Swanage Travel Guide

  • Mill Pond, Church Hill, Swanage
    Mill Pond, Church Hill, Swanage
    by tango_jd
  • Swanage main beach.
    Swanage main beach.
    by CDM7
  • Things to Do
    by CDM7

Swanage Things to Do

  • Swanage Pier

    The first pier was built in 1859 and its main use was for shipping Purbeck stone.All that remains of this pier are a few wooden piles that are visible on the right hand side of the present one. Work on the present pier started in November 1895 and it was fully operational by March 1897.The pier offers something for everyone,with pleasure boat...

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  • The Great Globe

    The Great Globe,which is constructed of Portland stone ( quarried a few miles along the coast) weighs 40 tonnes and is one of the largest stone spheres in the world.It can be found just below Durlston Castle close to the sea.The stone slabs which are positioned around the Globe are inscribed with Shakespearean and Biblical passages.

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  • A Visit To Durlston Castle

    The recently renovated Durlston Castle is a Victorian building well worth exploring.Within the castle you will find a shop selling locally made gifts,books and souvenirs.The Seventhwave restaurant serves breakfast,lunch and Dorset cream Teas.There is also a visitor centre with interactive displays and a Gallery which offers a year round programme...

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  • Swanage Railway

    A nice way to see some of the Purbeck countryside is to take the train between Swanage and Norden, passing Herston Halt,Harmans Cross and Corfe Castle on route.The line runs for 6 miles, although plans are underway to extend this to Wareham. WEBCAM - A webcam has now been installed on top of Swanage Railway signal box,enabling steam enthusiasts to...

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  • Swanage Railway

    The Swanage railway Station is the principle station for the heritage railway service, originally built in 1885 the station has been restored to reflect the 1950’s, it is situated within easy walking distance to the local shops, restaurants, theatre, pier, sea front and beaches. The station shop offers an excellent range of gifts and souvenirs...

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  • Fishing for crabs!

    You can buy crab lines and bait cheaply in several places in the town. This is a great way to entertain the kids (or my grown-up kids).The photo shows the stone jetty near the pier-end of the bay but there are a number of suitable places.

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  • Walk - Swanage to Sir Harry's Rocks

    Once you have climbed the hill at the end of Swanage Bay (and caught your breath!) you can follow the cliff edges around the headland for a splendid view of Sir harry's Rocks.

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  • Swanage Railway

    From Swanage, you can take a stream train to Norden (north of Corfe Castle) which has a large park & ride car park. The train also stops at Herston Halt (on request), Harman's Cross and Corfe Castle. Maybe one time the line will be extended to Wareham which will connect you to the main railway network then. From what I understood some first steam...

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  • Corfe Castle

    Corfe Castle is an picturesque ruined castle in the village of the same name. The castle looks already great from the car park below and I was impressed by the huge castle grounds and the many remains of the castle.The castle was founded in the 11th century by William the Conqueror and was a royal fortress for several hundreds of years. In 1646...

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  • Ballard Point and Old Harry Rocks

    The area north of Swanage is formed of chalk, and the steep white cliffs that you can see from Swanage look really impressive. Ballard Point is the headland close Swanage, and a bit further there's Old Harry Rocks, some bright white pillars in the sea. Unfortunately it was pretty dizzy when we were Swanage, but even then it looked nice. I would...

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  • Wellington Clock Tower

    The Wellington Clock Tower originally was located in London, next to the London Bridge. It was built in 1854 as memorial to the Duke of Wellingtan. In 1867 it was moved to Swanage in 1867. Obviously it was blocking the traffic and was not needed anymore. Also stone was shipped from Swanage to London and the boats needed some load on the return...

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  • Peveril Point

    Peveril Point is a rocky reef at the southern end of Swanage bay, with a coastguard hut. From there you have nice views on Swanage Bay and further north to Bournemouth. To the south, you can see the top of Durlston castle in the Durlston Country Park.You can walk there along the seafront and the coastal path, however parts of this are flooded at...

