Family Friendly Swanage

The traditional seaside resort of Swanage is a firm favourite with families who return year after year. 

The town has the perfect recipe for making memorable family holidays – a sandy beach, Victorian pier, heritage steam railway, amusement arcades, boat trips and even a clifftop castle with a Great Globe! 

Days on the beach 

Swanage’s golden sandy beach is one of the town’s main attractions for families. Building sandcastles, splashing in the waves and eating fish and chips is what seaside holidays are all about. 

There’s a seasonal designated swimming zone as well as RNLI lifeguards on the central beach making it popular with families. 

Swanage is very proud to have held the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for many years. 

Car parks, cafes, ice-cream kiosks, public toilets, showers and drinking water taps are all located nearby, providing everything needed for a brilliant day at the beach. 


It’s part of the fun of a holiday by the sea to get out on the water

Whether you want to take part in the action or would rather sit back and let someone else do the steering, you can hire pedalos and stand-up paddleboards right off the beach or jump in a self-drive motorboat around Swanage Bay. 

Boat trips to Poole Quay, passing the magnificent Old Harry Rocks along the way can also be taken from Swanage Pier. 

Family activities and attractions 

From exploring a castle and riding on a steam train, to playing crazy golf and going sea fishing, there are plenty of things to see and do in Swanage for kids big and small. 

Have a go at catching Mackerel for your dinner on a fishing boat trip, watch a family-friendly movie at the Mowlem Cinema or explore Swanage Bay in a kayak or on a paddleboard. 

Children's playgrounds 

There are a number of children’s play parks as well as a skate park in Swanage. 

At Days Park near North Beach there’s a small play area for young children and a few minutes’ walk away you’ll reach Beach Gardens with a basketball court, tennis table, putting green and tennis courts. 

For children who love skateboarding, roller skating or riding BMXs, there’s a skate park at King George’s Field as well as a children’s adventure play park. 

With views of the sea, the playground on the Recreation Ground is also near the Santa-Fe fun park and crazy golf. 

Family friendly events 

From the hugely popular Swanage Carnival to the Pirate Festival and Fairy Festival, there are lots of family-friendly events in and around the town throughout the year including music festivals such as Jazz, Blues and Folk! 

Many of the town’s attractions also host family and children’s events, especially during the school holidays. 

Be sure to visit Durlston Country Park, Swanage Pier and Swanage Library for their low-cost family fun events. 

Crabbing on the quay 

The Stone Quay near the Pier is one the best places in the town for families to go crabbing. You can find out more about responsible crabbing on the Swanage Pier website. 

This low-cost activity is fun for all members of the family with youngsters dangling their legs over the water and grandparents admiring the views of the bay from the benches on the quay. 

More to see and do...

What's On

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

Where to Stay

From hotels and B&Bs to cottages and apartments, all budgets are catered for in Swanage.


The sandy beach and shallow waters at Swanage make it popular with families.

On The Water

Explore Swanage Bay on a pedalo, motorboat, paddleboard, kayak or jet ski.