Swanage - things to do in Dorset


As the largest town in Purbeck, Swanage is traditional seaside resort with stunning natural beauty.

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46.8 miles from Highlands End
48.8 miles from Golden Cap
44.6 miles from Graston Copse
21.8 miles from Sandyholme

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  • Swanage - things to do in Dorset
  • Swanage - things to do in Dorset
  • Swanage - things to do in Dorset
  • Swanage - things to do in Dorset
  • Swanage - things to do in Dorset
  • Swanage - things to do in Dorset

The blue flag beach at Swanage offers everything you would expect from a traditional seaside town. You’re never far away from an ice cream stall, fish and chip shop and pedalo rental kiosk. The bay is sheltered and the shoreline slopes gentle making it a safe swimming beach. Dogs are welcome on Swanage beach between 1st October – 30th April each year.

If you’re visiting in the summer you might want to check out the carnival and regatta which usually happens during the last week of July. There is a whole host of events including air displays, carnival procession and firework displays.

Food and drink

There is a good selection of pubs and restaurants in the town. The Salt Pig Too has the motto of Live Local… Eat Local. They offer a tasty selection of meat and fish, all sourced from farms within 8 miles of the café. The owners of the café makes their own sausages and bacon from their own rare breed pigs. For seafood lovers had to Gee Whites. They serve up delicious looking platters of locally caught seafood and shell fish which can be enjoyed with views over looking Swanage Bay. Bliss Food Co. create tasty homemade meals using only fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Their small but beautifully decorated restaurant has a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Out and about in Swanage

The south west coast path runs right along the seafront in Swanage so it’s easy to head out and take on the Purbeck hill walks which surround the town. If you follow the coast path to the west for a couple of miles you will arrive at Durlston Country Park.  This expansive, clifftop nature reserve is a treat for bird spotters and nature lovers. When you’ve finished exploring outside in the reserve head over to the visitor centre and gallery which situated in a renovated Victorian castle.

A trip on the Swanage Railway is a fantastic day out for the whole family. They run both steam powered and diesel locomotives trips from the station which is near the centre of the town. Visitors can experience a unique journey through six miles of beautiful scenery passing the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle.

If you want to head out on the water there are a number of boats set up for fishing and sight seeing trips. The best way to see the Jurassic Coast is from the water so climb aboard and have your cameras (and fishing rods) at the ready. Other activities on offer include pitch and putt golf, seafront arcades and crabbing off the pier.

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Holidays in Dorset

At West Dorset Leisure Holidays, we have a great choice of accommodation and facilities across 4 family-run holiday parks on or near the Jurassic Coast - Highlands End, Golden Cap, Graston Copse and Sandyholme, as well as Caravan and Lodge Holiday Homes for sale.

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Our Awards & Accreditations

Our parks have been recognised as some of the best in Dorset. We're extremely proud of the awards and it's easy to see why our guests return year on year. You can be safe in the knowledge that you're staying at one of the best parks in the county! Please note awards vary by Park.

What our guests say

  • Very peaceful Park

    The wildlife is stunning, we were visited by the ducks on a regular basis which was lovely. Our visit was very enjoyable and we will definitely be back in the future!

    Sarah W - Pitch Up

  • 5 out of 5 isn't enough!

    This is simply our favorite touring park along the south coast. The location couldn't be better with views to die for and an abundance of fresh sea air. The park is spic and span and extremely well kept with very friendly staff.

    Big Caravan Adventures - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • Best holiday ever!

    This is by far the best Holiday Park I have been to. The views are breath taking with easy access to the beach and nice coastal walks to West Bay. If you're looking for a relaxing holiday in a stunning location, then this is the place to come.

    Alison D - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • Fantastic holiday once again

    We have been coming here now every year for about 10 years. Its our favourite place and the Park has everything we need.

    Andy M - TripAdvisor
    Highlands End

  • A little bit of heaven!

    Golden Cap is a little bit of heaven. The views are awesome, right next to the sea. It's all relaxed and low key just how we like it.

    Esther Woodhouse - Facebook
    Golden Cap

  • Idyllic setting

    Quiet site in a beautiful setting with exceptionally clean toilets and showers

    Anthony M - Pitch Up
    Graston Copse

  • Would definitely recommend

    Close to beach, a nice local pub, dog friendly and a very relaxed atmosphere.

    Dan M - Pitch Up
    Golden Cap

  • A tour of Dorset!

    An excellent Park as a base to visit the Dorset coast, Jurassic Coast, Chesil Beach, Lyme Regis, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, to name a few.

    Arthur D - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse

  • Fantastic Park

    10 out of 10 is not enough for this Holiday Park. We have been here 3 times and we love it more and more every time. The park has all you need, with some pitches overlooking the sea and a great restaurant.

    Shirley Thompson - Tripadvisor
    Highlands End

  • A hidden gem

    The location is amazing, right on the beach and all the facilities are good. It's a hidden gem this one, one of the best parks in the country

    Mark Tee - Tripadvisor
    Golden Cap

  • Lovely tranquil campsite

    The location was great as we could easily walk to the village or local beaches through the beautiful countryside. I would recommend this campsite to families for a peaceful and safe stay.

    Sarah - Tripadvisor
    Graston Copse