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.
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.outdooractive.com/ https://www.alltrails.com/ (AllTrails) https://explore.osmaps.com/ (Ordnance Survey)
Swanage to Kingston Walk Map
Route Description and Photo Gallery
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.
View looking back over Swanage and Swanage Bay.
View looking forwards with Durlston Bay on the left and Durlston Head in the distance.
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.
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
View towards Anvil Point Lighthouse
Pyramidal Orchid just starting to flower
View west towards St Aldhelm’s Head in the distance.
Approaching Dancing Ledge
Approaching Seacombe Cliff and disused stone 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 from Swyre Head looking towards Kimmeridge Bay.
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
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