Sustainable Holidays in Swanage

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly holiday destination, Swanage definitely fits the bill. 

Being a Plastic Free Community as well as a Fairtrade Town, this coastal resort has lots to offer those wanting a sustainable day trip or longer break to Dorset. 

Eco-friendly places to stay 

If you’re seeking somewhere sustainable to stay while taking a short break or holiday to Swanage, we’ve got some great options for you. 

From campsites to B&Bs, self-catering lodges and hotels, you can do your bit for the planet by choosing to book eco-friendly accommodation during your visit. 

Sustainable travel

Travelling to and around Swanage without a car is easy.  

Buses connect with the nearest railway station at Wareham and there is a daily National Express coach service from London. 

For day trips out from Swanage into the local countryside or neighbouring towns and villages, make the journey part of your day out by travelling by boat, steam train or on an open-topped scenic ‘award winning’ bus

Water refill points 

If you’re spending a day at the beach, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is a bright orange water fountain to refill your bottle adjacent to the Information Centre, plus taps by the benches in front of the beach huts along the seafront. Saving you having to buy unnecessary plastic bottles and also saving you some money too! 

There are also over 30 tap water refill points around the town located in shops, cafes and lots of other businesses who want to do their bit to reduce single-use plastic. You can find each location by downloading the Refill App or by looking out for the Refill logo in the shop window or at the counter for a free ‘tap water top up’. 

Beach Toy Library 

Forgot to pack the buckets and spades? Don’t worry, because you can borrow some children’s beach toys from outside the Information Centre opposite the beach, in return for a donation to charity. 

The toys, buckets and spades can be borrowed for a fun day on the beach and then returned to the Centre afterwards – please give them a wash before putting them back in the box. 

It’s a great way to reuse unwanted beach toys and is also a low-cost way for children to enjoy some different toys without parents having to spend lots of money. 

Plastic free town 

Swanage is one of eight towns and villages in Dorset which has achieved Plastic Free Community status. 

Set up by the action group Surfers Against Sewage, becoming a plastic free community means working towards reducing the amount of single-use plastic being sold or given away in the town, as well as holding regular beach cleans and litter picks to prevent plastic from entering our seas and rivers. 

So, when you’re doing some shopping or picking up a picnic for a day out in Swanage, remember to look out for alternatives to plastic, take your ‘bags for life’ with you and use your refillable water bottles and coffee cups as much as possible. 

Read more about the Sustainable Swanage group.

#Reduce #Refill #Reuse #Rethink

Blue Flag Beach

For over 20 years, Swanage Central Beach has been awarded the Blue Flag and Seaside Award for its quality of water, beach cleanliness, and access facilities. 

Part of the Blue Flag status involves providing environmental education and information. The Seaside Award recognises and rewards beaches that achieve the highest standards of beach management and meet guideline water quality.

Read more on the Swanage Town Council website.

Local produce and plastic free shopping 

Swanage is lucky to have independent butchers, bakers and fishmongers right in the town centre. So, it’s easy to buy fresh, locally grown produce during your visit. 

Look on the menus of pubs, restaurants and cafés for local specialities such as Purbeck Ice-Cream, Swanage Bay fish and Purbeck beef, as well as craft ales and ciders. 

If you’re looking to do some zero-waste shopping while in town, head for Country Food health shop. As well as selling fruit and veg, they are also a refill shop too selling everything from pasta to cereals and eggs. 

Fairtrade Town 

Swanage was very proud to become a Fairtrade Town in 2005. 

Supporting farmers in developing nations, the Fairtrade Foundation helps the producers who grow or make the products we buy get a fair deal. 

Many of these producers use small-scale, sustainable methods of farming and growing to support their families and communities. 

Many of Swanage’s shops, cafes and restaurants use or sell Fairtrade products – be sure to look out for the logo! 

More to see and do...

Walking and Trails

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


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

What's On

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


Swanage is the only town in Dorset to have its own Astronomy Centre and Observatory.