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Insider Guide: Explore Dorset’s Jurassic Coast with our team at THE PIG-on the beach!

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Embrace the new season by getting out and about around Dorset like a local...

Embrace the new season by getting out and about around Dorset like a local...

THE PIG-on the beach is our mellow yellow house over in Studland Bay, and a perfect base for exploring Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

If you can tear yourself away from your stay at THE PIG-on the beach, you will find uninterrupted coastline views, an abundance of wildlife, historical treasures, all of which are within 30 minutes’ drive from our patch.

Our team at THE PIG-on the beach, Reception Manager Matt and Duty Manager Sarah, have shared their favourite places to explore and get outside this spring, from breath-taking nature walks with the best local pubs, to relaxing in the Studland Sauna after a brisk morning dip in the sea – time to experience Dorset like a local!

Discover All Of Our Doorstop Gems

Take a walk along Studland Bay and South Beach (0.2 miles)

Right on the doorstep of THE PIG-on the beach, you will find the beauty of Studland Bay and South Beach. Just a short stroll from our front door, you can head down the road and explore the 4-mile stretch of golden sands of South Beach.

Take a moment to pause and look out onto the English Channel, and watch the waves roll onto the beach. With stunning views out to The Needles on the Isle of Wight, and the famous Old Harry’s Rocks at the far end of Studland Bay, you are spoilt for choice with picture-perfect scenery.

Relax at the Studland Beach Sauna (0.7 miles)

If you’re fond of a brisk early morning dip, why not try Studland Beach Sauna to make you feel great after a swim in the Dorset Sea. The sauna is located at Middle Beach and is available Wednesday-Sunday, throughout the year, by local friends Studland Water Sports. Whether you’re warming up after a winter dip or treating yourself to a salty steam treatment in summer, it’s an excellent way to rejuvenate and get warm! To find out more and book a trip to the sauna, click here.   

Look out at Old Harry’s Rocks (1.5 miles)

If you really want to get the best views from the Jurassic Coast, head up to the rock of ‘Old Harry’, a walk very popular with our guests. Just a 30 minute amble from the hotel, the chalk formations are known as ‘Old Harry’s Rocks’, but actually refers to the furthest standing stack of chalk out at sea. Thousands of years ago, Old Harry and The Needles on the Isle of Wight were a set of chalk hills that eroded away in the ice age, leaving these magnificent columns of chalk.

Wander Our Local Patch

Swanage (4 miles)

The most local town to THE PIG-on the beach is Swanage. In this little seaside town you find a variety of unique shops, artisan art producers, and a local food market every Friday. It is also a cracking place to enjoy the British staple of fish and chips by the seaside - a favourite is The Fish Plaice!

Discover the area by stream train (3.8 miles)

Swanage Railway offers a nostalgic escape into the Purbeck Hills, with journeys winding through the rolling landscape, over a 12-mile return trip. The steam train runs from Swanage, passing over the viaduct at Corfe Castle, and beyond. They offer a return journey, or you can opt for a ‘hop on/hop off’ ticket where you can appreciate the rich history of the Purbecks in more depth. 

Walk the Medieval Priests Way (4.5 miles)

Take in the stunning Purbeck scenery by walking the ancient Priest’s Way footpath. The walk is about 3 miles long and you can retrace the steps that a local priest would have walked in medieval times! Starting in Swanage, winding up through Langton Matravers and finishing in Worth Matravers, you will be able to travel through the ages whilst looking out to sea.

Along the path, you will find fossilised dinosaur footprints at Spyway, dating back 140 million years! If you take a slight detour, you can quite literally, chisel into Dorset’s past at Burngate Stone Carving Centre. Here you can use local stone to create a replica ammonite or create something all your own.

Venture along the Southwest Coastal Path (4.5 miles)

Alternatively, you can walk the Southwest Costal Path along the cliff edge. While you walk the winding path and enjoy the sea air you can try and catch sight of one of the elusive local dolphin pods. Stop off at Dancing Ledge and dip your toe in before carrying on to Worth Matravers.

