Destination UK

Fabulous Family Days Out around Swanage

Posted on
July 13, 2021

Although UK holidays were growing in popularity before the COVID19 pandemic, because of uncertainties around travelling abroad, lots of people are opting for a staycation this year and my home county of Dorset is one of the most places to visit.

I have lots of posts of fun things to do in Bournemouth and Poole on the blog, but quaint, traditional seaside town of Swanage has a lot to offer too.

Swanage is a coastal town at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck and accessible via road via Wareham, or by the Sandbanks chain ferry at Poole.


10 Fabulous Family Days Out in and around Swanage

The Beach

It goes without saying, that as a seaside town, Swanage does has a fabulous sandy beach.


If you are visiting with kids who are past the age of being entertained by buckets and spades, Land and Wave run fabulous kayak and SUP lessons off the beach, which is not only fun, but teaches them water safety too.


Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park is an expansive, clifftop nature reserve with a visitor centre and gallery in a renovated Victorian castle. It is most famous for the Great Globe, one of the largest stone spheres in the world.


During the school holidays they run lots of events for children and there are plenty of pathways to explore the clifftops and see the flora and fauna.


For older children, I recommend the walk from Durlston Country Park to Dancing Ledge, which can be quite demanding in places, but well worth it for a stunning location for a picnic.


Swanage Railway

The Swanage Railway offers the chance to ride heritage steam and diesel timetable trains service from Swanage to Wareham, past the historic Corfe Castle.


The route takes you along the picturesque countryside of the Purbeck Hills and is a lovely day out for young and old train fans.


Corfe Castle

Without a shadow of a doubt, visiting Corfe Castle is our kids favourite day out in Dorset.


This thousand-year-old royal castle has been shaped by warfare and offers fabulous event days throughout the holidays, including activity trails and falconry displays. It also offers some fun photo opportunities too.


If you take the walk from the National Trust carpark at the bottom, don’t miss the balance trail and stepping stones at the base of the hill.


Dorset Adventure Park

In the shadow of Corfe Castle sits Dorset Adventure Park, which features the Wibit water park on two lakes and the Mud Trail.

Flip Bag Kian

Kids need to be able to swim at least 25m, but even the nervous are soon running around the inflatables, giving the adults a run for their money.


Putlake Adventure Farm

For younger visitors, Putlake Adventure Farm is a small activity farm in Langton Matravers which features a children’s soft play centre, a small farm with a good range of animals, Go-Karts, children’s outdoor play area and sand pit.


There is a lovely cafe on the site, or plenty of space to enjoy a picnic.


Kayak to Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocks is the official beginning of the famous Jurassic Coast and one of the best ways to see it is from the water.


Taking a family kayak tour to Old Harry Rocks with Fore Adventure, is really good fun and the guides chat to you about the cliffs, how they were formed and all about the local legends and tales of pirates.


Walk to Old Harry Rocks

The walk to Old Harry Rocks is a nice flat walk and offers some spectacular views of Studland Bay and the famous chalk stacks.


It can work up quite an appetite, so on the way back, stop for a refreshing drink and something to eat at either the Bankes Arms or the Pig on the Beach.

Take a Jurassic Coast Cruise from Swanage to Poole

If you are not feeling energetic enough to walk or kayak out to Old Harry Rocks, a Jurassic coast cruise is the one for you.

City Cruise

Starting from Swanage Pier it takes you from Swanage to Poole, past the famous white cliffs and into Poole Harbour.


Finding the dinosaur footprints at Keates Quarry

More than 140 million years ago, dinosaurs gathered by the shores of a shallow lagoon in what is now Dorset. Incredibly, there are over 100 tracks left behind, although some are more visible than others.


The dinosaur footprints can be found at Keates Quarry and the closest place to park is at National Trust Spyway carpark and follow the directions on the map, or my blog.


There are also some fabulous walks along this end of the Jurassic coast, including the caves at Winspit where they have recently been filming the new Star Wars TV series.

Winspit Cave

Have you visited Dorset before?

  1. Reply

    Sarah Stockley

    July 13, 2021

    One of my friends has a holiday home in Swanage. I have never been, it looks gorgeous though with so much to do.

  2. Reply

    Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    July 13, 2021

    Wow, I’m blown away by how much there is to do! There is so much outdoor adventure and places to explore. The dinosaur footprints are awesome!

  3. Reply

    Mudpie Fridays

    July 15, 2021

    The dinosaur footprints have been on our list for a while. We also love Corfe Castle such a nice day out and the fact it is National Trust is a bonus.

  4. Reply


    August 2, 2021

    What a wonderful place. I loved. Thanks for sharing.

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk