The Purbeck Way
The Purbeck Way is a spectacular walk within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Some of the highlights along the route include visiting the delightful town of Wareham surrounded by the Saxon Wareham Walls. Then the landscape and its wildlife completely changes across Stoborough Heath and Creech Heath to Corfe Castle - find out about the village's long and eventful history dating back well before the castle itself. Enjoy the magnificent views from the chalk ridge of Ballard Down across Poole Harbour on your way to Old Harry or Swanage.
Part of the journey includes walking by the River Frome, linking with the Frome Valley Trail. You might be lucky enough to see a kingfisher or beautiful demoiselle damselfly along the river bank.
View the start of the walk on street view
The Purbeck Way
|Start point:||Wareham Quay|
Postcode: BH20 4LP or grid ref: SY 923 872
Ballard Down - grid reference: SZ 049 815
Chapman's Pool - grid reference: SY 963 778
The route travels from Wareham to Corfe Castle, then eastwards to Ballard Down, south and west along the South West Coast path to Chapman's Pool and north to Corfe Castle. This is 27 ¾ miles in total (including 11 ½ miles of Coast Path). However the route can be split into shorter sections and can be walked in either direction:
This route is signposted.
The first ½ mile of the Purbeck Way has been improved for wheelchair access so that it is a level, well surfaced path with seating. At the start of the Purbeck Way there is access into Priory Meadow which is also wheelchair/mobility scooter friendly (gravel paths).
The rest of the route is on public rights of way with stiles and gates.
|Route leaflet:||Purchase the leaflet from the Discover Purbeck Information Centre or you can download a copy of the Purbeck Way leaflet (pdf, 704kb) (opens in a new window).|
|Relevant Ordnance Survey map:|
Explorer map No.OL15 (Purbeck and South Dorset). Purchase a copy from the Discover Purbeck Information Centre or Swanage Tourist Information Centre.
Walking boots recommended all year - wellington boots are better in winter and after heavy rain.
|Facilities and Refreshments:||There are pubs and cafes (opens in a new window) along the route at Wareham, Corfe Castle, Swanage and Worth Matravers. The nearest public toilets at the start of the route are found on Wareham Quay.|
|Other activities in the area:|
Car Free Days Out, Wareham Walls, The Wareham Two Rivers Walks, Northport Greenway and Sika Trail, Purbeck Cycle Rides, South West Coast Path, Wareham Forest (opens in a new window), Wareham Museum (opens in a new window)
Extending the route
You can also walk the extended route by combining The Purbeck Way with the Purbeck Way West Route to explore the whole of south Purbeck using the South West Coast Path or Wareham to link the two routes. If you want to take your time to really explore the area, the walks can easily be split into shorter sections and accommodation (opens in a new window) can be found along the way. Altogether the walks can take between 3 and 10 days depending on how fast you walk and how much time you want to spend in each village.
Who is the route managed by?
This walk, along with The Purbeck Way West Route, The Lawrence or Arabia Trail, Wareham Forest Way and Wareham Two Rivers Walks were created by the Purbeck Heritage Committee.
Name: Discover Purbeck Information Centre
Tel: 01929 552740
Full details for Discover Purbeck Information Centre