Swanage pier (Dorset)
The original Swanage Pier was built between 1859 and 1860 for use primarily by the local stone quarrying industry, and included a tramway which ran the length of the pier and some way along the seafront. The old tracks can be seen to this day, inset into the seafront walkways.
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In this 'you may also like' section we attempt to answer what else can I do? Here you have a list by order of being the closest some more beaches, things to see and do, places to eat and upcoming events.
- Swanage bay has a gentle shelving beach that runs the length of the town and is backed by a promenade lined with amusements and attractions. On a clear day it is possible to see all the way over to the Isle of Wight. Swanage beach is home to many water sports. Swanage pier is one of the best diving locations in the country with diving training programmes and excursions running regularly from Swanage, the shallow bay and clear waters offer excellent training grounds for this sport. Other water sports include sailing, water-skiing and windsurfing. Swanage beach is part of the South West Coast Path with superb views over the Jurassic coast. Facilities include restaurants, cafes, shops, supermarkets, theatre/cinema, amusement arcades, car parking and marker buoys cordon off a swimmers-only area in Swanage Bay.
- The Central beach at Swanage is a great family beach set within a Victorian town with a pier. Swanage is a nice traditional family seaside resort whilst the beach is a sandy beach and is part of a larger stretch of sand that lasts for approximately 2km. Facilities include pier, promenade, cafes/restaurants, shops, children’s play area, beach huts, seasonal lifeguards, toilets with disabled facilities, showers and car parking.
- Beach: Swanage Beach View: Situated right on Swanage seafront with views down the sandy beach and across the bay. What’s on the menu?: Serving light lunches, bistro dinner or a tapas menu using fresh local produce. Extensive menu for vegetarians.
- The Durlstone Head Globe is on the cliffs of Durlston Head and is often refered to as the “Large Globe” or the “Great Globe”. Erected 1891 the globe is constructed of Portland stone, weighs about 40 tonnes, is 3 metres (10 ft) in diameter and surrounded by a circle of cast iron railings. At the base is a tablet recording distances between stars and planets. To the rear are a series of panels with quotations from the Bible, Shakespeare, the Aeneid and Tennyson and further tables of distances.
- Built from local stone, Anvil Point Lighthouse was completed in 1881 and opened by Neville Chamberlain’s father, then Minister of Transport. The light is positioned to give a waypoint for vessels on passage along the English Channel coast. To the west it gives a clear line from Portland Bill and to the east guides vessels away from the Christchurch Ledge and leads them into the Solent. Lighthouse has a visitor centre.
- Studland Bay has over 250 beach huts of which some 50 are available for rent from the National Trust. The huts vary in location in that some are on the beach edge overlooking Studland Bay whilst others are set back and more secluded among the sand dunes. Rent can be daily or weekly from Saturday to Friday.
- Dancing Ledge is not so much a beach but an old quarry floor. There are no beaches on this stretch of coastline but this is popular as you can get down to sea level. Some good swimming from the rocks but care needs to be taken. No facilities available.
- Studland Beach & Nature Reserve has three miles of beaches (Shell Bay, Knoll Beach, Middle Beach and South Beach) are owned by the National Trust. Wide sandy beaches great for swimming, watersports and diving. Water quality is good. The beauty of Studland is its vast shoreline and varied landscape. The most popular stretch is that near to Knoll Beach Cafe, but if you take a little effort and move away from this piece you get more space and better scenery. The heathland behind the beach is a haven for many wild flowers and rare birds and native wildlife and is a designated National Nature Reserve. Sand dunes and woodlands can be explored via a signposted National Trust trail and there is a woodland nature trail. Studland Study Centre at Knoll car park is open for pre-bookable events and visits all year round. Click here for more details on the National Trust website
- Shell Bay beach is the first beach on the Studland Peninsula, Isle of Purbeck, at the mouth of Poole Harbour. From Shell Beach you have the wide sweeping Studland Bay and the Studland National Nature Reserve. You can also take a pedestrian ferry to Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour. There is a designated naturist area between Shell Bay and Knoll Beach. Facilities include parking, toilets, restaurant and Cafe.
- Corfe Castle once controlled the Isle of Purbeck, a thousand-year-old castle, that was destroyed during the English Civil War when Parliamentary forces sieged the castle that was only taken over after betrayal within. The wife of Sir John Bankes led the defense and gained the name ‘Brave Dame Mary’. Facilities include car park, information points, tea rooms, and shop.
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