The surrounding area of Swanage

While Swanage itself is a charming destination with its sandy beaches and family-friendly atmosphere, the surrounding areas offer a wealth of natural beauty, historic sites and exciting activities to explore and discover whilst staying in our beautiful town. 

Take a glimpse into history at Corfe Castle 

A short drive from Swanage brings you to the enchanting village of Corfe Castle, dominated by its medieval fortress. Corfe Castle is a National Trust property which provides a captivating journey back in time. Walk through the castle ruins, learn about its turbulent history and be captivated by the breathtaking views from its hilltop location.  

Stroll through the charming village, with its quaint tearooms, gift shops, museum and the enchanting model village and gardens.

To visit two heritage attractions in one day, why not board the Swanage Railway at Swanage Station and puff your way through the beautiful Purbeck countryside to visit Corfe Castle?

Visit Studland Beach and Nature Reserve

For nature enthusiasts, Studland is a must-visit destination. This stunning stretch of coastline is known for its golden sandy beaches, heathlands, and dunes.  

The area is a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife lovers, with heathlands supporting rare species. 

Explore the South West Coast Path, which winds its way through Studland, offering panoramic vistas of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight on clear days.  

Discover iconic landscapes 

A short drive to the west of Swanage leads to two iconic natural wonders, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast.

The Durdle Door rock arch rises out of the sea and is one of the most famous land forms in the world. Take a walk down to the beach and marvel at the rock formations and crystal-clear waters.

Lulworth Cove is a horseshoe-shaped bay, which was formed by the combined forces of the sea and a river, swollen by melting ice at the end of the last Ice Age. It is world famous for its unique geology and landforms including the Lulworth Crumple and Stair Hole.

Enjoy hiking and adventure over the Purbeck Ridge 

The Purbeck Ridge, a stone's throw from Swanage, offers an array of walking, hiking and mountain bike routes for all skill levels across challenging terrains.

Connecting with the South West Coast Path, at Ballard Down you'll join a bridleway taking you to the hilltop Obelisk and across the Ulwell Road onto the Purbeck Ridge. Relax for a while at one of the viewpoints to take in the spectacular scenery across to Brownsea Island and Poole harbour in the distance.

These hills offer commanding views of the surrounding landscape and are ideal for those seeking an outdoor adventure. For those of you who are walking, you might like to follow the Purbeck Way trail which connects Swanage to Corfe Castle along the Ridge.

Explore beautiful Arne 

If you travel a little further you’ll reach Arne, a sweeping RSPB nature reserve that has featured on BBC’s Springwatch and Winterwatch.  

The reserve is a stunning landscape which consists of dramatic open heathland and ancient oak woodland. Arne is teeming with wildlife and remains one of the few places in the UK where all six of the UK's native reptiles can be found.

Discover more of Dorset 

This is just a flavour of what there is to see and do in the area surrounding Swanage, there’s plenty more a little further afield.  

The Visit Dorset website has bucket-loads of information to help you explore and discover all of the great things to see and do beyond Swanage. 

More to see and do...

Heritage & Culture

Swanage offers breathtaking natural beauty and a rich heritage and culture.

Explore the Coast

Swanage is a haven for nature enthusiasts, history buffs and beachgoers alike.

Nature & Wildlife

Dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters and lush landscapes beckon nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

Walking and Trails

There are lots of walking routes and Public Rights of Way to explore in Swanage.