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24 September 2014

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You are in: Dorset > Coast > Point 5: The Downs

The Downs

The Downs

Point 5: The Downs

From Peveril Point walk up the grassy hill along the cliff edge towards Durlston. An alternative route is back along Peveril Point Road, turn left and up Seymer Road and Durlston Road towards Durlston Country Park.

In Swanage’s Victorian heyday, horse-drawn carriages would take visitors from the pier up to Durlston - for those who didn't fancy the walk up the hill. 

Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, took a stroll here in 1849 when the Royal Yacht called at Swanage.

The Downs

The Downs

He praised the scenery and fresh air – royal endorsement for Swanage's growing reputation as seaside resort!

The bracing walk up the Downs will give you a great view out over Durlston Bay. 

Some of the cliff has eroded - a common occurrence the length of the Dorset coast - and there is a diversion on the path to Durlston.

Dolphins
Dolphins off Durlston

Dolphins off Durlston Head

Durlston Bay is dolphin spotting territory – if you are lucky, you could spot a group of dolphins ranging from individuals up to a pod of 12 which frequent the waters around Durlston, attracted by the fish and other marine life which live in the rocky shelves around this part of the coast. 

The Durlston Marine Project was set up to monitor the numbers of dolphins in the area and help with conservation issues along a voluntary marine nature reserve that extends 25 kilometres along the Purbeck coastline from South Haven Point to St. Aldhelm's Head. 

They have a team of volunteer dolphin spotters - you can follow the latest sightings on the Marine Project’s website.

Walk up the Downs towards Durlston – if you don’t want to use the grassy bank, there is an alternative road route  - just follow the signs to Durlston Country Park.

last updated: 29/01/2008 at 15:09
created: 19/07/2005

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