Welcome to Swanage

by Swanage
Swanage Bay

What makes Swanage so special?

Swanage’s stunning coastal location and close proximity to many of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast gems, such as Durdle Door, Corfe Castle and Lulworth Cove, is what makes it really special.

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

Being on the south coast of Britain, the weather in Swanage tends to be 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 fun things to do throughout the year, making Swanage a year-round destination for families, couples and solo travellers. If you’re a foodie, music fan, or arts and crafts enthusiast, then Swanage is a fantastic base from which to explore the Isle of Purbeck’s culinary and artisan scene.

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, or simply just popping down to the beach for tea after school or a day out exploring.

If you can’t visit but want to see a glimpse of Swanage, what the weather’s doing, or to catch one of the Swanage Railway steam trains coming in to its heritage stations, there are a number of webcams dotted around town, including 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

Where is Swanage?

Swanage is located in Dorset, on the south-west coast of England. It lies to the west of Poole Harbour & Bournemouth, and to the east of Weymouth.

It’s 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 and the A351, or via the Sandbanks Ferry from Poole & Bournemouth to Studland.

Buses, taxis and Wareham Train Station

Swanage is easily accessible via public transport. Buses run from Poole and Bournemouth. You’ll catch the Number 40 or No. 50, depending on which direction you’re coming from. There’s also a summer bus service to and from Weymouth.

You can also get a bus or taxi from Wareham train station, Swanage’s nearest mainline station, which is served by the London – Waterloo South Western Railway line.

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.

Ferries also run from France, Jersey and Guernsey from nearby Poole Harbour.