Kimmeridge - Swyre Head - Clavell Tower

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This walk was originated by Colin Campbell. Walkingworld would like to say a big thank you to Colin for all his superb contributions to the website over the years.

One of the pleasures of this walk is the way the vistas on either side slowly open up. Inland, you see right across the Purbecks to Corfe Castle and on the other side, you look out over the Jurassic Coast at Kimmeridge and beyond. In fact, from Swyre Head itself (entered through 'heaven's gate'), you look down on most of the rest of your walk and your next step is to get down to the South West Coast Path to do something about it.

You take a permissive path (which needs a bit of care to start with, particularly in wet weather) and then you can enjoy a long clifftop amble amongst the plants and insects which abound there and which, in some cases, are unique. Below, are the black cliffs and strange ledges telling of the oil-bearing shale which has never been successfully exploited. 

You finish the clifftop part at the point where Clavell Tower once stood, originally a folly, but which is now so cherished it has been moved to save it from falling into the sea. Then you descend to the bay and can, if you want to, visit the Marine Centre.

To continue, you take a path to Kimmeridge Village, make an optional stop at Clavell's Cafe and Restaurant (open 10am to 5.00pm but closed most Mondays) or "The Etches Collection" fossil museum (entrance fee) and walk up through the churchyard to your starting point at the 'quarry' car park.

England - South West England - Dorset - Purbecks


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, Museum, National Trust, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife
8/24/2017 - Kai Chandler

A superb walk with stunning views from Swyre Head as well as great potential picnic stops before the steep descent to the coastal path, however as noted, walkers would need to take very great care on descents in damp and hence slippery conditions. Walk checked 24 Aug 17 and all paths were open as documented. Some minor updates submitted.

7/12/2013 - Jon Prater

We carried out this walk on 9/7/13 and this would indeed have been a spectacular walk with brilliant views however after descending from waypoint 3 and going through 4 and 5 we found the gate to the coastal path was locked and a sign stating the coastal path between Swanage and Kimmerage was closed due to land slip. There was no indication of when this path may reopen. Rather than trek back up to waypoint 3 (a very steep climb) we went through Swalland Farm and the driveway of Smedmore House to waypoint 11, although we were not sure about 'rights of way' along this road as it is marked as a private drive.

6/3/2009 - Tymn Lintell

Swyre is with an r ! Landmark Trust moved the Clavell Tower in ,08.

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