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?

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

Artisans on the Beach Nov 29

Artisans on the Beach

Set on Swanage seafront over the Christmas season, the beach-huts are taken over by local crafters and tradespeople all looking to sell the ideal creative gifts for you and your loved ones. From...

Christmas in Swanage Nov 29

Christmas in Swanage

The beautiful Victorian seaside town of Swanage is the perfect destination to soak up the Christmas atmosphere. Christmas Shopping Whether it is strolling through the town's main thoroughfare...

Swanage Town Band in Concert Nov 30

Swanage Town Band in Concert

Swanage Town Band in Concert - playing their concert repertoire, not normally heard on the bandstand. Free admission with a retiring collection for band funds.

Christmas Party Nights Dec 02

Christmas Party Nights

Joins us for Christmas Party nights at the Grand Hotel. Arrive at 7pm and order drinks for your table, 7.30pm sit down for a Festive Carvery, 9.30pm the disco starts to dance the night away. Carriages...

Festive Forage & Feast in Studland Dec 03

Festive Forage & Feast in Studland

Celebrate the Christmas season with us on this special wild food and feasting event at our stunning seaside hideaway which we will be decked to the festive nines! We have some super talent on board...

Forage and Feast Dec 03

Forage and Feast

Our foraged feasts events follow and celebrate the seasons, happening quarterly. In one magical event we gather a small group together around a shared table and feast on what that season provides;...

Steam and Lights Dec 03

Steam and Lights

Make wonderful and magical memories in the run-up to Christmas, thanks to Swanage Railway with an evocative, dramatic and colourful Steam and Lights train journey through the Isle of Purbeck...

Swanage Christmas Market Dec 03

Swanage Christmas Market

Join Swanage & Purbeck Rotary Club and Commercial Road Traders for their Christmas Market and see Father Christmas in his sleigh. Enjoy browsing the many and varied stalls of fresh and locally...