts unearthed in the local environment. Walks along the Jurassic Coast can also be booked from here.

  • Studland Visitor Centre, Knoll Beach

    Studland Visitor CentreThe National Trust visitor centre has an exhibition about the fascinating ecology of the sand dunes and the geology of the surrounding site.

  • Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre

    Swanage Museum and Heritage CentreLearn about the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site with interactive displays and films. The centre is situated at The Square off the town's lower High Street.

  • The Fine Foundation Centre, Beer

    The Fine Foundation Centre, Beer The Fine Foundation Centre run by Beer Village Heritage is situated on the left at the bottom of Sea Hill, Beer and tells the stories of the village of Beer and its place along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

  • The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre

    ChesilVC-192 - credit David Crudgington

    Encounter the colossal Chesil Beach which protects the fragile habitats of the Fleet Lagoon behind. Learn more about the formation of this great barrier beach and the rich wildlife and history associated with it.

  • Wareham Town Museum

    Wareham MuseumWareham Museum's geology display makes the connection between the Wytch Farm oil field and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site which is the same rock sequence but tilted on its side and exposed by the sea.