Corfe Castle to Kimmeridge, Swyre Head and Kingston Circular Walk
This is a medium 9.3 mile circular walk taking in some of the most picturesque locations on the Isle of Purbeck including Corfe Castle, Kimmeridge, Swyre Head and Kingston village. On a clear day you’ll get spectacular views as far as Bournemouth Bay, Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, Swanage Bay, Weymouth Bay and the Isle of Portland.
Being a circular route you can do the walk in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction and start at any point along the route. For this walk I started in Corfe Castle and walked in an anti-clockwise direction towards Kimmeridge. This allowed me to arrive at the Scott Arms Pub in Kingston in time for lunch.
Distance: 9.3 miles (circular) Difficulty: Moderate Estimated time: 4 hours 15 minutes Total ascent 1161ft, Highest point 669ft Starting point: National Trust Car Park Corfe Castle BH20 5DR* (see notes on parking below) OS Map: Explorer OL15 Purbeck & South Dorset Date of walk: 26th May 2023
The cheapest and most convenient car parking spot for this walk is the lay-by on the right hand-side just as you turn off the A351 and onto the Corfe Castle to Church Knowle Road (Google map of lay-by car park). It’s free to park with no time restrictions however it fills up very quickly at weekends and during the holidays season (try to get there before 9am and you might be lucky). Alternatively you can park just over the road in the National Trust Car Park BH20 5DR (Google map) where you can also find the National Trust Corfe Castle Visitor Centre which has toilets and a cafe. National Trust Members can park there all day for free but non-members have to pay £5 and are restricted to a maximum of 4 hours – so not really suitable for this walk unless you are a very quick walker. We actually took nearly 6 hours to complete the walk because we took a detour to Kimmeridge Village and also stopped for a pub lunch at the Scott Arms in Kingston. I would therefore suggest parking at the Purbeck Park BH20 5DW which is about half a mile outside Corfe Castle (Google map) £4 up to 10 hours https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/
If you don’t mind starting at an alternative point along the route of the walk you could consider using the Kimmeridge Quarry car park (Google map) or the Kingston car park (Google map) or Kingston Swyre Head Car Park (Google map) all of which are en-route and free but more remote so don’t leave valuables in your car.
Walk Route Description and Photo Gallery
At this junction in the road you can decide whether to take a slight detour to Kimmeridge Village (0.4 miles each way) or even as far as Kimmeridge Bay (1.4 miles each way). In Kimmeridge Village there is a good cafe/restaurant Clavells Restaurant (Google map) https://clavellsrestaurant.co.uk where you can get breakfasts, lunch, coffee, ice creams etc. You can also find The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life (Google map) https://www.theetchescollection.org. Kimmeridge Village is also full of picturesque stone cottages with pretty gardens.