Aerial view of Swanage

Places to stay in Swanage

Welcome to Swanage

This coastal town makes for a perfect getaway in all seasons.

Swanage is a beautiful coastal town in the south east of Dorset, close to stunning cliffs and beaches, including Lulworth Cove and the famous Durdle Door - a natural limestone arch situated on the Jurassic Coast.

YHA hostels in Swanage

YHA Swanage

YHA Swanage

Free parking on premises
Cycle store

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Things to do in Swanage

Five free things to do in Swanage

Hit the beach

The sloping white sand beach of Swanage is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunshine. What's more, it is also very sheltered and the generally calm waters are great for paddling with the kids.

Town trails

There's more to this little old town than you may think, and local guides will take you around what was once known as Little London by the Sea.

Walk in the steps of dinosaurs

The Jurassic Coast is so-named because of the huge many dinosaur fossils and footprints found in the rock. A walk along this beautiful coastline is one of discovery.


A short walk up the hill from Swanage is Durlston Country Park, home to Durlston Castle, the 40-tonne Great Globe and some beautiful gardens. The castle itself also hosts many different exhibits to discover.

Mountain biking

If you fancy some off-road action, there are plenty of great mountain biking routes in the surrounding hills, while YHA Swanage has ample cycle storage.

The beautiful coastal town of Swanage

Swanage is a small town on the Dorset coast. Originally built up around the local fishing and quarrying industries, it has since developed into an extremely popular tourist resort, with pristine beaches and other attractions drawing in thousands of visitors each year.

The Victorian pier, local steam railway and nearby Corfe Castle all provide points of interest for visitors, along with the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. If you're looking for a relaxing coastal break, Swanage is an ideal choice.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

Uncover the secrets of Dorset's iconic medieval monument and discover how royalty, warfare and nature have shaped the castle.


Mowlem Theatre

Opened in 1967, the Mowlem Theatre is situated on the sea front at Swanage and has over 200 film productions a year as well as 60-100 nights of live theatre.

Studland Beach

Studland Beach and Nature Reserve

One of the UK’s finest beaches and extensive nature reserve. Enid Blyton lived here, so look for Policeman Plod’s thatched cottage!

Swanage Pier


A friendly, colourful seaside town with an award winning beach, amazing chalk pillars of Old Harry's Rocks and a very English Victorian pier.

Steam train

Swanage Steam Railway

Explore the beautiful countryside around Swanage on the old steam trains that chuff along to Corfe Castle and beyond. Visit the website

The Tank Museum

The Tank Museum

Our exhibitions tell the story of armoured warfare from World War One to the present day.

View some of our popular Swanage blog posts

Children walking near a lighthouse

Eons, dolphins, and a bus that goes on a boat: YHA Swanage

“Don’t be a Guillemot!” We might have been bemused by this social distancing sign had we not earlier peered over the cliff and seen these streamlined, penguin-like seabirds huddled together on a ledge beside the crashing waves...

Pembroke castle

Feel like a royal with our guide to the best UK castles

King of the castles… We are very lucky in the UK to have so many historic buildings within easy reach of a visit and castles are what fairy tales are made of. Here are some of our favourites...

View of the coast

National treasures and hidden gems

Our guide to unmissable England and Wales. From world-famous attractions to the less obvious, we’ve compiled a list of must-visit landmarks, landscapes and locations. And we have accommodation available a stone’s throw from all of them...