Swanage Pier in Dorset with a City Cruises boat arriving from Poole.
Winter and Spring in Swanage

Spring Breaks in Swanage

With winter now a distant memory, there’s a real buzz in the air as spring arrives in Swanage.

As colourful flowers pop up all over the place and warm sunshine peeps through the clouds, you’ll feel a spring in your step with a short break or day trip to the seaside.

At the end of March, the clocks go forward, which means lighter evenings and longer days to enjoy more of your time in this charming coastal town.

Orchids and wildflowers

As well as a huge variety of birds and butterflies, you’ll find beautiful and colourful wildflowers at Durlston Country Park.

During the springtime, bluebells, cowslips, early purple orchids and green-winged orchids can all be seen at this National Nature Reserve. There are numerous walking trails to follow or you can join a guided walk with one of the Park Rangers who will tell you all about the wildlife which surrounds you.

If you’re feeling peckish, there’s a café with amazing views of Swanage Bay which has an outdoor terrace for when the weather is nice.

Entry to the Park, Castle and Art Gallery is free, with a small charge for guided walks. Parking fees apply.

A life on the ocean waves

For those of you who love being out on the water, there are sightseeing boats that depart from Swanage to Poole or along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

City Cruises run 2.5 hour sightseeing boat trips along the Jurassic Coast all year. From 30th March through to the end of October they also offer cruises to Poole Quay passing Old Harry Rocks, the beaches at Studland and Brownsea Island along the way. All cruises depart from Swanage Pier.

From early April to late September, Marsh’s Boats depart from the Stone Quay offering boat trips to Old Harry Rocks, Durlston Bay, Anvil Point or Dancing Ledge.

Learn about Swanage’s history

If spring showers try to put a damper on your day out, why not head indoors to Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre. This small but interesting attraction is open daily from the end of March to end of October.

Admission is free and well-behaved dogs are welcome. You’ll see displays about local heritage and the stone trade, and get to find out more about the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

The Museum is located right on the waters edge, so when the rain stops you can go for a seaside stroll to the beach or pier.

Get active

Just a few minutes’ walk from the seafront you’ll find the Beach Gardens. With lots of budget friendly activities for children and adults, you can while away a few hours and even enjoy some refreshments at Tea On The Green café.

Surrounded by tall pine trees you can test your skills on the 18 hole Putting Green, have a game of tennis or table tennis or shoot some hoops on the Basketball Court.

All equipment can be hired or you can bring your own. The basketball court and table tennis are free to use and there is a small charge for the putting green and tennis courts. Beach Gardens is open from Easter until the end of September.

Swanage Pier

For a unique and unrivalled view of Swanage, go for a springtime stroll along Swanage Pier.

Looking out to sea towards Poole, you’ll see the cliffs of Ballard Down and the white chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks. In the other direction are the remains of the old pier and Wellington Clock Tower beyond.

It’s a great place to watch the boats come and go or enjoy some fish and chips from one of the nearby takeaways. There’s plenty of seating all along the pier to soak up the sunshine, and just in case it rains there’s a covered shelter as well. It costs just £2, with children under 14 accompanied by a paying adult getting free entry.

Spring Events and Festivals

Swanage Railway’s annual Diesel Gala and Beer Festival is a well-loved event and takes place this year from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th May, with a preview day on Thursday 9th May. Travel by heritage diesel train from Swanage Station and stop off at the Corfe Castle Goods Yard for 30+ Real Ales and Ciders on offer at the Beer Festival.

Avast me hearties, it’s a pirate’s life in Swanage on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May. The Pirate Festival will be coming to town along with a pirate village on Sandpit Field, re-enactments and pirate parade.

Celebrate all things magical at The Fairy Festival from Saturday 31st May to Sunday 1st June. See mermaids swimming, watch the fairy parade and magic shows, dance at the bubble disco, learn some circus skills and lots more. The festival is located on Sandpit Field with beautiful views across Swanage Bay.

For lots more events and festivals, take a look at our What's On calendar.

Book your spring break

Swanage has a wide variety of places to stay for families, couples, groups and solo travellers. From homely B&Bs and traditional hotels to self-catering holidays homes, static caravans, camping and glamping – the choice is yours.

Along with over 60 places to eat and drink and things to see and do for all ages, Swanage is the perfect destination for a spring break by the sea.

More to see and do...

Where to Stay

For all budgets and requirements, there's a holiday accommodation in Swanage to suit.

Things To Do

Heritage attractions, watersports, walking trails and beaches are all on offer in Swanage.

What's On

There's a packed events programme throughout the whole year in Swanage.