A coastal town in picturesque Dorset, Swanage bookends the Isle of Purbeck and offers aquatic activities in Poole Harbour, Studland Bay and Durlston Bay. From sloping white-sand beaches and laid-back dining to amusement arcades and nature parks, this resort town caters to all travellers.
Things to do in Swanage
The central Swanage Beach has a lively promenade where you can rent pedal boats and kayaks or pick up beach gear and deck chairs. Stroll the restored Victorian Swanage Pier or book a scuba diving, fishing or sailing expedition.
Visit Swanage Heritage Centre and Museum to learn more about Swanage, once called Knollsea. The exhibits span the days of dinosaurs all the way to World War II and highlight the intricacies of the nearby Jurassic Coast.
Hop aboard the Swanage Railway to traverse the seaside and Purbeck countryside to get a glimpse of Corfe Castle. Head over to Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve to spot dolphins, seabirds, hay meadows and coastal limestone. The park is also home to Durlston Castle, where you can browse the on-site art gallery and sip tea in the cafe.
Swanage Seen Art Trail takes you through a collection of Swanage paintings by renowned artists, while Purbeck Way links Swanage and Corfe Castle, where you can take the steam train back to town. Prefer to explore the wilder side of nature? Take Smuggler’s Way to a hidden sea cove beneath the cliffs.
Getting around Swanage
Taxis, buses and a cycling network service Swanage, while trains and ferries travel to nearby villages. You can rent a car at Bournemouth International Airport, about 21 kilometres away.