Attractions and Activities in Swanage

Wondering what there is to do during a trip to Swanage? No matter if you’re just here for the day or staying a little longer, we’re sure you’ll have a fantastic time. 

Rain or shine, the town’s popular attractions and activities provide hours of fun and entertainment.  

Whether you want to walk the South West Coast Path, take a boat trip or simply relax in a deckchair on the beautiful sandy beach, there is lots of choice for all ages and budgets in Swanage. 

Sports and activities 

Being on the coast but within easy reach of the surrounding countryside, Swanage is the perfect place to visit for a walking break or to head out for a day of walking during your stay. There’s lots of routes to choose from including history and art trails. 

Feeling adventurous? Why not try stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing, coasteering or abseiling? You might even want to go sea fishing, learn bushcraft skills or go foraging for your dinner! 

Just a few minutes’ walk from the beach you’ll find the Beach Garden Sports Park with tennis courts, outdoor bowls, an 18 hole putting green and basketball court – great value fun for all members of the family. 

History and heritage 

Swanage’s heritage attractions really do evoke the Victorian era.  

Imagine that you’ve stepped back in time as you board the Swanage Railway or take a stroll along the restored Pier.  

A visit to Durlston Country Park’s Castle and Great Globe is a must with fantastic views of the town and Jurassic Coast. And if you want to learn more about the history of the town, the Museum and Heritage Centre down on the seafront tells the story of ‘Little London by the Sea’. 

Arts and crafts 

A few miles outside of Swanage and easily reached by bus, why not create your own piece of art at Burngate Purbeck Stone Centre. You’ll learn stone carving skills and get to take home a souvenir of your visit to Swanage. 

Want to see the latest blockbuster movie or take in a show? The Mowlem Theatre and Cinema is the perfect place for some evening entertainment or for rainy days.  

The Swanage and Isle of Purbeck Sculpture Trail is an exciting way to discover the stone heritage of the local area. Visit various locations in the town centre and surrounding villages to see artwork by local artists as well as beautiful architecture. 

Family fun 

Hearing the ‘choo choo’ of the Swanage Railway steam trains will make visitors of all ages smile from ear to ear. Kids big and small will love getting the train from Swanage Railway Station for a day out to Corfe Castle. The train also stops at Norden, Herston and Harman's Cross. 

It wouldn’t be a visit to the seaside without going to the amusement arcades. Have a go on the 2p machines, test your skill to win a cuddly toy or play retro arcade games – the kids will love it! 

A great low-cost activity for all ages, crazy golf is fun for all the family and there’s two courses to choose from in Swanage. 

We handrawn heart Sports & Activities

Attraction & Activityhighlights

Swanage Railway

Whatever the weather, take a journey back in time with an enjoyable day of excitement and nostalgia at the award winning Swanage Railway. Sit back and relax during a leisurely trip behind a historic...

The Mowlem Theatre, Cinema and The Showbar

Situated on Swanage seafront The Mowlem, cinema, theatre, function rooms and sea view bar offer the perfect entertainment during your visit to Swanage. The refurbished and comfortable auditorium hosts...

Cumulus Outdoor Adventure

Cumulus Outdoors offers unrivalled outdoor experience and a range of outdoor adventure experiences for families and private groups, a range of school residential programmes including field studies,...

Dorset Safari

Enjoy a guided 4x4 safari across the stunning Purbeck Hills & Jurassic Coast in our customised Land Rover Defender. OUR CLASSIC JURASSIC COAST & PURBECK HILLS SAFARI – 4 HOURS This...

Swanage Sea Fishing

Deep Sea Wreck Inshore Mackerel, Cod & Bass Trips Sightseeing Corporate Events & Competitions Singles & Private Charters Self Led Geography Trips  San Gina, San Gina II and Three...

Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre

The Museum and Heritage Centre contains information on the history, geology and geography of the town and surrounding area. Educational packs are available and talks can be given. There is also a...

Swanage Pier

Swanage Pier looks as glorious today as it would have done over 100 years ago and is an essential part of Swanage’s unique Victorian heritage. Situated at the eastern end of Dorset’s World...

Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve

A day at Durlston offers something for everyone, whatever the weather. Discover flower-filled meadows, spectacular sea views and the historic Great Globe, enjoy great local food in our cafe or take in...

City Cruises Poole Departing Swanage Pier

City Cruises operate daily from Swanage Pier and Poole Quay. From Swanage, we offer either a cruise along the Jurassic Coast or a trip through Poole Harbour to the town of...

More to see and do...

On The Water

Explore Swanage Bay by boat, jet ski, pedalo, paddleboard or kayak.

Accessible Swanage

There are many attractions and places to visit in Swanage which are accessible to all.

Walking and Trails

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