Swanage and Purbeck coast line

Groups can enjoy all things walking-related at this year’s Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival, which will return to Dorset from 17th to 25th September.

There will be two or three organised walking trails to choose from on each day of the festival. These will range in length between one and 12 miles, and the level of difficulty will vary from walk to walk.

All walks will be led by an experienced tour leader, and places of interest that feature on the walking festival programme include Swanage, Old Harry Rocks, Kimmeridge Bay and Wareham.

Selected walks

Ancient Purbeck: A five-mile walk from Ulwell to Ailwood Down and King’s Wood looking at prehistoric features in the landscape such as round barrows and a stone circle. On this walk, groups will learn about the Mesolithic site at Ulwell, a barrow by the obelisk and a seventh century inhumation cemetery.

Discover Old Swanage: A one-mile circular route around Old Swanage, a good option for the less experienced walker. The route heads up Swanage High Street to Church Hill and Mill Pond and back to the town centre and the sea front via King’s Road.

The Geology of Kimmeridge Bay: A six-mile walk along a limestone ridge, heading down to the coast at Rope Lake Head. The group will head to Kimmeridge and have a look at the geology of the area.

Historic Wareham: A six-mile circular walk from Wareham’s Discover Purbeck Information Centre. Points of interest along the way will include the River Frome, Swineham Point, the railway bridge at West Mill, and Wareham Common.

Old Harry Rocks: A 5.25 mile linear route from Studland Beach over Ballard Down to Swanage giving views over Poole Harbour. Groups are advised that an outward or return journey will need to be planned accordingly.

Lawrence of Arabia Trail: A two and half mile circular walk on firm sandy paths through the Moreton pine plantation, crossing the River Frome at Longbridge to Moreton. Groups will have the option to visit the St Nicholas Church to see the grave of British archaeologist, T E Lawrence.

Kimmeridge Bay and Swyre Head Spectacular: This is the most strenuous of all walks available during the Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival. It’s a clockwise circular route taking in Swyre Head, the highest point on the Isle of Purbeck, as well as Clavell’s Tower and Kimmeridge Bay. At just under 12 miles long, this route is expected to take around five and a half hours to complete.

GTOs who would like to book their group onto one or more of the walking trails can do so by calling the Swanage Tourist Information Centre on 01929-422885.

For further information visit www.walkswanage.com.