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Top 10 Things for Kids to do in Swanage

26 November 2022

Swanage is a small yet charming seaside town in Dorset, but don’t let that fool you. Swanage is packed with exciting things to do! From castles to fossil hunting, read on to discover how your next trip could be to the Southwest Coast.

Swanage Beach

One of the main attractions of Swanage is the four-mile long, sandy beach, winner of the coveted European Blue Flag Award.

Make a base for the family by hiring one of the sixty brightly coloured, traditional beach huts. Inside is a table and four chairs to make your beach day a tad more comfortable. Try to book well in advance as demand is high, especially during the summer months.

Spend a day on the beach or use the designated swim zone to splash around in the clean water which is patrolled by beach wardens during high season.

Swanage Pier

Built during Victorian Times, Swanage Pier is one of a few remaining timber piers left in the UK. Stroll along to the end to try a spot of fishing but remember to discard your fishing line in the bin provided to keep our waters safe.

As a favourite dive site, you can snorkel or scuba dive to get a glimpse of the sea-life below, or take a boat trip from the pier along the Jurassic Coast to nearby…

Studland Bay 

Miles of sandy beaches? Check. Stunning views? Check. Dunes for picnics? Check. Watersports? A definitive check! Swim, sail, kayak, or paddleboard within the clear sheltered waters of the bay.

Take your cycles and explore the Corfe loop or gallop through the countryside on horseback with steeds from the local Studland Trekking Centre.

Then take a long fresh air walk to…

Old Harry rocks

Another famous landmark at Studland Bay, ‘Old Harry,’ is a chalk formation located at Handfast point on the Isle of Purbeck.

Get up close and personal to the formations with a kayak hire from Fore/Adventure, not far from Old Harry. They also offer camping with wild food foraging to cook on the campfire. Freedom starts here.

Fossil Hunting

It’s called the Jurassic Coast for a reason. Fossils are indeed in abundance, so dust off your dusting brush and head to Lyme Regis or Charmouth for some amazing finds. Time it right and visit just after a storm to find exposed and fallen fossils from the cliffs above.

Take your finds to the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life to have them identified and peruse their collection, all found within the local area.

Corfe Castle

Steeped in history, this castle was built by William the Conqueror in the Purbeck hills. A great place to explore for the kids with loads of open space and a playground with exercise machines.

Check the National Trust’s year-round schedule of events which include Viking and Saxon battles, zipwires, archery and medieval role play.

Walk around the model village, play giant Connect 4 and Jenga or for a treat, visit the traditional sweet shop for some good old-fashioned candies.

And when you’re ready to leave…

Swanage Railway

Head to the Corfe Castle train station, a fabulous recreation of a 1950s railway. Steam trains run between April and October between Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross and Swanage. Visit in December for special Santa journeys!

The journey itself, taking 22 minutes to Swanage, is pure delight with fantastic views of the castle and the local countryside.

Swanage Sailing Club

Not far from the pier, Swanage Sailing Club has been at the heart of sailing in Swanage since 1935.

The club’s year-round social calendar includes children’s water sports, parties and barbecues. Free training is offered to kids every Saturday morning, though spaces may be limited.

After your sailing experience, use the new changing rooms and showers, then chill in the trendy new club house.

Swanage Regatta & Carnival

One of the South Coast’s biggest family events, Swanage Carnival is a fantastic week of entertainment, usually held at the end of July.

Over 100 different events, including music, competitions, games, fireworks, parades and a wonderful air display, means there’s something for every family member.

If you have never been before, the organisers promise the 2023 carnival is going to ‘BIGGER and BETTER’ than ever before! Check out their website for the latest news and announcements.

Land & Wave

If your kids are passionate about the great outdoors, then Land & Wave has it all. From the second you arrive they will have your kids on the go.

A typical three-day course includes water-sports, climbing, building rafts, zorbing, sea kayaking, paddle-boarding, crabbing, cooking…well you get the picture!

Renowned for their friendly, yet professional, instructors, Land & Wave will deliver a fantastic adventure break.

Photo by Josh Mills on Unsplash

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