Swanage’s gentle shelving beach is popular with families and nearby is the Victorian seaside resort with all its attractions.

Dorset Beaches: Swanage

Where is it? Off the A351 from Wareham, or via the ferry from Sandbanks, follow the road signs.

Best features: Swanage is the holder of a prestigious Blue Flag for its beach cleanliness and it is a popular spot for watersports. Swanage pier is one of the best diving locations in the country. There are walks with superb views over the Jurassic coast – England’s only Natural World Heritage Site.

Local facilities and shops: A range of restaurants, cafes, stalls to choose from, beach, shops, supermarkets, newsagents, theatre/cinema, tourist information centre, banks, Post Office and a community hospital.

Great for the kids? Marker buoys cordon off a swimmers-only area in Swanage Bay. An amusement arcade is opposite the beach. Boat cruises run to and from the pier.

How far are the loos? Opposite the beach in Shore Road.

Public transport: Swanage steam railway link to Corfe Castle and Norden park-and-ride–trains run every 35 minutes during summer. Wilts and Dorset bus number 150 from Sandbanks runs every hour during summertime - an is open top, and numbers 142 and 143 connect Swanage and Poole via Wareham.

Wet weather options:

Steam train ride Travel through the glorious Purbeck countryside on board the Swanage steam railway – call in at the station or telephone for details on 01929 425800.

Museums Visit the Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre in the town which features exhibitions on the fascinating history of Swanage. Open from April to the end of October. 01929 421427.

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