What makes Swanage special?

Swanage’s stunning coastal location and proximity to many Jurassic Coast gems is what makes it really special. 

Swanage Bay, which sweeps from Ballard Down to the north across to Peveril Point in the south, is protected from major southwesterly storms, while the Isle of Wight provides a degree of shelter from easterly storms. As such, the bay is ideal for swimming, sailing, diving and other watersports.

The weather in Swanage is favourably mild, with few frosts and little snow in the winter. During the summer months, the area draws many thousands of visitors for its traditional British seaside feel, and there are numerous festivals, events and things to do throughout the year, making Swanage a year-round destination for families, couples and individual travellers. If you’re a foodie, music fan, or arts and crafts enthusiast, then Swanage is an excellent base to explore the Isle of Purbeck’s culinary and artisan scene from.

Whether you’re just visiting, already live here, or are thinking of relocating to Swanage, there’s a wealth of things to do all year round, so make the most of exploring Purbeck’s many pretty villages, weekend farmers’ markets, delicious restaurants and excellent pubs, as well as the array of annual events they host. There’s also loads going on for kids – from after-school clubs and summer holiday workshops to organised outdoor adventure activities and simply just popping down to the beach for tea after school or a day out exploring.

If you can’t visit but wish to see, then there are a number of webcams including the one on the RNLI’s boathouse that gives a great view across the sea to the iconic Jurassic Coast landform Old Harry Rocks.

Welcome to Swanage sign with Purbeck Hills behind

Where is Swanage?

Swanage is located in Dorset, on the south-west coast of England. It lies to the west of Poole Harbour and Bournemouth and to the east of Weymouth. It is the only town on the Isle of Purbeck and is famous for being part of the world-renowned Jurassic Coast.

Getting to Swanage

Arrive by car

There are two main routes into Swanage by car – via Wareham or via the Sandbanks Ferry from Poole to Studland.

Buses, taxis and Wareham Railway Station

Buses run from Poole, Bournemouth and Weymouth and you can also get a bus or taxi from Wareham Railway station – Swanage’s nearest mainline station.

Swanage is also served by the heritage line Swanage Railway, which runs from Norden to Swanage.

From abroad – nearest airports

Bournemouth airport is convenient for Swanage if you are planning to hire a car for your holiday. Southampton Airport has a train that goes straight from the airport (Southampton Airport Parkway) to Swanage’s nearest mainline station, Wareham.

Things to do in and around Swanage

People have been drawn to Swanage for generations because of its location in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Dorset AONB) – and especially its beautiful, sandy bay.

Swanage’s Blue Flag beach is one of the town’s main attractions, however there are plenty of other things for visitors of all ages to do both in and around Swanage.

The local area surrounding Swanage

While a week spending time in Swanage can easily keep a family entertained, there are many more activities and places to discover. 

Make Swanage your base to explore the hidden gems of the Isle of Purbeck.