Cycling in Swanage

Cycling in Swanage


Cycling is very popular in Dorest, thatched villages and quiet lanes make it easy to get off the beaten track and explore the tranquil terrain. Here the pace is leisurely and the going is easy. This is one for the road bikers! Take to quiet country lanes to tour Dorset’s picturesque thatched villages and marvel at stunning coastal views. The gateway to the Jurassic Coast offers a grand day out in the saddle.Discover the local history on your bike, take in the views and stop off for a local beer.
 Get Cycling from YHA Swanage
 YHA Swanage is an excellent hostel for road and mountain bikers to come and experience what the Isle of Purbeck has to offer for a cyclist of any level and age. The hostel has secure bike storage so you can sleep easy before setting off on one of many cycling trails in the Isle.
 Swanage is the gateway of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO world heritage site that can be seen from your bike with ease and enjoyment.
 Start 66 million years ago with a visit to Old Harry's rocks, formed by the aggressive wave erosion over time. If you think Geology rocks, this stretch of coastline is a must visit! A 9-mile circular route brings you to the 3 awe-inspiring chalk sea stacks. Along the route you’ll encounter incredible views of the Isle of Purbeck and out across Poole Harbour, the world’s second largest natural harbour.
 This 9 mile circular tour has an ascent of 280 metres.
 If that hasn’t tickled your fancy for rock erosion then you can jump on your road bike and head to Durdle Door, a natural limestone arch that’s only a few more peddle stroke away from Lulworth Cove; one of the seven wonders of southern England. For a full day’s ride, head west and follow the 35-mile route to Durdle Door and then on to Lulworth Cove – the area’s most visited and impressive geographical feature. On your way to these natural landmarks, you can gape in awe at Britain’s most recognizable romantic ruin, Corfe Castle. 
 This is a long one at 55km so don’t forget to call in YHA Lulworth for coffee and cake.
 Well we’ve cycled to Chalk and cycled to Limestone, now let’s cycle to the fossil rich clay of Chapmans pool. If you want to turn the adrenaline dial up a notch, switch to a mountain bike and take the 14-mile route along the Purbeck Hills to Corfe Castle, over the valley’s open fields, across a twisty technical section down to Chapman’s Pool, and back to Swanage via the Priest’s Way - a path walked into the earth by a priest tending to his two churches in the area. There's also an inlet near Worth Matravers - you’ll need to be on an off-road bike and have somewhere to store the fossils you dig up! You’ll be ready for some refreshment after that so end the ride with a home-pressed traditional cider at The Square and Compass pub.
 After 14 miles and 500m ascent you’ll need a cold one!
 How about a break from the coast destinations now, you can cycle well into the Purbeck hills and around the Rempstone forest for amazing picture opportunities in every direction, Poole and its harbor, Swanage and its pier, Corfe and its Castle, Studland and its nudist beach.
 This trail has some tough off road climbs that reach 125m at one point.
 Once you’ve seen all that the isle of Purbeck and the Jurassic Coast has to offer it certainly calls for a celebration. Get on your bike and set your sights on an exciting and vibrant destination; Bournemouth!
 Set off from Swanage and ride through Sandbanks, A small town known as the millionaires’ playground for its lavish mansions and impressive yachts.
 That’s nothing compared to what awaits you in Bournemouth, home to the 4th best beach in Europe. Golden sand stretches for miles and so does the cycle path alongside it, so you’ll soon forget about your saddle sores.
 For downloadable routes, maps and further information about cycling around Purbeck see: 
 Back at the hostel you’ll find plenty of secure bike storage, a laundry and drying room to take care of your kit and good quality fare in the restaurant when it’s time to refuel

Hostels nearby

Cycling in Swanage

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Map references

OS Grid Ref: SZ 03190 78715

Lat/Lng: 50.606133, -1.9578606

Contact information

Other things to do nearby

Person climbing on a climbing wall

Climbing in Totland Bay

There are various indoor and outdoor climbing walls in close proximity to the Youth Hostel. For something a little different, why not try tree climbing?

Swanage Pier


A friendly, colourful seaside town with an award winning beach, amazing chalk pillars of Old Harry's Rocks and a very English Victorian pier.


Mowlem Theatre

Opened in 1967, the Mowlem Theatre is situated on the sea front at Swanage and has over 200 film productions a year as well as 60-100 nights of live theatre.

Steam train

Swanage Steam Railway

Explore the beautiful countryside around Swanage on the old steam trains that chuff along to Corfe Castle and beyond. Visit the website

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

Uncover the secrets of Dorset's iconic medieval monument and discover how royalty, warfare and nature have shaped the castle.

Studland Beach

Studland Beach and Nature Reserve

One of the UK’s finest beaches and extensive nature reserve. Enid Blyton lived here, so look for Policeman Plod’s thatched cottage!

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Walking and Rambling in Totland

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The Tank Museum

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Our exhibitions tell the story of armoured warfare from World War One to the present day.

Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island

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Serious shopping and entertainment centre.  Tethered balloon flights, great beaches and top concerts throughout the year. Visit the Bournemouth website

Alum Bay & the Needles

Alum Bay & the Needles

This iconic British landmark – The Needles Rocks & Lighthouse are next to Alum Bay with its coloured sands in the cliffs. More details from The Needles website.

Watersports in Litton Cheney

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This lovely area is great for water sports. The Jurassic Kayak Tours offer accompanied treks past Durdledoor and to the East and West of the cove.