Swanage Railway runs through the beautiful Purbeck countryside and the railway is an ideal starting point to help you explore the Picturesque Purbecks. With the 350 parking spaces at Norden Park & Ride, and frequent trains running to/from Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross, Herston and Swanage, you can leave your car and traffic jams behind, exploring further using our convenient and frequent train services.
All of our stations have footpaths and roads leading from them, making them excellent starting points for your exploration into the rolling and breathtaking countryside. There really is no better way to stay active, see first-hand the varied wildlife, discover new vistas and explore the best that the local area has to offer than to get on your walking shoes or saddle up (on bike or horse).
Please always remember the Countryside Code and the Countryside Rights of Way Act, and never trespass on the railway or private property. Always ensure you are properly equipped for the grade and length of walk/cycle, having consulted the weather forecast and with a copy of an up-to-date map (available from our Shop or local Tourist Information Office).
OS Explorer Map is OL15 – Purbeck and South Dorset
or the Landranger 195 – Bournemouth & Purbeck
A waterproof jacket and trousers, walking boots, warm clothes, spare warm layer, gloves, hat, and a rucksack are essential. For cyclists don’t forget your helmet, puncture repair kit, cycle pump and tools. Ensure that you have an adequate supply of water or hot drinks and sufficient food for the length of walk/cycle – don’t forget you can pick up food from our cafe at our stations!
There are lots of walking books available from our shop at Swanage where we stock a wide range. These have many suggestions and we have included a few others below to help inspire you during your visit to Purbeck, exploring by train and foot or cycle.
Did you know there is an annual Swanage Walking Festival each Autumn?
If you fancy a short walk, why not pick up the trains to Swanage, then take the short walk up to Durlston Country Park, with its outstanding views across to the Isle of Wight and out across Bournemouth Bay and the Solent. Walks
There are plenty of buses services and lots of parking at Norden Park & Ride and from there you can pick up a short walk across the heath. This circular walk will take you back to Norden where you can seek refreshment from our cafe, or pick up a train ride to see more of the Purbecks.
You can park at Norden, catch the regular trains down to Corfe Castle, where you can pick up this walk around the perimeter of Corfe village, giving 360 degree views of the iconic castle. Don’t forget to take your camera!
For those who fancy rambling a little further, why not park at Norden, catch the regular trains down to Harman’s Cross, then walk the scenic route along the Jurassic Coastline (a World Heritage Site) to Swanage, where you can pick up the trains back to Norden? More details, directions and maps here.
You can park at Norden, catch the regular trains travelling the whole length of the line down to Swanage, then walk from Swanage across Ballard Down to Worth Matravers, then walk down the hill to pick up the train from Harman’s Cross or Corfe back to Norden? More details, directions and maps here.
Parking at Norden, you can catch the regular trains one stop to Corfe Castle, then walk out to the north with excellent views across the heath with areas of outstanding natural beauty, across Poole Harbour, and continue walking to Studland. From here you can pick up the open-top bus service down the hill to Swanage, the bus station at Swanage is directly outside our train station where you can pick up the trains back to Norden? More details, directions and maps here.
You can also follow a GPS path, by foot or cycle, more details here:
Swanage Railway offers the ideal starting point for a cycle ride. All of our train services have cycle accommodation, which is very popular in the summer holidays. Let the train take the strain to take you from Norden Park and Ride into Picturesque Purbeck, or alternatively cycle out from Norden and then pick up the train at one of our stations to take you back to your car.
All of our stations have level access, so are ideal for cycle access. Please refrain from cycling along the platform for your and other passenger’s safety.
A few other suggested rides include:
Park at Norden Park & Ride, take the Rempstone Ride along to Studland. From Studland it is downhill to Swanage, where you can pick up food at the station cafe and catch the steam train to take you back to Norden. Some of our trains even have an on-board buffet.