Swanage is the perfect setting for a Christmas by the seaside, with lots of things to see and do during the festive season

There’s lots of fun, festive things to do in and around Swanage in the lead-up to Christmas.

It’s a time for supporting local makers as they sell their handmade crafts, for community groups to come together to celebrate the season, and to enjoy the many cosy places to eat & drink with friends and family.

Christmas Market & Shopping

Mulled wine and spiced cider van at Swanage Christmas market

Support local in your Christmas shopping by finding gifts, stocking fillers and festive dinner essentials from the shops in town, or head to Swanage’s annual Christmas market to browse the stalls whilst enjoying entertainment and festive food & drink.

There’s also a number of Christmas craft fairs in nearby villages and towns to find that elusive unique gift. Try Corfe’s Christmas gift fair, visit the Etsy sellers at The Tank Museum, or discover new handmade items at quirky venues such as at Swanage’s beach huts with Artisans on the Beach.

Christmas Lights

Station Road Christmas lights, Swanage
Christmas lights in Swanage

Welcome the start of the festive season by gathering in town to watch the Swanage lights switch-on. Swanage Pier will also have its own lights switch-on, where you can dedicate a light to a loved one.

Corfe Castle’s Christmas lights switch-on and arrival of Santa in the village square is also always a popular Christmassy evening, and the Kimmeridge tree-lighting at the beginning of December is a lovely way to honour the season (with carols being sung around it on Christmas Eve).

Further magical winter illuminations in Purbeck include Swanage Railway’s Christmas train and the Blue Pool’s Illuminate event.

Music & Entertainment

Various traditional carol concerts are held in and around Swanage and Purbeck from late November and throughout December.

From small candle-lit experiences to lively brass-band performances, there’s a way for every member of the family to enjoy the festive season.

Young children can join in a Christmas sing-along at the Mowlem’s Santa Show, and there’s the town’s annual panto to look forward to in January, brought to us by Swanage Drama Company.

Family & Kids

Swanage Rotary Father Christmas

Kids (and big kids!) can keep an eye out where they live for Father Christmas in the first two weeks of December, with Swanage & Purbeck Rotary’s Santa’s sleigh as he makes his way around the streets of Swanage, Corfe and Langton.

And enjoy a wintery stroll around Corfe Castle‘s Christmas trail, with stories from the Lord of Misrule.

With a Santa’s Grotto at the Blue Pool this year – and even one for your pets at Margaret Green Animal Rescue Centre – Father Christmas will never be far away, so best get working on those Christmas lists already!

Christmas Trees

Christmas trees and handmade wooden reindeer for sale at the entrance of the farm shop at Norden
Norden’s one of the go-to places for locals to buy their Christmas trees

These are the best places around Purbeck to buy your Christmas tree this year:

    • RSPB Arne – Pick your own at Arne’s annual pull-a-pine event and help the environment too!
    • Rudges Garden Centre – Open for winter hours (Weds, Fri, Sat & Mon) and also selling trees at Swanage FC Christmas market and Swanage Christmas Market
    • Norden Farm – Norden’s always stocked with a great selection of trees including Norman Fir from the end of November. And if you require a very large tree just get in touch with the farm to order ahead
    • Lenctenbury Farm – Lenctenbury Farm stocks a good range of Dorset-grown Christmas trees – from mini, potted ones to 8ft non-drop trees
    • Emmanuel Baptist Church – Sponsor a tree at the Purbeck Christmas Tree Festival and take it home when the event’s ended