I love running alongside the water. It is a great way to relax and the scenery is often stunning. Running in Swanage, particularly along the cliffs, is very picturesque. My favourite route is along the cliffs out from Herston, and this can be made into a circular route that can be joined at any location in Swanage, Herston, or Durlston.
The time it takes to do this running route will depend on your off-road, trail running experience. There are certainly parts that are a little loose underfoot. I do the approximately 10km route in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
One of the landmarks of the route is the Anvil Point lighthouse. This location provides a nice down and up that briefly brings me closer to the swirling ocean, allowing me to see waves crashing against the rocks. It also really gets the heart pumping as I have to concentrate on placing my feet on the rocks, and power forward up the other side.
A few minutes of running later and I am at Durlston Castle. This is not really a castle in a traditional sense. Its more of a large and old stone brick manor house, but it does have impressive views and a great estate to run within.
Durlston also has a stone globe, dating from the 1800’s, with each country of the world carved out. This globe is flanked by stone tablets that have poetry on them.
Other parts of this running route take me through fields along the top of the cliffs and also through the town and along some roads. The fields at the top of the cliffs are great to run through. Often there is wildlife in the distance, and occasionally I am surprised by this up close. One time I was running with the wind against me and came within about 10 feet of two deer.