Wareham to Swanage

Wareham is Swanage’s closest town – hop on a bus, grab a taxi or cycle between the two

The ten-mile journey from Wareham to Swanage can be taken by car or bus – or partially by steam train.

The South Western Railway London Waterloo – Weymouth service stops at Wareham, making Swanage and the Isle of Purbeck easily accessible from a range of destinations.

By Car

For your SatNav: BH19 1AN

This will take you to Swanage’s Main Beach car park, just off Victoria Avenue.

There are two, simple routes to get you directly from Wareham to Swanage with ease – through the town of Wareham or bypassing Wareham.

Journey time: around 20 minutes

Through Wareham town

View of Corfe Castle ruin from the village cemetery
You’ll pass the ruin of Corfe Castle on both routes into Swanage

If you’re coming from, or stopping at, the pretty Saxon walled town of Wareham en route to Swanage, simply continue along the B3075 through Wareham and across the causeway through to Stoborough.

Take the first exit onto the A351 at the Stoborough/Furzebrook roundabout. Follow the A351 through the villages of Corfe Castle and Harman’s Cross, and continue on until you get to High Street in Swanage, which leads on to Victoria Avenue.

The car park will be on your right, just after the signs for Swanage Golf Games.

Bypassing Wareham

Simply follow the A351 bypass, taking the second exit at the Furzebrook roundabout to continue on the A351 towards Corfe Castle and Swanage.

Google Maps

By Bus

Purbeck Breezer no 40 bus in Langton Matravers
The Purbeck Breezer bus takes you through Langton Matravers village

No. 40 Purbeck Breezer MoreBus

Journey time: Around 40 minutes.

The No. 40 Poole to Swanage Purbeck Breezer bus stops at various points in Wareham (including the train station, as well as several points in town).

There are also stops along the way in Stoborough, Corfe Castle, Kingston and Langton Matravers.

This direct bus route stops in the heart of Swanage town at the bus station.

You can view the bus timetable on the morebus website:

By steam train

Steam train going past Corfe Castle
The Swanage Railway passes Corfe Castle, giving you a variety of views along the way

Norden to Swanage on the Swanage Railway heritage line.

Journey time: Around 20 minutes (variable)

Drive, or catch a bus or grab a taxi from Wareham station to Norden, where you can pick up a steam or diesel train on the Swanage Railway line.

The six-mile journey is a unique experience and a great way to explore the Isle of Purbeck, with stops at Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross and Herston along the way.

A special four-day-a-week trial of diesel trains from Wareham to Swanage direct is operating between April and September 2023.

Check full details and timings of all services on the Swanage Railway website: 

By taxi

A handy way of getting to Swanage from Wareham or beyond (if you are arriving to the area on the London Waterloo – Weymouth train, for example) is by taxi.

You can pick up a cab at Wareham Station, where there is a small taxi rank, from which a number of local taxi firms run.

Wareham taxis

To book a taxi from Wareham to Swanage in advance you can contact the individual Wareham-based taxi companies:

  • Excel Taxis – 📞 01929 448066 ℹ️
  • Everest Taxis – 📞 07473 330063
  • Jurassic Cabs – 📞 01929 558119 or 01929 554 223 ℹ️
  • Phil’s Cabs – 📞 07824 492463
  • Wareham Forest Taxis – 📞 07902 924131

Swanage taxis

Alternatively, many of the Swanage taxi companies may be available to collect you from Wareham Station and take you to Swanage.

Many of these local Purbeck taxi firms also offer airport transfer services to Bournemouth Airport, Southampton Airport and further afield, such as London Heathrow and Gatwick.

By bike

There are two main cycle routes from Wareham to Swanage, one of which includes more off-road than the other, following part of the National Cycle Route 2.

Cycle time from Wareham to Swanage – Around one hour – one hour and 15 minutes

Google maps showing two alternate cycling routes from Wareham to Swanage
Wareham to Swanage main cycle routes, Google Maps

If you’re catching the train to Wareham with your bike, you can cycle into town via an underpass to avoid traffic and stock up on any essentials you might need before continuing on to Swanage. It’s worth noting that South Western London Waterloo to Weymouth trains do have facilities for bikes, but during peak times numbers may be limited. You can check the South Western Railway’s bike policy on their website: 

You can find useful information on cycle routes at the Discover Purbeck Information Centre, based at Wareham Library, which is near the quay.

On the way, depending on which route you take you’ll find shops, cafés, pubs and public toilets in Wareham and Corfe Castle. Harman’s Cross also has some shop facilities (a petrol station). However, if you’re heading over the Purbeck Ridgeway, there will be no facilities after Corfe until you reach Swanage.

Cycle repair and assistance

It might be useful to know that at Wareham Station itself there is a friendly cycle repair shop, Wareham Cycleworks, as well as a mobile bike mechanic, Furmage Cycles, based in Swanage.

Cycleworks contact details

You can get in touch with Cycleworks by phone or email, or just pop into the shop, which offers sales, repairs and servicing.

Opening hours

Cycleworks is open six days a week.

  • Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm
  • Sundays – Closed

If you’re staying in Swanage and need an unexpected repair, there is also a mobile bicycle mechanic, David Furmage, who can come to you, which is handy if you get a puncture and you’re stranded somewhere unfamiliar.

Check out Furmage Cycles’ Facebook page or phone for assistance:

Furmage Cycles contact details

  • ℹ️
  • 📞 07592 543373

On foot – walking from Wareham to Swanage

British flag and hanging baskets outside the Castle Inn pub in Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle has plenty of options for a half-way lunch stop

If you’re a keen rambler, why not make a day of it by parking at Wareham or catching the train, and walking the Purbeck Way all the way to Swanage. The waymarked route will take most people just over three hours.

There are plenty of places to stop for coffee and/or lunch en route – Corfe Castle village is a good half-way point. You’ll find various cafés and pubs here to fuel you up for the second leg of your journey, as well as, of course, the  Corfe Castle ruin itself.

The walk will take you through the Saxon walled town of Wareham and across around five miles of heathland toward Corfe. After a lunch-stop, head up into the Purbeck Hills for some excellent views across Purbeck, Studland and Poole Harbour, and follow an easy path across them all the way to Swanage.

After you’ve made the descent into Swanage you can explore the town, beach and bay for the day before grabbing a bite to eat in one of the popular restaurants or pubs and head back into Wareham on the hourly No. 40 bus or take the steam train back to Corfe Castle, and a bus or taxi on to Wareham from there.