Swanage to Kingston Walk (via Swyre Head)

The Swanage to Kingston Walk is a breathtaking 14.5 mile walk along the Jurassic Coast. Highlights include the picturesque seaside resort of Swanage, Durlston Country Park, Dancing Ledge, Seacombe and Winspit Quarries, St Aldhelms Head and its Norman Chapel, Chapman’s Pool, Houns Tout, Swyre Head and the charming village of Kingston.

A Morebus Purbeck Breezer 40 bus service operates between Kingston and Swanage allowing you to return to Swanage after the walk.

Distance: 14.5  miles one-way
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated time: 8 hours 25 minutes
Total ascent 3704ft, Highest point 669ft
Starting point: Swanage Seafront (Google map)
OS Map: Explorer OL15 Purbeck & South Dorset
Date of Walk: 8th June 2023

Route Map & GPS Navigation

https://www.alltrails.com/ (AllTrails)
https://explore.osmaps.com/ (Ordnance Survey)

Swanage to Kingston Walk Map
Swanage to Kingston Walk Map

Route Description and Photo Gallery

Swanage Beach
Starting the walk at Swanage Beach early in the morning.

The walk starts at Swanage Beach and basically just follows the coast path passing Swanage Pier on your left. The path rounds the headland of Pevril Point and follows Durlston Bay towards Durlston Head.

Swanage and Swanage Bay
View looking back over Swanage and Swanage Bay.
Durlston Bay towards Durlston Head
View looking forwards with Durlston Bay on the left and Durlston Head in the distance.
Durlston Head Castle
Durlston Head Castle (in Durlston Country Park). There is a cafe/restaurant and toilet facilities as well as an informative visitor information centre.

Durlston Country Park https://www.durlston.co.uk Free entrance although visitors have to pay for parking.

The cafe/restaurant is open at 9.30 am (check website for closing times) and the visitor centre is open at 10am.

Durlston Bay and Old Harry Rocks
View from Durlston Castle back along the route with Durlston Bay in the foreground, Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks in the middle ground and Poole Bay and Bournemouth in the far distance.
Durlston Head Castle and The Great Globe
Durlston Head Castle and The Great Globe
Anvil Point Lighthouse
View towards Anvil Point Lighthouse
Pyramidal Orchid
Pyramidal Orchid just starting to flower
Bee Orchid
Bee Orchid
View west towards St Aldhelm’s Head in the distance.
Approaching Dancing Ledge
Approaching Seacombe Cliff and disused stone quarry.
Winspit Quarry
Looking down on Winspit Quarry
Radar Research Memorial
Coastguard Lookout Station (left), St Aldhelm’s Chapel (middle) and the rooftop and chimneys of the coastguard cottages.
St Aldhelm’s Chapel
Inside St Aldhelm’s Chapel
Coastguard Cottages at St Aldhelm’s Head
Between St Aldhelm’s Head and Chapman’s Pool is a steep sided valley with steps up and down.
Chapman’s Pool is a beautiful cove backed by clay stone cliffs. The hill directly behind the cove is known as Houns-Tout. The route of the walk doesn’t depend to the beach.
The Coast Path descends to small group of cottages at Hill Bottom
Between the cottages on your left is a small lane. You’ll see the route is signposted.
You can see the steep path leading up the hill to Houns-tout in front of you. Follow the path round to the right.
From the path you’ll see fence with a stile on your left. Go over the stile and turn left following the direction of the signpost.
It’s a steep walk up to Houns-tout. The path was being repaired when I was there.
Great views looking back to Chapman’s Pool. In the distance you can also see the coastguard cottages at St Aldhelm’s Head.
Walking down Houns-tout and following the Coast Path towards Kimmeridge. The hill on the right is Swyre Head.
Take the turning on the right that leads up to Swyre Head
Go through the gate. You can just about make out the path leading up the side of the hill to Swyre Head.
Follow the signs making the “permissible path”
View looking back. You can see Clavel Tower in the far distance.
View of Kimmeridge from Swyre Head
View from Swyre Head looking towards Kimmeridge Bay.
View of St Aldhelm's Head
View east towards St Aldhelm’s Head
The path joins the road at Swyre Head car park
The road from Swyre Head Car Park to Kingston village
St James' Church in Kingston
St James’ Church in Kingston
The Scott Arms in Kingston
The Scott Arms in Kingston
Refreshments whilst waiting for the bus back to Swanage
The bus stop for the bus to Swanage
Back at Swanage