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 event calendar and the two mile carnival procession is enjoyed by thousands each summer, 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 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?

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. 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.

Other family friendly events include the Fairy Festival, Pirate Festival and Swanage Lifeboat Week.

Enjoy the natural world

If you want to meet a moth, watch migrating birds, go on a wildlife photography walk or get the chance to spot a dolphin, Durlston Country Park is the place to go, with a full programme of activities throughout the seasons. They also host star-gazing events at their observatory along with the Wessex Astronomical Society.

Every summer the Durlston Rangers pair up with one of the boat cruise companies every summer to offer guided bird watching boat trips to see the seabirds nesting on the nearby cliffs, including gannets, guillemots and a small number of puffins.

Cultural events, film and theatre

The Purbeck Art Weeks Festival takes place every 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 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, plus 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 05

Swanage Blues Festival

The Big Blues Parties on the South Coast - Twice a year! * 15 Indoor Venues  * 30 Top Class Acts  * 50 Great Gigs, Open Mic and Jam Sessions * £15 Wristband /...

Forage and Feast Oct 07

Forage and Feast

Welcome in Autumn with us on our special wild food and feasting event at our stunning spot in Studland where you can enjoy natures own larder in an idyllic seaside setting. We have some super talent...

Kayak Fishing Oct 11

Kayak Fishing

Join us for a guided sea kayak fishing trip with one of our qualified instructors and try out our fishing kayaks with a professional who is familiar with the area. Whether you are a beginner or...

Kayak Foraging Oct 15

Kayak Foraging

Join us on one of our kayak foraging adventures this summer. We'll investigate the life in our bay through foraging from the kayaks, identifying wild plants and searching for edible seaweeds as we...

Studland Stampede Oct 15

Studland Stampede

Join the Studland Stampede, a tough off-road running event that races over heath land and sandy beaches, in the beautiful location of Studland Bay in Dorset. The 12k route offers stunning views of Old...

All-Terrain Vehicle Nature Tour Oct 17

All-Terrain Vehicle Nature Tour

Let one of our team show you the nature and history of the very special Studland Bay, all from the comfort of one of our ATVs. You will be taken along a vast stretch of the beautiful Jurassic Coast...



She has not steamed for 75 years and now you have the chance to ride behind a unique and recently restored Victorian T3 locomotive through the beautiful Purbeck countryside and past the dramatic ruins...

Foraging Walk and Wild Pizza Workshop Oct 21

Foraging Walk and Wild Pizza Workshop

This foraging course in Dorset is a great way for you to learn how to identify the edible, medicinal and poisonous plants in the wild, and is the ideal introduction for all beginners who want to...

Swanage Pier Childrens History Tour Oct 23

Swanage Pier Childrens History Tour

Swanage Pier has a fascinating history and has always been an important part of Swanage. We will take a walk along the Pier, for about 45 minutes, strolling in the footsteps of past generations to...

Halloween Crafts on Swanage Pier Oct 26

Halloween Crafts on Swanage Pier

Get crafty this October half term creating some Halloween themed masterpieces! Perfect for the upcoming spookiest time of the year. Led by our lovely volunteers. Drop in any time between 10.30am and...

Salamanda Swing Bands Autumn Dance Nov 04

Salamanda Swing Bands Autumn Dance

Another chance to dance the night away to live music performed by the Salamanda Swing Band, or simply sit back and enjoy music from the golden age of dance, including Cole Porter, George Gershwin,...

The Polar Express Nov 18

The Polar Express

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. We look forward to welcoming you aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at Swanage Railway. These are our FAQ's – frequently asked questions! If we...

Forage and Feast Dec 02

Forage and Feast

Welcome in Christmas with us on our special wild food and feasting event at our stunning spot in Studland where you can enjoy natures own larder in an idyllic seaside setting. We have some super...

Winter Solstice Walk Dec 21

Winter Solstice Walk

Join us for a magical morning walk to view the sunrise from Old Harry Rocks on the shortest day of the year. The walk is followed by a full English breakfast at Knoll Beach Cafe. Dogs welcome but we...

Swanage Railway Diesel Gala May 10

Swanage Railway Diesel Gala

A three day feast of diesel as the Swanage Railway home fleet is joined by a host of visitors and works an intensive and varied timetable of passenger trains giving visitors the opportunity to ride...

Swanage Fish Festival Jun 15

Swanage Fish Festival

Prince Albert Gardens, overlooking the beautiful bay, is the stage for cooking demonstrations by top notch chefs, learn exciting recipes and how to prepare wet and shell fish. Stalls offering a...