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  • Swanage seafront

    Smanage has a nice promenade & beach and we enjoyed the views over the Swanage Bay towards the white cliffs in the north and Peveril Point to the south. On our way back it was high tide and it was funny to see the waves splashing on the promenade sometimes!South of the beach is an old Victorian Pier that was built in 1896. The pier originally was...

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  • Walk along the beach

    There is so much to see around Swanage, get your comfy shoes on and have a walk along the promenade and up the hill all around the area.What a relaxing thing to do on a weekend!

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  • Swanage Steam Train

    In the centre of Swanage you can take the steam train that goes to Corfe castle.Lovely scenery all around, not only for train enthousiasts!

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Swanage Hotels

See all 27 Hotels in Swanage
  • Firstwood

    This reasonably priced B&B has 8 rooms. Our room was on the top floor, was very clean and it felt a...

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  • YHA Swanage

    This has to be one of the best hostels I have been to yet. It's situated at the top of a big hill in...

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  • The Pines Hotel

    Burlington Road, Swanage, BH19 1LT, United Kingdom

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

Swanage Restaurants

  • Sea food comes with the smell of sea...

    This great restaurant is situated right on the waters edge overlooking Swanage Bay.The newly refurbished restaurant is soon to have an upper terrace from which you will have amazing sea views.Very busy on the day that we visited,but this did not affect the service that we received from the friendly staff.Good choice of seafood,with...

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  • Pub grub - but book a table!

    Typical English pub fayre including steaks and burgers but also salads, Ciabatta and wraps, fish, chicken, meat dishes. (Steaks around 12GBP)Some vegetarian dishes available also.The inn is a very traditional place to eat or enjoy a drink. The local ales are exceptionally well-kept and never disappoint whereas the blackboards display the most...

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  • Something for everyone

    Swanage restaurants cope well out of season in this small town but in season its wise to book as places are packed out. We went to Tawnys wine bar & were pleasantly surprised with the friendliness of the staff & the ambience. The food caters for a mixture of tastes. The dish that I picked was on the rich side but exactly what I was looking for.The...

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Swanage Transportation

  • Tram tracks of a bygone age.

    The Swanage Pier Tramway was a 2 ft 6 inch narrow gauge tramway in the port of Swanage,it opened in 1858 and closed in 1930.Only about 110 yards of track still exist and this can still be seen along the waters edge footpath from the amusement arcade, along past the Old Stone Quay,and on towards Swanage pier. Much of the Purbeck stone which was...

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  • The Age of Steam

    The perfect way to see Dorset and to visit Corfe Castle.The award-winning Swanage Railway currently operates on the six miles of track between Swanage and Norden, through the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, passing the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle. Swanage Railway, Station House, Swanage, Dorset BH19 1HB

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  • Swanage Hotels

    27 Hotels in Swanage

    1 Reviews

Swanage Shopping

  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    by Jenniflower Written May 20, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I rarely enjoy shopping, and here I loved it. There is something for everyone.

    My favourite shop being 'Curiosity'... it is an absolute delight for any girl.. with all kinds of knick knacks... and it is very popular! This is quite off-putting though, as it was crowded and the shop, although large, has tiny aisles and is jam-packed with produce!

    What to buy: You can find almost anything 'girly' here... from ornate hair accessories to bead and glass necklaces, from satin dressing table boxes to old-fashioned metal fridge magnets.

    What to pay: Average prices I thought!

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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Swanage Tourist Traps

  • Steam train to Corfe Castle

    Take a steam railway ride to Corfe from Swanage station.in Summer 2012, an adult single was about 10.50GBP and a return about 16GBP - Children 7GBP and 11GBP respectively.However, many people take the train there and get the bus back.There are also "special occasions" - see the Swanage railway web site for...

