Big year for Swanage events as Diesel Gala and Beer Festival confirms date

Swanage is facing its biggest year ever for events in 2022 and one of the most popular is the return of Swanage Railway’s Diesel Gala and Beer Festival.

Swanage Railway has confirmed that its Diesel Gala and Beer Festival will take place between Friday 6th to Sunday 8th May 2022 with a themed preview day on Thursday 5th May.


The event draws visitors to Swanage from across the UK and is a major boost to the local economy.

Swanage Railway diesel gala Beer tent May 2019
Swanage Railway diesel gala beer tent May 2019

Swanage Railway’s beer tent at Corfe Castle in 2019

Stop off at the beer tent

While all the details have yet to be confirmed, it’s expected there will be vintage diesel locos travelling along the line and passengers will be able to stop off at Corfe Castle at the beer tent for refreshment.

Usually an annual festival, it was the first big event in Swanage to be cancelled at the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020 and didn’t happen in 2021 due to Covid restrictions.

Swanage Railway diesel gala May 2019
Swanage Railway diesel gala May 2019

Diesel locos that took part in Swanage Railway’s gala in 2019

“Our planning team is already working hard behind the scenes

Swanage Railway said:

“Our planning team is already working hard behind the scenes to create an incredible event and to show that we’re BACK on the map as the premier event on the traction calendar.

“As in previous years there will be a variety of visiting diesel locomotives at the event – watch this space for further announcements!”

Swanage Fish Festival 2017
Swanage Fish Festival

Prince Albert Gardens makes for a great location for the Swanage Fish Festival

Swanage Carnival parade

Swanage Carnival is back for 2022 after a two year break

What’s on in Swanage 2022

With a greater air of confidence that we won’t end up in lockdown again, event organisers are booking venues and locations across Swanage and Purbeck.

Main events already confirmed

  • Swanage Blues Festival – Thursday 6th to Sunday 6th March
  • Swanage Classic Car Display – Sunday 24th April
  • Swanage Railway’s Diesel Gala and Beer Festival – Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th May
  • Purbeck Arts Weeks – Saturday 28th May to Sunday 12th June
  • The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Tea Party – Friday 3rd June
  • Purbeck Pirate Festival – Friday 3rd June to Sunday 5th June
  • Swanage Fish Festival – Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th June
  • Swanage Jazz Festival – Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July
  • Wareham Carnival – Sunday 24th July
  • Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle – Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st July
  • Swanage Carnival – Saturday 30th July to Saturday 6th August
  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Thursday 12th August to Sunday 21st August
  • Swanage Folk Festival – Friday 9th to Sunday 11th September
  • Planet Purbeck Festival – Monday 19th September to Sunday 2nd October
  • Swanage Blues Festival – Thursday 6th October to Sunday 9th October
Children's artwork at Rollington Barn Exhibition

Purbeck Art Weeks was able to go ahead later in the the year in 2021

Diamond Jubilee celebrations
Linda Welsh

A similar street party is planned in Swanage for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, as it was for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012

Bumper packed bank holiday long weekend

It’s expected that the four day bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June will be a bumper packed four days in Swanage.

Alongside the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, there’ll be the Purbeck Pirate Festival and the Purbeck Arts Weeks will also be in full flow.

Endurance Life race Swanage beach 2021
Swanage carnival procession
Swanage carnival

The beach and seafront attract events and the crowds

“Such a friendly and welcoming place that people enjoy coming back”

Swanage Town Council visitor services manager, Culvin Milmer said:

“This is one of the biggest years we’ve ever known for events in Swanage. Not only have all the pre-Covid events come back for 2022 but there’s a number of new ones including the May Market and the Sprint Triathlon.

“On top of that there were some new events in 2021 that have rebooked including the Music by the Sea concert in memory of popular local man Henry Searle and the Planet Purbeck Festival.

“One of the best things is that the events are spread throughout the year proving that Swanage isn’t just a summer destination. I think it’s because our town is such a friendly and welcoming place that people enjoy coming back.

“And it’s not just the big events but the little ones too, like the Artisans Market that really contribute to making Swanage such an interesting place to visit.”

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