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Fishing / Crab Baskets at Mudeford Quay - March 2009


a Seaside Town in the county of Dorset

Pictures of Swanage

a Seaside Town in the county of Dorset

About Swanage

Casting a glance around this popular coastal resort town few would imagine Swanage Bay to have been the scene of a fierce naval battle in which King Alfred was victorious over the Danes in 877. These days it is a happy, orderly, coastal holiday resort of immense charm which attracts families and visiting yachtsmen. Swanage Bay is excellent for sea-sports, bathing is mostly safe except in the area close to Ballard Cliff, for the sea here can sometimes be treacherous. There is a good diving school operating from the pier, boats can be hired and deep sea fishing trips can be arranged.

The town is wedged between towering downs that result in lofty cliffs at both ends of the bay, from these high vantage points there are spectacular views across the sea and over the calm countryside of the beautiful Isle of Purbeck. Winding, switchback streets, weave down to a pretty town with the usual collection of sea-side shops, inns and restaurants. There are a few pieces of grand 'showpiece' architecture in Swanage. The Town Hall, built in 1883 has a fascia which was once the front to the Mercers Hall in Cheapside, London. Built of stone, it is reputed to have been designed by Sir Christopher Wren-it is perfectly proportioned, reflecting the classical elegance of Wren's designs. The Wellington Clock Tower is also from London, it was brought to Swanage in 1867. The 13th-century church dedicated to St.Mary the Virgin is the resorts oldest building. Standing next to the Millpond it occupies one of the resorts finest locations.

This is a small town that offers every kind of experience, a visit to nearby Durlston Country Park reveals 280 acres of natural countryside, coastal-cliffs, haymeadows, woods and limestone downland. It is home to a variety of wildlife including sea-birds, butterflies and other creatures of the wild. The park is rich with natural plants, delicate wild flowers thrive in hedgerows and in spring the ground beneath the woods is carpeted with pretty bluebells. On a sunny day there are fantastic views, clear blue skies reflect in an azure sea, tinged gold by the rays of the sun. Durlston is a lovely place, perfect for all the family.

Places to visit include: Corfe Castle, The Church of St.Mary the Virgin, Swanage Railway, The Coach House Museum, Studland Bay and Durlston Country Park.

Interesting & Historical Facts about Swanage

After the author H G Wells died in London in 1946, his sons decided to spread his ashes between Dorset and the Isle of Wight. Leaving Poole harbour, the Channel was very choppy bobbing their hired boat, The Diedre, about. They abandoned their original idea, and when abeam Old Harry rock near Swanage, spread his ashes to the wind there instead.

Swanage facts | Dorset facts

Recommended towns & villages near Swanage

Studland Beach

Studland (69 Pictures) in the county of Dorset

(2.6 miles, 4.1 km, direction N of Swanage)

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Worth Matravers (26 Pictures) a Picturesque Village in the county of Dorset

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Corfe Castle (194 Pictures) a Picturesque Village in the county of Dorset

(4.6 miles, 7.4 km, direction NW of Swanage)

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Sandbanks (30 Pictures) a Seaside Town in the county of Dorset

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Nearby attractions..

Durlston Country Park, Swanage, Dorset.

Durlston Country Park (22 Pictures)

(0.8 miles, 1.3 km)

This 100 hectare (270 acre) country park offers fantastic views and scenery, coupled with some of the best bird and animal.....

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Isle of Purbeck (21 Pictures)

(3.8 miles, 6.2 km, direction NW)


A picture of St. Aldhelm's Head & Chapel

St. Aldhelm's Head & Chapel (2 Pictures)

(4.5 miles, 7.2 km, direction SW)

One of the oldest churches in England, set on a 300ft cliff top in an area that is designated a Special Area of Conservation.....

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle (116 Pictures)

(4.6 miles, 7.5 km, direction NW)

Standing in lofty splendour above the chimney pots of the village with the roaring ocean lapping the cliffs to the other side of.....

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The Blue Pool (25 Pictures)

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