Swanage is the perfect getaway destination for all seasons. Swanage is located on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset and is the Eastern Gateway for exploring the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Visit the award winning and family friendly Swanage beach

Holiday in Swanage

Popular with all generations and evoking nostalgia from childhood holidays, Swanage Beach has large stretches of golden sand and clear unpolluted water.

Taking a paddle, collecting sea shells and building sandcastles are things that children will remember about their trip to Swanage for years to come. Why not hire one of the colourful beach huts to make your holiday extra relaxing?

Make happy memories

Crabbing in Swanage

Family fun can be enjoyed by taking boat trips, visiting quality local attractions, learning to kayak or playing mini golf or tennis together. Enjoy the simpler things in life like crab fishing from Swanage’s Stone Quay. Search our website for things to do.

Be car free

City Cruises Poole

Arrive in style on the Swanage Railway by steam train or catch the Purbeck Breezer open top bus from Bournemouth, both with amazing views of the surrounding landscape.  Cruise from Poole Quay to Swanage Pier for a scenic tour of the coast along the way. 

Stroll around the shops

Swanage Shops

A mix of high street brands and small, independent shops selling everything from sausages to souvenirs, you will be a satisfied shopper in Swanage. Wander around quality art and craft galleries to find a special purchase to remind you of a wonderful time in Swanage. Browse Swanage Shops online.

Dine by the sea in Swanage

Restaurants in Swanage

After you’ve worked up an appetite shopping, take a break to enjoy some tea and cake or lunch in one of the street side cafes. Sample the local fare in the quality bistros, seaview restaurants, traditional pubs and coffee shops. Here you’ll find something for every taste.

Soak up the Swanage Culture

Swanage culture and events Punch and Judy on the beach

Immerse yourself in a range of creative festivals including the open studios of Purbeck and Dorset Arts Weeks.

The town has a central Theatre and Cinema offering a variety of plays, shows and pantomimes throughout the year. Follow the Swanage Seen Art Trail and learn about artists who were inspired by their Swanage surroundings.

Ride on the Swanage Railway

Swanage Railway arrive in style

Catch the picture postcard branch line to the seaside. Steam trains run through the beautiful Purbeck countryside and past Corfe Castle to the sandy beach of Swanage. Look out for their special events and dining trains too.

Explore Durlston Castle and Country Park

Spectacular cliff top walks and a Castle Visitor Centre help you discover the geology of 185 million years of Earth’s history. Durlston can be enjoyed 365 days of the year, highlights include wild flowers, migrating birds and a breath-taking walk to the lighthouse. Also enjoy a range special events and exhibitions. This countryside paradise is just 30 minutes walk from Swanage Town Centre or use the seasonal bus service.

Promenade on Swanage Pier

Historic Swanage Pier is a hub for diving, fishing and boat trips

The Pier is an integral part of the character of Swanage, reflecting its Victorian splendour and rich heritage. Enjoy a stroll with the finest views of Swanage or catch a boat for a scenic boat trip along the coast. Drop in to the free visitor centre to find out more about the history. 

Step back in time at Swanage Museum

Wellington Tower just one of the historic treasures of Swanage

Uncover the story of Swanage from Dinosaurs and the Jurassic Coast to seaside resort, stone trade and the Second World War at Swanage Museum.

No visit to Swanage is complete without walking a stretch of the Jurassic Coast. Recognised by UNESCO for its outstanding geology, our coastline is part of England’s only natural World Heritage Site. See spectacular geological features like nearby Old Harry Rocks.

Try a new activity

Fishing in Swanage from Swanage Pier

Opportunities to enjoy activities in Swanage are endless. The numerous local walking trails are celebrated during the annual Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival.

Join one of the outdoor adventure specialists and have a go at diving, sea fishing, coasteering, abseiling, climbing, paddleboarding or kayaking. Search for activities in Swanage. 

Whatever the weather, Beach Gardens Sports Park with putting green, tennis, table tennis and outdoor bowls is great family fun.

Find some festival fun

Events, festivals and fireworks in Swanage

Swanage has a year-round calendar of events to keep you entertained in all weathers. Many of the local attractions organise events during school holidays to keep the whole family entertained and there are lots of events within easy reach of Swanage.

For music lovers, the town has a fantastic range of festivals which everyone can enjoy, including Blues, Jazz and Folk. The Fish Festival and Walking Festival are also popular with locals and visitors alike.

The Regatta and Carnival Week offers the lively atmosphere of a Caribbean-style carnival plus spectacular fireworks, music and dancing.

A day trip is never enough!

Extend your stay and book a break in Swanage. Whether you’re looking for a holiday cottage, hotel, B&B, hostel, camping park or a campsite, we have it covered in Swanage with quality short breaks by the sea.

Check availability and book online.


Swanage Railway
Swanage Railway - photo taken by Andrew P.M. Wright

Enjoy a nostalgic steam-train ride on the Purbeck line. Trains run for most of the year - daily from April to October and most weekends throughout the year. Park at Norden then catch a train to travel 6 miles south to Swanage, passing through Corfe Castle village.

Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Durlston Country Park

*LATEST UPDATE* Durlston Country Park is currently open, but with limited facilities. Check their website for the latest information. Visiting cyclists must dismount their bikes inside the Park as there no are bridleways or cycle paths to use.

City Cruises Poole
Boat Trip
Solent Scene and Island Scene boat cruises

Cruises operate daily from Poole Quay and Swanage Pier (1st April - 31st October 2020). We offer a wide selection of cruises along the Jurassic coast, trips to the Victorian resort at Swanage and the Steam Railway, Poole Harbour cruises, Afternoon Tea or Lunch cruises, evening cruises or private charters.

Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre
Heritage/Visitor Centre
Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre

Containing information on the history, geology and geography of the town and surrounding area. Educational packs are available and talks can be given. There is also a small retail area including local crafts.

Swanage Beach Huts
Swanage Beach Huts

Swanage Beach huts are let daily, weekly or longer term. Hire a beach hut, and your trips to the beach are made easier without having to take all your towels, swimwear and children’s toys down to the beach every day!

Swanage Pier
swanage pier early light

Restored Victorian Pier, stroll, visit the exhibition, café or shop. Boat trips, fishing and diving.

Swanage Beach
Swanage Beach Dorset

*LATEST UPDATE* There are no RNLI lifeguards available at this time. Swanage has a gently sloping white sand beach which is sheltered and generally calm. The award winning beach is well served by local businesses providing refreshments and services.

Swanage Beach Gardens, Putting Green, Tennis & Outdoor Bowls
Swanage Beach Gardens

Putting green, tennis courts and outdoor bowls in a tranquil setting.



  1. Gossy
    Swanage has got it right. Beautiful walking area. Loads of festivals, lovely clean safe beach, local shops, steam railway, pubs and legion have regular bands and with friendly locals
  2. Julesthegibbon
    Visit Monkey World, Wareham nearby - it’s amazing and they’re doing some fantastic work to save declining primate species and to help those primates adversely affected by the pet trade, scientific research laboratories, etc

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