Kingston - Swyre Head - South West Coast Path - Houns-Tout Cliff

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Swyre Head is the highest point in Purbeck at 208m above sea level and its geology allows for a truly spectacular panoramic view from its summit. This route starts off in the small village of Kingston, which is already 120m above sea level, so the first section requires minimal effort to complete, which involves following a quiet country lane and then a public footpath across an open field, then along a spectacular terrace path to the summit.

A large ancient burial mound adorns the top, with an Ordnance Survey triangulation column 5m below. From the top of this hill you can expect views like the one in the general photo (on a clear day!) and stretches far down the coast to Portland. The route down from the summit takes you along a permissive path to join the South West Coast Path and then heads east towards Houns-tout Cliff. The cliff is spectacular and from the top, offers breathtaking views along the coast and also down to Chapman's Pool, a cove infrequently visited by tourists.

England - South West England - Dorset - Purbecks


Ancient Monument, Birds, Church, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Sea, Wildlife, Woodland
5/7/2024 - Michael Corfield

We did this walk in April 2024 and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, the route has been seriously compromised by coastal erosion/landslips. From joining the coastal path to the top of Houns-Tout Cliff, there were several small deviations inland and some points where you felt that such a deviation was already overdue! At the top of Houns-Tout Cliff, the path is completely closed. The mandatory diversion shortens the route to about 6 miles and takes you directly back to the car park in Kingston, albeit still lovely walking. The entrance to the wood before the car park was absolutely filled with wild garlic and was a delight. I recommend checking for coast path updates before starting any walk that involves the Dorset Coastal Path

9/24/2017 - Walkingworld Admin

The walk distance has now been corrected. Thank-you to Geoffrey for the leaving the previous comment.

9/16/2017 - Geoffrey Hands

The walk distance, from the indicated car park, measured by two of us using different models of GPS devices , was 8.5m. It would be nearer the suggested 6.2 if using the next car park along - Sheep Pens - at SY 943 792. The height gain is about right, but it is a very tough 650 feet (approx) climb to Swyre Head - high steps, and slithery mud between them. Almost a hands and knees job at times. \Much tougher than it looked . But fantastic views , and useful loos halfway round. To be recommended.

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