Events and Festivals in Swanage

The Festival Isle

Looking for a place which offers a variety of music, sport, food and activity events throughout the year? Swanage and the Isle of Purbeck is the place to come to, with regular festivals and lots of family-friendly activities. Swanage alone has over 30 festivals each year, so there will always be an event to entertain.

Swanage Carnival is one of the highlights of the Swanage year and the two mile carnival procession is enjoyed by thousands each year, raising money for local charities. This week long event at the beginning of August includes three firework displays and over 100 events, including art competitions for children and adults, treasure hunts and a dog show. Why not join the fun?

The Swanage Fish Festival in June (returning 2023) celebrates food, fun and all things fishy, with free children’s activities. You are sure to be able to try some of the freshest seafood around, while enjoying the seaside location.

Rock Around the Clock?

Want to holiday in a place buzzing with music events and festivals? Swanage has something to suit all tastes. From free concerts by Swanage Town Band playing at the bandstand to the Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, you can enjoy live music in a wide variety of venues.

In September, the Swanage Folk Festival combines folk music, morris dancing and children’s activities. If you are more of a blues fan, the Swanage Blues Festival takes place in March and October with over 100 musicians at 60 events.

Feeling fit?

The fantastic location of Swanage with beaches and fabulous coast makes the ideal backdrop for many sporting events. Try the Swanage Triathlon Festival or the Purbeck Outdoor Festival Weekend which takes place in September and encompasses the Purbeck Running Festival, the Nordic Walking UK Festival and for those wanting to enjoy the countryside at a more leisurely pace, the Purbeck Walking Festival offering a range of walks for all ages and abilities.

Swanage is a favourite location for kayak fishing competitions, Jurassic Coast hikes for charity and the annual sea rowing regatta.

The Studland Stampede in October is a 12 km off road running event over heathland and sandy beaches.

Family friendly

Wanting to keep the children entertained during the school holidays? They will enjoy the activities and trails offered by Durlston Country Park which has a year round programme with activities for families and a young rangers monthly club for 6-9 year olds. The National Trust at Corfe Castle, Studland and Brownsea Island also offer an inspiring range of events.

Why not go back to the stream trains of the Railway Children? Events for all the family take place on Swanage Railway throughout the year, from steam and diesel galas to evening dining and Sunday lunch services. One of the winter highlights is the Santa Special– meet Santa on the train to get into the festive spirit which returns for 2022 at Christmas.

Search our events calendar for a whole host of family friendly events, look out for the Fairy Festival, Pirate Festival and Swanage Lifeboat Week,

Enjoy the natural world

If you want to meet a moth, spot migrating birds or go on a wildlife photography walk, Durlston Country Park is the place to go, with a full programme of activities throughout the seasons.

Cultural events, film and theatre

The Dorset and Purbeck Art Weeks Festivals take place in May and artist studios and pop-up exhibitions will be opened for the festival. Purbeck Art Weeks includes live performances of classical music, poetry, dance and illustrated talks.

The Mowlem Cinema and Theatre offers you all year-round entertainment with live music and theatre performances and also a wide range of cinema for all tastes.  The Mowlem is also a venue for the Purbeck Film Festival during the autumn.

Open air performances

The Amphitheatre at Prince Albert Gardens overlooking Swanage Bay is the perfect location for open air theatre throughout the summer, look out for a variety of shows and musical events in this stunning location. Book your tickets for Wuthering Heights in July and Music By The Sea in September.

Book your stay in Swanage

Now you know what’s on, find somewhere to stay during your holiday in Swanage. We have plenty of B&Bself-catering and camping options for you, ideas of things to do, places to eat and interesting shops to discover. Need extra advice? Contact our Information Centre for helpful visitor information.

Events coming soon

Swanage Blues Festival Oct 06

Swanage Blues Festival

The Big Blues Parties on the South Coast - Twice a year! * 15 Indoor Venues  * 40 Top Class Acts  * 60 Great Gigs, Open Mic and Jam Sessions * £10 Wristband / £2 Festival...

Kayak, Fish, Forage, Feast Oct 08

Kayak, Fish, Forage, Feast

Kayak, fish, forage & feast event. We happen to have some pretty nifty kayak fishing instructors on the team so you're in the best hands to try and catch your lunch or dinner. We'll be...

Swanage Pier Quiz Night Oct 11

Swanage Pier Quiz Night

Come along to our fun quiz night and raise money for Swanage Pier! Arrive 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets £5 per person. Teams of up to 6 people.