The 9 Best Things to Do in Swanage, United Kingdom (UK)

December 18, 2017 Christa Meece

Swanage was a popular seaside resort in Victorian times, and families today continue to enjoy its shallow, calm beach. The recently restored Swanage Pier is a popular spot for fishing. Diving trips and boat tours also depart from here. Don’t miss a trip through the local countryside on the Swanage Steam Railway.
Restaurants in Swanage

1. Old Harry Rocks

Swanage, England
Excellent
76%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 607 reviews

Old Harry Rocks

Reviewed By dave v - Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Did the Studland circular walk (about 4 miles). Not overly hilly and well signposted. If you are in the area and fancy a walk its quite nice, but boy was it blustery today. Stood well away from any cliff top edges. Dog friendly. You have to pay for parking at South Beach and the pub restaurant is next to the car park

2. Swanage Railway

47 Station Road, Swanage BH19 1AD, England
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Swanage Railway

The Swanage Railway provides an ideal way to get to the beach without the need to park in Swanage. Simply leave your car at the Norden Park and Ride, which is conveniently located just off the A351 north of Corfe Castle, and start your holiday early!

Reviewed By jnash84 - Bournemouth, United Kingdom

The cost for two adults return from Swanage to corfe castle was £26 which we didn’t mind for the experience of being on a steam train and the nostalgic feel of the surroundings.
The station at both ends of the line were nicely nostalgic with the waiting rooms, wooden signs, signal stations and of course he sound of oncoming steam trains
For me the reason for the average rating was that the carriages themselves were dated but not in a ‘times past’ fashion really, more plain and worn... felt a bit sad actually to me. Needs some reinvestment I think.
So agree with some of the other reviews about how friendly and upbeat all the staff were though.

3. Studland beach and Nature Reserve

Ferry Road | National Trust Area, Studland, Swanage BH19 3AQ, England +44 1929 450500
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Studland beach and Nature Reserve

Reviewed By PutneySW - London, United Kingdom

My good friend and I were here in late February, the weather was extremely bitter, the wind was challenging. However, the icy conditions did not detract from the beautiful countryside and stunning coastline.

4. Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park Lighthouse Road, Swanage BH19 2JL, England +44 1929 424443
Excellent
65%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 917 reviews

Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park National Nature Reserve is the perfect place to start exploring Dorset’s Jurassic coast. Acres of wildflower meadows, sea cliffs, woodland, superb coastal walking and spectacular views await you. Durlston Castle also offers gallery Exhibitions, the Seventhwave Café and visitor’s shop. A ranger is always on hand to help you get the most out of your day. Owned and managed by Dorset County Council.

Reviewed By dick h - Derby, United Kingdom

A really nicely thought through and structured facility. The "Castle" itself has many different aspects to it that all fit together and complement each other well. The staff are helpful and enthusiastic.
Outside the walks are interesting and cover a wide range of different natural habitats, from cliff walks, past historical quarries, over pasture and moorland and along country lanes. Fantastic place.

5. Shell Bay

Ferry Road, Studland, Swanage BH19 3BA, England
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 203 reviews

Shell Bay

Reviewed By sandybottom65 - Portsmouth England

Stunning views of Bournemouth to Great Harry rocks. The water is shallow and very clean. Some of the beach is a naturist area but it is well signposted . To be honest one of the best Beaches in the UK

6. Swanage Pier

Pier Approach, Swanage BH19 2AW, England +44 1929 425806
Excellent
54%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 364 reviews

Swanage Pier

Reviewed By robert b - Bournemouth, United Kingdom

It's a pleasure to stroll along and ready he brass plaques put down in tribute to loved ones, friends and family. Out boat dropped us off her and took us back to Poole from this pier. Lovely sunny day a real joy to visit.

7. St Aldhelms Head - South West Coast Path walk

Worth Matravers Car Park, Worth Matravers, Swanage BH19 3LE, England +44 1392 383560
Excellent
73%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 58 reviews

St Aldhelms Head - South West Coast Path walk

A 5.1 mile South West Coast Path walk with a round-up of assorted fascinating features around a limestone headland where the chalk grasslands are rich in wildflowers. The angular caves and tunnels in the vertical cliffs are home to the equally rare greater horseshoe bat, as well as doubling as distant planets in various sci-fi films.

Reviewed By aims1968 - London, United Kingdom

Spectacular views of the Dorset coast - well worth the visit. Short walk from the carpark on uneven ground. Good walking shoes recommended along with Binoculars and Camera. Worth taking a picnic on a Sunny day and take in the fresh air and scenery.

8. South West Coast Path - Dancing Ledge and Langton Matravers

1 Durnford Drove | Spyway Car Park, Langton Matravers, Swanage BH19 3HG, England +44 1392 383560
Excellent
76%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 45 reviews

South West Coast Path - Dancing Ledge and Langton Matravers

A 4.7 mile pastoral route taking in the South West Coast Path by hay meadows and flower-filled chalk grasslands, with the possibility of seeing puffins, bats and even dolphins. The steep cliffs have been hollowed out by quarrying of Purbeck limestone, shot through in places with important fossils, and the route follows ancient lanes through crumbling stone boundaries dating back hundreds of years.

Reviewed By Restless59 - Bournemouth, United Kingdom

Parked up at Spywey NT car park and headed off to Worth Matravers along the Priests Way, quick coffee and then onto Winspit and along the Coastal Path towards Durlston Head via Dancing Ledge. Sat at Henbury and just watched folks climbing, coasteering, a couple of kayakers, so enjoyed this lovely spot. This whole coastline is spectacular specially on a glorious sunny day and so nice to escape the hordes descending Bournemouth for the AirShow, (Actually had the bonus of a lone Red Arrow roar overhead). It's not a difficult walk and there are actually many good tracks to explore whether on the South Coast path itself or half way up or even right on the ridge. Headed to Durlston Castle and then back along the ridge and Priests Way back to Langston Matravers.

9. Studland to Swanage Trail

Studland Village Car Park Swanage Road, Studland, Swanage BH19 3AE, England +44 1752 896237
Excellent
75%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 35 reviews

Studland to Swanage Trail

A spectacular walk on the South West Coast Path that takes you from the village of Studland past the famous landmark of Old Harry – the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site - and on to Swanage.

Reviewed By GARY H - London, United Kingdom

I walked from Swanage to the Sandbanks ferry ( last done 20 years ago ) and found it as wonderful as I remembered. The Coastal paths were clear and the paths safe ( despite earlier heavy rains ) Great to see Old Harrys Rocks again.

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