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Swanage and Durlston Country Park, United Kingdom

cover photo by Timk2  

Location added by Timk2

Rank : 8.5 (average on 2 votes)

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Coordinates : 50.607256, -1.952369 (Open in Google Maps)

Subjects : The pretty - and very popular (especially in summer) traditional seaside town is located on the very eastern point of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast.It is often used as a base for visitors to explore this incredibly beautiful Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of the Isle of Purbeck, (actually a peninsular) the coastline of which features some of the most beautiful and dramatic coastline in Western Europe.It has a lovely, graceful and fully restored old pier opened in 1895, at the height of Victorian fashion to build and to walk along and socialise on seaside piers.The fully restored, operational throughout the year Swanage Steam Railway starts and ends in Swanage. This runs up through and past the famous and iconic Corfe Castle (also a Juza location).The challenging but extremely rewarding South West Coast Path (which extends right through to Devon and Cornwall starts in Swanage and includes the Jurassic heritage coast for the first part. Not far along this walk is Durlston Country Park (which can also be accessed by car - different route!) which includes a Castle (actually a folly from early 20th century) and a huge stone globe set into the cliffside, looking out to sea.This area had (still has, to a lesser degree and now only inland) stone quarrying industry and this was exported widely and made quarry owners wealthy. Durlston was financed by such and is now a collected Country Park to include cafe, shop and well maintained stretch of the coastal path, to Anvil Point and its wonderful white Lighthouse (which I will also include in tagging in this Juza location.

Recommended equipment : Gear for landscapes, from professional time exposures to anything else. If you are walking the coastal path, weight will be an issue, so a wide ranging zoom might be useful. There are great views out to sea, also, so a long lens can also be useful, but for me, mostly wide lenses to include the cliffs and Jurassic scenery.

Best months : Summer is when every holiday makers heads for Swanage - the one main road leading to it gets clogged, often completely by traffic and especially by caravans. But Swanage is a traditional seaside resort and so hot and sunny weather obviously has its appeal.I prefer spring and autumn and on a clear sunny day, within hours there will be many day visitors, walkers, passengers for the steam train.In Winter, the exposed rocky headland is just like any other on UK coasts, in bad weather, you would be uncomfortable, if not foolish to go out in such then and whilst there is an excellent lifeboat station based at Swanage itself, you wouldn't really want to run the risk and embarrassment of having to call them out, now, would you? The town centre, with its hotels and restaurants though would make for a great weekend retreat in the depth of winter though.

How to get there : Swanage is mostly accessed by the A351 from Wareham, which is between Weymouth (to the west) and the Poole and Bournemouth conurbations (to the east). Bournemouth has a local airport.Nearest train (main network, not steam railway) is at Wareham.

Visits : The Coastal Walks are all free.Durlston Country Park is also free but costs to park. Swanage Pier does charge a very nominal £1 to enter - this does help the visitor and photographer as it keeps away the mass general public who would just loiter. The views at the end out towards Old Harry Rocks (also a Juza location) is a bonus. This fee helps the upkeep of this lovely wrought iron old Pier and includes admission to a small museum and cafe.Swanage Steam Railway though is expensive to travel on. At least £20 per person, just to go a few kms. But if you can afford to, do so. However, the station is restored to its heyday original features and is accessible to look around and of course, you can get photos of the steam trains anywhere along its route.

Notes :


Sunrise: 05:04, Sunset: 21:21

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Old Harry Rocks
4 km
Corfe Castle
8 km
Poole Harbour
11 km
Durdle Door and Man O War Bay
23 km
Hurst Castle and Lighthouse
30 km
New Forest National Park
37 km

Photos taken at Swanage and Durlston Country Park

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Nescafe+ Polished Shoes in the Freezing Winter sunshine
by Timk2
36 comments, 657 views  [retina]
Afternoon Fishing off Peverill Point
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No Time For Winter's Ice Cream!
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All Aboard! (the Steam Train)
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I Want the Summer!
by Timk2
20 comments, 1483 views  [retina]
The Great Globe at Durlston Point
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Anvil Point Lighthouse, Stone Wall and Sea
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