Swanage and Purbeck Area

Browse holiday cottages in the Swanage & Purbeck area

oldharryrocksThe Swanage and Purbeck area is bounded in the north by the River Frome and surrounded on three sides by the sea. Between range the Purbeck Hills and heathlands which run down to the vast expanse of Poole Harbour and the RSPB reserve at Arne. It is only 13 by 7 miles, but it is hard to imagine a more diverse area.

The usual entry point is Wareham with a rail link to Waterloo (2 hours), a supermarket and a good selection of small, mainly independent shops. There are also Thursday and Saturday markets and boat trips on the Frome.

The ruins of Corfe Castle stand sentinel over the lovely stone village and a steam train links it with Swanage town’s sandy beach and tourist facilities. The Tourist Information Centre in Swanage is on Shore Road (01929 422885).

The South West Coast Path leaves the Army controlled section which has access most weekends and main school holidays around Lulworth at Kimmeridge beach. Kimmeridge’s renowned shale ledges are both a haven for water-sports enthusiasts and a Marine Nature Reserve.

The Coast Path continues on the cliffs before dropping to Chapman’s Pool. Beyond is St Aldhelm’s Head with its tiny Norman Chapel, leading to limestone cliffs, coves for adventurous swimmers and eventually the sandy beach of Swanage.

Swanage is a Victorian seaside town in a bay with a long sandy beach. Together with a promenade, a pier and a steam railway, it is what every British seaside holiday is all about. It marks the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast and has spectacular walking. It is also a festival town with something going on most weekends.

WinspitAfter the famous Old Harry chalk stacks, Studland’s long sandy beach stretches all the way to the mouth of Poole Harbour. Here there is an excellent fish restaurant and a chain ferry to Sandbanks/Poole. The attractions of Poole include the famous pottery and trips to Brownsea Island famous for its red squirrels.

The Area in Detail

The Swanage & Purbeck area offers a huge variety of things to do. Here we have broken down the locale to incorporate the finer detail of what the area has to offer.

Food & Drink

Many of the fabulous eateries and pubs are within a stones throw of the wonderful beaches. Choose from traditional pubs or fine dining restaurants all within a stone’s throw of the water’s edge.


Some are shallow and sandy, while others offer fantastic rock pooling, snorkelling and diving. The diversity of the coastline is a real feature here and each beach is very different from the next.

What’s On

Keep an eye out for what’s on as the seaside town of Swanage excels in providing a full year of great entertainment, tempting in visitors from all of the surrounding villages and beyond.


Villages in the Purbeck area are famous all over for their postcard perfect appearances. Entire villages are made from the local stone quarried in this area. This, of course, creates the quintessential holiday cottage experience.

If you like to know before you go, visit these great websites to enhance your stay in Dorset: South West Coast PathJurassic CoastFossil HuntingVisit Dorset and iCoast.

Why not buy a Jurassic Coast Card which has some great deals for days out, food and drink and services along the Dorset Coast?

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