Durlston Castle

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Durlston Castle is a "castle type" building at the edge of the Durlston Country Park is Swanage. For years it has lain in a decline and it has been sad to see. It is in a wonderful position on the cliff tops overlooking Swanage bay towards Poole and Christchurch. The castle is on the same cliff as the Globe which is a local stone carved atlas. However after several years of building work taking place it has re-opened this year and we were anxious to visit. On first glance it did not look very different, but then it hard to alter such a building. The entrance is nice, with a reception desk, various exhibits to see and videos to watch of wildlife. There is a small shop (very small) and also a restaurant. The restaurant is quite nice, but not a great menu for someone who does not eat meat. We had the soup and it was very salty, but the person on the next table hosed salt all over hers, so it was obviously a matter of taste! There are walkways which are wheelchair suitable so it is perfectly easy to get around. I think that there may be a lift down to the lower level. There is a video show of the area and art gallery down there. It looks very nice, but in terms on content we were disappointed. The old visitor centre for Durlston had a handwritten diary each day (written by the rangers) of what wildlife was about and what to look out for on your walks. This has now changed to (needless to say) an online blog type entry, which somehow takes away the feeling of connection to the wildlife. This park is one of our favourite places in the Swanage area, but I have a feeling that future visits will involve a packed lunch.

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