Swanage is a small seaside town situated in the south east of Dorset, England. The town is at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsular that borders the English Channel. Accessible via road from Wareham or across the Sandbanks Ferry from Poole, Swanage is a popular tourist destination with award winning sandy beaches and beautiful countryside. Swanage is also the first town at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, England’s first world heritage site.
The town has a many shops ranging from small gift shops to two medium sized supermarkets; the following banks have branches in the town: Lloyds TSB Ltd, Barclays, HSBC and NatWest. There are two post offices in the town, the main post office located in Kings Road near the railway station and small sub-post office in Costcutter at Herston.
Swanage has a wide range of tourist attractions, The Steam Railway, Durlston Country Park, Victorian Pier, Two Public swimming pools, Tennis courts, Indoor & Outdoor bowling greens and a large golf course between Swanage and Studland to name just a few.
The area has many miles of footpaths and bridleways making it the ideal place for exploring for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Swanage has many pubs and a night club and the area is very popular on New Year’s Eve with visitors coming from all over the country to party in the town. Most of the revellers go out in fancy dress and the lower part of the High Street is closed to traffic as the parties spill from the pubs onto the street.
Swanage has a population of over 11,500 people and in the summer months this number nearly doubles. The town dates back to 877AD when it was first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Originally a small fishing village and quarrying port the town flourished in the 19th century with Purbeck stone being used extensively in London and throughout England. A more detailed history of the area can be found in the Local History section.
Swanage is governed by Swanage Town Council, Purbeck District Council and Dorset County Council. The town falls within the national constituency of South Dorset.
Swanage Town Council is a Parish Authority based in the town hall in Swanage High Street. Council services include beach and tourist information, sport and recreational facilities, off-street car parks, public conveniences, allotments and cemeteries. The council consists of twelve elected councillors, a town mayor and up to 100 staff.