The coastal town of Swanage is not much when it comes to population. This small fishing town is home to only 11,000 people but swells by the thousands in the summer months thanks to its peak tourist location. What was once just a port and fishing village it has now become a popular tourist destination.
Thanks to its beach location the first place most people head is to the sand. And who can blame them, the town itself is in a beautiful setting without the beach. Adding in the gentle slope to the white sandy beach and you have a breathtaking view. The beach is sheltered and the waters are almost always calm making it a big draw for families with small children. While sunning yourself on the beach you can rent deck chair or for those who enjoy water sports there are plenty of equipment to rent. The beach is also lined with shops, restaurants, ice cream parlors and simple cafes so that you don't have to wander too far to get a tasty snack while you're enjoying your day in the sun.
While enjoying the sun and surf atmosphere be sure to check out the Victorian Pier. This pier, built in 1860, was originally used for the local stone quarry. It had a tram that used to run the length of the pier, and visitors can still see the tracks that have been inset into the walkways on the sea front. Today the pier is not just a popular stop for seeing spectacular views but it is also home to the oldest diving school in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the shelter provided to the pier it is a popular place for new divers to take lessons and train. The pier also has some ferry services that run to Poole Quay.
Many visitors to the area are interested in the Swanage Railway. This six mile stretch of railway is part of the heritage line having been opened since 1885. Passengers can take this train to the Corfe Castle railway station, Harman's Cross Railway Station, Herston Halt Railway Station, or Norden Railway station and of course back again to Swanage.
Since it is so close to Corfe Castle, many visitors take the train to visit these ruins. Dating back to the early 11th century the Corfe Caste ruins are a big tourist attraction. Even though, the castle is listed as being an 11th century relic there are those that believe some of the strongholds to the castle actually predates that by nearly 200 years. Those pieces, however, have been lost to time but the keep, from the 11th century, still stands on the site. Even if you don't want to tour the castle itself there are many roads running to and from Swanage that pass right below the magnificent site.
Dialling the UK from Abroad
To dial the telephone and fax numbers shown from outside the UK, dial your international access code (check with your telecoms provider if you do not know what to dial), then 44, then the rest of the number except the zero shown in brackets.
Guest House & Hotel Owners
If you run a hotel, guest house or bed & breakfast and would like to be included in 4Hotels.co.uk's Hotel & Guest House Directory, please e-mail email@example.com.
Other accommodation close to Swanage: