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South Dorset Coast

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To aid users of mobile devices as well as those with a mouse or laptop finger pad this site uses a simple image-based menu system. Virtually every picture you see (images and photos) are links to more information arranged in a sort of top-down structure. See an image, click or tap on it to open a new page.

This site is designated as an SSSI or is part of a larger SSSI. Here are the details:

SSSI Name South Dorset Coast
Primary Photo

This stretch of coastline combines internationally important geological interest with a rich range of wildlife habitats supporting populations of several rare plants and animals.

Interest Biological, Geological
Status Now Featured on NoD
My Notes This is a large SSSI that stretches from Swanage in the east to near Weymouth in the west and is accessible via the South West Coastal path

The information about this Site of Special Scientific Interest has been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Natural England Distribution Map Species List Some Photographs Guidance Notes

These sites featured on the Nature of Dorset fall within this SSSI. Click the site name to find out more about it. Alternatively, click the map logo above and see their location on a map and then view the site details from there:

Sites featured on the Nature of Dorset within this SSSI designation (Click to view details) Headline
Durlston Country Park

A stunning national nature reserve on the Purbeck coast south of Swanage.


Kimmeridge Bay

A national marine nature reserve but I restrict my activities to the dry land and the species to be found on the nearby cliffs.


Ringstead Bay and Burning Cliff

A large area that encompasses the downs overlooking Ringstead Bay down to the shingle beach via the Burning Cliff. 


Tynham and Worbarrow Bay

The village taken from its inhabitants during the war for training troops. Open at weekends and the start of wonderful walks on the Purbeck coast.


Dancing Ledge

An abandoned Purbeck stone quarry right on the edge of the cliffs with amazing views of the Purbeck coastline along with interesting flora and fauna..


Kingston and Houns-tout Cliff

A walk to the wonderful Purbeck coast-line with the option of turning back or a steep descent and returning by a different route.


St Adhelms Head and Emmetts Hill

Wonderful views of the dramatic Purbeck Coast, lots of natural interest and lots of steps; two hundred down and 200 up if you decide to take a round trip!



A long time abandoned stone quarry offering excellent views of the Purbeck coast and some interesting wildlife


Purbeck Ridge (Whiteways Hill and Flowers Barrow)

The Purbeck Ridge from Whiteways car park west to Flowerdown Iron Age Fort lies within the army ranges and therefore access is limited to when the range walks are open.


Swyre Head

The highest point of the Purbeck cliffs; wonderful views but the 'head' itself is disappointing being just the corner of some improved grazing pasture!


Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove

Stunning scenery, fascinating geology, and superb (but challenging in places) walking and the rare Lulworth skipper


Bindon Hill

Beautiful views with beautiful flowers and beautiful butterflies but is best visited on beautiful days!


White Nothe

A coastal walk to the White Nothe promontory and beyond for flowers and butterflies.



Osmington Mills

A lovely, gentle stretch of the coastal path between Osmington Mills and Ringstead