This six-mile National Trust walk, starting at Langton Matravers, takes in sea views, former quarries and grassland rich in wildlife.

Grab some refreshment at Worth Matravers Tea and Supper Room or the Square and Compass pub.

Terrain Uneven and steep terrain with stiles and gates. Take care near cliff edges. Sturdy shoes or boots are advised. Dogs welcome but please keep under close control when livestock grazing in grassland areas.

Things to see

Sea quarries like Dancing Ledge, Seacombe and Winspit once played a major role in the Purbeck stone industry. Stone quarried from the cliffs was loaded directly on to ships for transport all over Britain. Purbeck stone is used in Corfe Castle, as well as many famous buildings such as Westminster Abbey.

Sea views

The sea is ever changing the cliffs of south Purbeck, and they provide an ideal vantage point from which to gaze out. To the west is the Isle of Portland. To the south fishing boats and yachts follow the rugged coastline, and further out larger vessels may be glimpsed.

Limestone landscape The prized stone beneath your feet defines the landscape of south Purbeck in every way. Dry stone walls crisscross limestone grasslands dotted with historic quarries.

Langton Matravers, Dorset BH19 3HG

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)
  • Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • OS Map: Explorer OL 15
  • Contact: 01929 450002
  • Facilities: Parking at Spyway car park.
  • Food and drink at Worth Matravers.
  • Toilets at Worth Matravers.
  • Start/end: Spyway car park, grid ref 998783

How to get there

  • By foot: South West Coast Path joins walk at Dancing Ledge
  • By bus: Wilts and Dorset 40, Poole to Wareham and Swanage. Alight at Langton Matravers and follow signs to Langton House.
  • By train: Swanage, 2 miles (3.2km)
  • By car: A351 to Langton Matravers then B3069. Follow signs to Langton House and continue along this single track road to the right and Spyway car park

The route

1. From the car park, follow the path south away from the village. Pass Spyway Barn where you will find informative displays on the area. Pass through a gateway, and a kissing gate next to a stone plaque showing a cow. Turn right, keeping the wall to your right.

Pass through a gateway, then at a kissing gate turn left down the track.

2. At the end of the track, follow the grassy path down to the bottom of the hill. Turn right to follow the South West Coast Path.

Admire the views of Dancing Ledge to the east and Portland to the west. Keeping the sea on your left, follow the coast path, passing through three gates. Follow the path that heads inland to go round Seacombe Ledge.

3. Turn left through a gate and up the steps, signposted ‘Winspit’. At the top of the hill pass through a gate, turn left and follow the coast path, passing through two gates. Go through the next kissing gate, and go down some steep steps.

4. At the T-junction, turn right and walk inland following signs for Worth Matravers. At the water treatment plant, turn right up the path. Pass through a gate, and follow the path uphill to the village.

Pass through another gate and head into the village.

5. Turn right past the duck pond then take the right-hand fork in the road with the Square and Compass pub on your left and follow the road out of the village. Take the second footpath on your right, opposite a barn and signposted to Swanage.

6. Follow the footpath across the field, pass through two gates across a track, and continue across the next field. Pass through another gate and cross the next field, looking out for a finger sign on the far wall.

Pass through another gate and follow the Priest’s Way, signposted for Langton Matravers.

Follow the track straight ahead, passing several paths and tracks, and going through a gate.

After passing through another gate, you will reach the crossroads at Spyway. Turn left to return to the car park.