Scratch Arse Ware and Dancing Ledge walk

Walking trail

Don’t let the name put you off – Scratch Arse Ware offers superb sea views and an alternative route to Dancing Ledge, one of the best-loved spots on the Purbeck coast. A ware is a local name for land used as rough grazing.

The view out to sea from Scratch Arse Ware in Purbeck


A map of the Scratch Arse Ware and Dancing Ledge walk


Spyway car park, grid ref: SY997784


From the car park go through the gate and follow the path down to Spyway Barn. Bought by the Trust in the early 1990s, the barn houses a display room highlighting local wildlife, conservation and history of the area. Spyway refers to smuggling activities that took place along the coast.

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A sycamore tree thought to have once been used by a hangman


At the barn, stop and take a look at the display room to find out more about conservation in this area


Go through the gate to the left of the barn and across the first field. Head for the far gate in the second field, stopping to take a look at the sculpture of a Limousin cow, an important grassland grazer, sculpted by Sarah Moore.


Head through the kissing gate and turn right, following the wall across this valuable limestone grassland, until you reach a second kissing gate. Pass through this gate and continue along the fence line until you reach a field gate and Scratch Arse Ware.

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Scratch Arse Ware


From here, continue to walk along the wall constructed from the locally quarried Purbeck limestone. Take a rest on the bench before walking to and taking the diagonal path down towards the coast. Breathe in the gorse aroma in the spring and enjoy its vibrancy.

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A cow looks over a dry stone wall in south Purbeck


On reaching the cliff fence at the bottom, turn left and join the South West Coast Path. From here, head through the gates, passing Dancing Ledge. Feel free to take a detour down to this part of the coast, before continuing through a third gate and taking the left fork marked Upper Path to Durlston.


Follow the left path through the gap in the wall, bearing right in a field towards the hedgerow gap and waymarker to Langton. With the wall on your left, continue to the top and beyond.


Continue along the fence line and over the stile before reaching a field gate and stone stile on the left. Use the gate or stile to enter the adjacent field and, with the wall line now on your right, continue to the gate and stile on Priests Way.


Turning left, follow Priests Way, keeping right before reaching the fork and continuing right, back to the car park and village of Langton Matravers.


Spyway car park, grid ref: SY997784

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Scratch Arse Ware and Dancing Ledge walk


Uneven and steep terrain, with stiles and gates. Take care near cliff edges. Height gain of approximately 360ft (110m) over the walk; sturdy shoes or boots are advised. Dogs welcome but please keep under close control when livestock grazing in grassland areas.
Scratch Arse Ware and Dancing Ledge walk

Contact us

  • Telephone: 01929 450002
Scratch Arse Ware and Dancing Ledge walk

How to get here

Spyway Car Park, Langton Matravers, Swanage, Dorset BH19
By road
A351 to Langton Matravers then B3069, follow signs to Langton House and continue along this single track road to the right and Spyway car park
By bus
Wilts and Dorset 40, Poole to Wareham and Swanage. Alight Langton Matravers, High Street - Durnford Drove and follow signs to Langton House. Continue along this single track road to the right and Spyway car park
Scratch Arse Ware and Dancing Ledge walk

Facilities and access

  • Parking at Spyway car park