At the town end of the Promenade to the north of the bay the Purbeck Hills end in towering chalk cliffs grotesquely carved by wind and waves.
Along these cliffs lies a path giving glorious views of the outlying Pinnacle, Haystack and Old Harry Rocks, the great island-dotted expanse of Poole Harbour, and the warm sandstone-tinted cliffs of Hampshire, while away to the eastward the chalk of the great cliffs beyond the Needles at the Western end of the Isle of Wight may be seen.
Further beyond lie Studland Bay and Shell Bay, with their miles of smooth white sands, warm shallow water, and grass covered dunes. Beyond these chalk cliffs from Swanage South-westwards of Swanage Bay, beyond Peveril Point, lies Durlston Bay. Here the beach is rock-strewn, but the tree covered slopes curving to the bold outline of Durlston Head suggest a peep of the Riviera coast line.
Westward from Durlston Head lie miles of limestone cliffs stretching along to St. Alban’s Head. At Tilly Whim Caves, at Dancing Ledge, at Seacombe and Winspit, it is possible to descend these cliffs to sea level, and to get a better idea of their true grandeur.