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

The view from Swanage Banjo Pier towards the sandy beach and beach huts

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

Jumping over waves, collecting seashells 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

Crab fishing at Swanage's stone jetty on the Dorset coast

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's Solent Scene boat arriving at Swanage Pier in Dorset

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. Alternatively cruise between Swanage Pier and Poole Quay for a scenic tour of the coast along the way with City Cruises.

Stroll around the shops

Swanage's Commercial Road shops and cafes in Dorset

With 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 the range of shops in Swanage.

Dine by the sea in Swanage

Five people enjoying food and drinks overlooking Swanage Bay in Dorset

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

Soak up the Swanage culture

Families watching a traditional Punch and Judy puppet show on Swanage beach in Dorset

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

The town has a theatre and cinema offering a variety of plays, shows and pantomimes throughout the year.

Ride on the Swanage Railway

Swanage Railway steam train near Corfe Castle in Dorset

Catch the picture-postcard branch line from Swanage station through the beautiful Purbeck countryside to Corfe Castle. Both heritage diesel and steam trains are used. Look out for their special events and train driving experiences too.

Explore Durlston Castle and Country Park

Anvil Lighthouse and Durlston Country Park in Dorset

Spectacular cliff top walks and a Castle Visitor Centre help you discover the geology of 185 million years of Earth’s history. Durlston Country Park can be enjoyed 365 days of the year - highlights include wild flowers, migrating birds and a breath-taking walk to Anvil Lighthouse. You can also enjoy a range special events and art exhibitions. This countryside paradise is just 30 minutes walk from Swanage town centre.

Promenade on Swanage Pier

Sunrise at Swanage Pier in Dorset

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 jump on a scenic boat trip along the coast. Drop into the free visitor centre to find out more about the pier's history. 

Step back in time at Swanage Museum

Wellington Clock Tower overlooking Swanage Bay in Dorset

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 such as nearby Old Harry Rocks.

Try a new activity

Three men with fishing rods on Swanage Pier in Dorset

Opportunities to enjoy activities in Swanage are endless. 

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

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

Find some festival fun

Fireworks over Swanage Bay in Dorset

Swanage has a year-round calendar of events to keep you entertained in all weathers. Many of the local attractions organise family events during school holidays 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 Pirate 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.