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  • Beach at Swanage

    Fabulous beach but can be a little crowded in parts and at peak holiday times. Go towards Eastern end away from town centre - the sand is better and the crowds thin-out a lot by then!

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  • Deck chair hell

    It's lovely basking along the Swanage seafront, seagulls calling, children laughing; then the deck chair attendent comes up and declares it's £1.50 to sit for four hours!Cheaper to bring one of them fold up chairs I think. Make sure you got £1.50 (daylight robbery) Bring a fold-up chair, or simply use you bum.

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Swanage What to Pack

  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    by Jenniflower Written Jun 10, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Luggage with wheels is always a good idea, wherever you are travelling.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Whether snowy/wet/sunny/warm or cold weather, layer your clothing.
    Wear thermal underwear (these are easily bought at the local clothing shops), with warm leggings and a top under a toasty jacket for the cold. I have my trusty grey duffle coat, plus a white snow jacket for this type of weather, and they are a godsend!
    Wear flat shoes that have a good grip, as when it is snowing, and afterwards, when it is sludge, it's really difficult to walk and keep your balance!
    Always remember to bring a cap/hat that covers your head and neck for when it gets hot, as well as sunglasses.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen (Factor 35 is the minimum factor I use, no matter what the weather is), headache tablets and usual little things like some plasters for blisters, cotton wool, germolene etc.

    Photo Equipment: Your camera, with charger, and a EUROPEAN plug extension.

    Miscellaneous: Have a map of the area handy, plus a local bird, flower and tree book. For this you also need a pair of good quality binoculars

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

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Swanage Off The Beaten Path

  • Visit the Lifeboat Station

    One of over 230 RNLI lifeboat stations around the coast of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.It provides on call,a 24hour lifeboat search and rescue service,which relies entirely on voluntary contributions and legacies as it doesn't receive any government help.A visit to the lifeboat station gives you a chance of speaking to a crew member as well...

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  • Tilly Whim Caves

    When i first lived in Dorset in the early seventies i would often visit these caves.Since 1976 the caves have been closed to the general public owing to the dangerous structure within.The caves and ledges now provide a home for bats,nesting birds and maritime plants.Entrance is a 5 minute walk from Durlston Castle going towards Anvil Point...

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  • A Walk In Durlston Country Park.

    One of my favourite walks is the coastal footpath in Durlston Country Park.The 280 acre park is situated just 1 mile from the seaside town of Swanage.This lovely stretch of coastline is ideal for walking,birdwatching and seeing wildlife.At certain times of the year it is also possible to see dolphin swimming in the sea below. The footpath from...

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Swanage Favorites

  • Catholic Mass

    When we visited in 2001, we drove to Swanage and went to mass at 1000. I told my husband that it was not on my top ten list of great masses - I couldn't understand any of the homily (sermon) that was read (!!) by the priest.In 2003, when we came back again, we went to church in Swanage after breakfast- same priest as the last time we were here.

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  • Watching from the side

    There are many smalll boats and sailing ships here, as well as a large scuba diving contingent.We enjoyed sitting by the side of the stoney harbour wall, watching all that was going on around us.There were families throwing stones into the water, with their dogs playing along too...there were plenty of scube divers and people going out for a sail.

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  • Weekend day away

    I was staying with a friend for the weekend and we popped down to the seaside! She is in a house-share in North London so was also keen to get away.I really enjoyed Swanage... the seagulls, beach and friendly people :-) It is not too far to drive for a weekend away too, it took us 2 hours.Maybe next time we might stay here longer? I hope so :-)

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Explore Deeper into Swanage
Not a restaurant - a lovely PUB!
Restaurants
Durlston Head
Off The Beaten Path
Fish & Chips by the seaside
Restaurants
Childhood
Favorites
Tell Somebody you Love them, forever!
Things to Do
Worth the walk
Off The Beaten Path
Brownsea Island
Things to Do
Corfe Village
Things to Do
Steaming around on the right track
Things to Do
Map of Swanage

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