When you reach Worth Matravers, stop off at the Square & Compass pub to rest your feet and treat yourself to a home-made pastie and pint! Whilst you replenish your energy levels, you can soak in the views overlooking Winspit Quarry, where scenes from Star Wars was filmed! If you’d like to finish off in style, continue down to Chapman’s Pool, a natural cove off the beaten path. Dog friendly, and with crystal clear waters, it’s the perfect place to cool off after a long hike!

Visit Durlston Castle and Country Park (4.9 miles)

Just outside of Swanage, Durlston Castle and Country Park is a paradise set atop the Jurassic Coast cliffs. There are more stunning walks and trails located within the park, but it is recommended to wonder up to the Victorian castle which has been lovingly restored and is fully accessible. Fun fact that The Globe at Durlston Castle was carved by hand by local stone masons and lifted into place using hand pulleys and will-power.

The park is full of natural beauty and is great place for both wildlife and geology. If you choose to walk through the nature trail and along the coastal path, you may see some dolphins out at sea! Along the path you will see the gated entrance to Tilly Whim Caves, this cave and tunnel system was the original source of Purbeck stone, which was shipped out directly from the source through the sea end of the caves.

Adventure To Those Further Afield

If you fancy exploring those areas that are a little further afield…

Corfe Castle (5.5 miles)

If you’re after some high panoramic views across Purbeck countryside, then a trip Corfe Castle is a must. You might even past the 1,000 year old fairy-tale ruins on your travels over to THE PIG-on the beach (depending on which way you come!), to make an easy trip of it!

The ruins stand tall on a natural hill overlooking the small but famous village of Corfe Castle. The Castle itself is a fun day out for kids of any age, to dive into the history of Dorset.

After climbing up through the ruin and exploring the historic site, head down to the village to discover a much smaller version of Corfe Castle - the Model Village. If you fancy something to eat, then grab a quick bite to eat at the cafés and pubs that are scatted through the village (the real life size one, not the model). The local favourites are the National Trust Café, The Fox Inn, The Greyhound Inn, or The Bankes Arms.

Blue Pool, Furzebrook (9.6 miles)

Set in a peaceful woodland between Wareham and Corfe Castle, you will find the magical Blue Pool - a unique, nature-made pool, that stays blue for the majority of the year due to its previous life as a clay pit. You can wander the trails that surround the pool, taking in the calming and peaceful atmosphere, or simple stop by to tuck into the home-made goodies from the local café.

Depending what time of year you visit, the team string lights up in the woodlands, which adds a mystical feel to the whole area – perfect for romantic walks or family adventures.

The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life, Kimmeridge (9.7 miles)

If you fancy learning about the story of life through marine fossils, then this immersive museum is perfect for you! The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life contains fossils that have all been found by just one man, Dr Steve Etches MBE. The museum houses sea monsters, prehistoric predators and the marine flora and fauna of 152-157 million years ago when the Jurassic Coast of Dorset was all but a shallow, tropical sea.

RSPB Arne (10.4 miles)

A 20-minute drive from THE PIG-on the beach, the Arne peninsula is 565 hectares of wildlife paradise. Arne is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, where you can find a diverse array of heathland and marshland wildlife. You may even spot the breeding pair of Osprey’s that are currently on the site, hunting for fish - these are the first pair in Dorset for over 150 years!

If the wildlife doesn’t take your breath away, the walks around the peninsula and Wareham Channel most certainly will. Indulge yourself in the serene landscape stretching into the distance of the Isle of Purbeck, and across into Poole Harbour, with views of Brownsea Island. If you’re feeling peckish after all the walking, stop at The Bear in Wareham. With a similar ethos to THE PIGs, The Bear uses deliciously local produce on their menu and does a very good Sunday lunch!


Have you been to any of these places before, found your own hidden gems, or coming to explore our Dorset patch soon? Well, we would love to see!

Share your PIG-experience with us through photo posts, video posts, or stories on Instagram or TikTok tagging us and using #PIGPasturesNew for us to see, and be in with the chance to WIN a midweek lunch for four at your favourite PIG with two bottles of THE PIG Cut Wine!

Find out more here.

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