Swanage combines a Victorian-style seaside resort with a sheltered, calm, gently sloping sandy beach that runs the entire length of the town. Behind the beach is a promenade, which is partly pedestrianised in summer. Entertainments include the pier and amusements, crazy golf, canoeing and/or kayaking, diving, snorkelling, fishing, jet ski, sailing, swimming and bathing, and windsurfing. Beach huts, boats, deck chairs, loungers, and pedalos are available for hire.
The part of the beach that craft need to avoid is well-marked; motorised vessels pay to use the slipways, while non-motorised vessels have their own launch sites. There are designated swimming areas, marked with buoys, and a seasonal lifeguard service from around the end of May to around mid-September, from 10am to 6pm. Wardens also patrol in summer. There is also a lost children centre. Dogs are not allowed on the central beach from 1 May to 30 September.
There are several beach showers and public toilet facilities, some including baby change. Accessible toilets are located at Shore Road (next to the beach), the Pier, Museum and Heritage Centre, and Mermond Place car park, which offers 24-hour access with a RADAR key. Disabled access includes ramps onto the beach from the flat seafront.
Swanage Central Beach is adjacent to both the South West and Bournemouth Coast Paths. The location regularly wins awards, including Blue Flag, which it has held for 20 years running. Swanage Central also holds the Keep Britain Tidy Seaside Award and is Marine Conservation Society Recommended.
Type of beach
Dogs friendly beach?
Dogs are banned from the beach from 1st May to 30th September.
- Crazy golf/putting
- Diving & snorkelling
- Good fishing
- Wind surfing
- Disabled facilities
- First aid point
- Lost child centre
OS grid ref.
SZ 0308 7924
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Swanage Beach Reviews
Lovely gently sloping sandy Bay sheltered from prevailing south westerly winds.
Small tide range with blue flag clear water.
Guy BoxallJun 24th 2021
20 years plus visiting, a great place to visit.
and ideal place for bucket and spade
Chris RammOct 28th 2019
Swanage has a huge amount going for it as a holiday town and the beach is a great attraction. The huge advantage is its Eastern Aspect, which apart from massive panoramic views across Christchurch bay to the Isle of Wight, provide a safe environment away from the chop of the western swell and waves that many other beaches suffer, so ideal for families with kids. there is plenty to do by way of water sports available from the beach, and it served by a bus route that will take you to Studland if you fancy a change (and if the wind blows fair and the chain ferry gets its act together can take you all the way to Bournemouth.) Swanage is a great little town, well positioned for the Purbecks with interesting shops and loads of activities going on throughout the summer, regatta’s carnivals, folk festivals to name just a few. Totally recommend not only the beach but the town,
not recommended if you are looking for a dog friendly holiday. The beach allocated to dogs is so small and they still gave to be on lead, this is for the benefit of the chalet owners.