The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is at Durlston Country Park, Swanage. The course is run on a mixture of permanent paths and trail paths. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain. Dependent on availability, marshals will be at key sections of the course, or signs will be in place.

Please remember that the parkrun uses shared paths. For the continued success of the event, please give way to other park users. This won't hurt your time, it won't stop you from getting a PB and it will make sure everyone continues to enjoy the event.

Please, wherever possible walk, jog, cycle or use public transport when attending the event. If you do have to drive, please consider car-sharing to reduce our impact on both the environment and other park users. Please also watch out for other park users when arriving and leaving. Parking may be limited so try to arrive early.

Course Safety

Durlston Country Park parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the event as safe as possible, so participants, spectators and helpers are asked to take care about the following:

  • Please be considerate to the park and other park users at all times.
  • Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied (within arm's reach) throughout the run by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice.
  • Please arrive by foot, by pedal-power or by public transport if you can - your efforts help to reduce our impact on the park and the planet.
  • Please consider volunteering to help occasionally - this event survives only because of your generosity - please visit the volunteer page for more information.
  • Take care near roads and car parks - some vehicles drive very quickly. Please congregate away from the cars and be careful in particular if you have children. If you’re driving to the run, please drive carefully even if you’re late!
  • When running, take care on uneven surfaces – whether on grass or on tarmac. Watch out for cyclists, other runners, pedestrians, children, dogs, wildlife, park animals, vehicles, park maintenance work, falling branches, bollards, posts and other obstacles around the course.
  • Please ensure that you are fit enough to walk, jog, run 5k (3.1 miles) with us.
  • If you see a runner with a serious problem, please stop to help them out and get help as soon as possible.
  • If you’re watching, keep clear of runners on the course, and look after any children and dogs you may have with you.
  • It is not permitted to run with a pushchair and a dog at the same time.
  • Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Consider protecting yourself by wearing repellent when at parkrun events in grassy or wooded areas. See for further details.
  • You are welcome to take part with one dog by your side, within reach at all times, on a short, handheld, non-extendable lead. Please also see this Support Site entry for further details about parkrunning with dogs.
  • Runners pushing buggies are welcome, but please take care of others around you and do your best to start at an appropriate place in the field for your pace.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Durlston Country Park parkrun is fun and safe for everyone.

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help parkrunners compare results.

Age Grading takes your time and uses the world record time for your sex and age group to produce a score (a percentage). This score allows you to compare your personal performance against other people's performances even though they might be a different age and a different sex to you - the higher the score the better the performance. The scores can also be compared across different race distances - to allow you to, for example, compare a 5km time against a marathon.

For more information, please see our Support page.

Course Map

Course Description

This parkrun is breathtaking in more ways than one! Each section has uphill and downhill elements and all offer stunning views of the Jurassic coastline stretching to Portland in the west, Poole and Bournemouth in the east and south to the Isle of Wight.
The course consists of three sections which are all different and all start and finish by the Castle.
  • The Tilly Whim Loop heads West and is run twice clockwise.
  • The Castle Loop heads East and is run twice anticlockwise.
  • The Isle of Wight ‘Out and Back’ run once with a small anticlockwise loop at the turnaround.
  • The course is completed in the order Tilly Whim - Castle - Isle of Wight - Tilly Whim - Castle.
The start and finish is located beside the Castle overlooking the waters of the English Channel. Participants descend to the South West Coast Path (SWCP) and head right, turning sharp right past the Tilly Whim Cave entrance onto a steep narrow trail path into a woodland and looping back to the castle which is passed on the left before arriving back at the start. On the second descent to the SWCP participants turn left to commence the Castle loop. At the top of the castle hill participants carry on up to join the Isle of Wight path via a short section of the timeline. Towards the end of the out and back keep right and then head down the hill to the start to complete one more Tilly Whim loop and a final castle loop. After passing the entrance of the castle after the castle hill participants head downhill to the finish, just below the castle.

Due to the terrain, parts of the course may make it harder for people with buggies & pushchairs - please contact the team in advance for further information.


  • Toilets are available at the Learning Centre close to the car parks, start and finish area (including toilets for disabled visitors and nappy changing facility).
  • Shop, Castle and Café.
  • Drinking water taps, water bowls for dogs and 9 dog waste bins are available.
  • Pleasure Ground/Wild Play Area.
  • Rubbish/recycling bins located by the Castle and the Learning Centre.

Getting There

Location of start

The event starts beside the Castle.

Getting there by public transport

No public transport available to Durlston Country Park for the start of parkrun.

Getting there on foot

Walk in via one of the many public footpaths from Swanage or Langton Matravers, or take the South West Coast Path from the west.

By Cycle:
Follow the road up from Swanage. Once you get to Durlston there are no cycle routes or bridleway so park your cycle at cycle racks at the Learning Centre and in the car park nearest the Castle.

Getting there by road

Durlston Country Park is situated on the south coast of England, 1 mile from Swanage in Dorset. (Grid ref. SZ 03 77). Satnav the postcode is BH19 2JL.
  • Take the A351 from Wareham (11 miles), or come across the Sandbanks to Studland ferry from Bournemouth (10 miles) to Swanage.
  • From Swanage follow the brown tourist signs up the hill to Durlston.
  • Parking is Pay & Display, charges are payable all day every day. Overnight parking is not allowed. There are no concessions for disabled visitors or blue badge holders.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee at The Seventhwave in the Castle - please come and join us!