Free parking on offer in Dorset as Christmas shopping season begins

As Christmas 2020 draws ever nearer, shoppers can enjoy free parking on certain days in Dorset Council car parks, including Corfe Castle in the run up to the festive season, while in Swanage, the town council car parks are either free or have reduced their rates for winter.

The second national lockdown was lifted on Wednesday 2nd December 2020, giving Swanage residents time to head to local stores for their Christmas shopping.

For those driving to and from the town, there is free parking in the North Beach car park – a rate which is in place between 1st November and 31st March.

In addition, Swanage Town Council’s Broad Road and Main Beach car parks charge £1 for up to 24 hours, while the Mermond Place and Co-op car parks cost 60p per hour (with free overnight parking between 7pm and 8am).

These fares are also in effect between 1st November and 31st March.

North Beach car park in Swanage
North Beach car park in Swanage
North Beach car park in Swanage
North Beach car park in Swanage

Three free days of parking

For those travelling beyond Swanage for their Christmas shopping, Dorset Council’s car parks are offering three free Saturdays of parking throughout December in an effort to help shoppers back to the high street.

Town centre car parks owned by the council (none of which are in Swanage) will offer the free parking on the 5th, 12th and 19th December 2020.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said:

“In response to this year’s exceptional circumstances, to help residents to shop locally and to help boost Dorset’s economy, we’re pleased to offer three days of free parking in towns across the council area.

“With most events cancelled this year, we are pleased to be able to offer town councils additional free parking during valuable prime, retail weekends this December.”

This free parking will be available in Beaminster, Blandford, Bridport, Dorchester, Ferndown, Gillingham, Lyme Regis, Shaftesbury, Sturminster Newton, Wareham, Weymouth and Wimborne.

In Sherborne, the free parking will be on selected Mondays instead.

Bonnets Lane car park in Wareham
Bonnets Lane car park in Wareham

List of car parks

Corfe Castle – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • West Street

Wareham – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • Bonnets Lane
  • Connegar Lane
  • Rempstone
  • Streche Road

Beaminster – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • The Square
  • Yarn Barton

Blandford – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December, and on 24th December

  • Church Lane
  • Eagle House Gardens
  • Langton Road (short stay)
  • Langton Road (long stay)
  • Langton Road (commercial)
  • Marsh & Ham
  • Marsh & Ham (coaches)
  • Station Court

Bridport – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • East Street (short stay)
  • East Street (long stay)
  • Football Club
  • Hope Terrace
  • Plottingham
  • Rope Walks
  • South Street
  • West Street (commercial)
  • West Street
  • Wykes Court

Dorchester – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • Acland Road
  • Durngate Street
  • Fairfield (short stay)
  • Fairfield (long stay)
  • Old Market
  • Top O Town (short stay)
  • Top O Town (long stay)
  • Top O Town (commercial)
  • Trinity Street (south)
  • Wollaston Field

Ferndown – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • Penny’s Lodge

Gillingham – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th Decemberr

  • Chantry Fields
  • Gas lane
  • High Street (short stay)
  • High Street (long stay)

Lyme Regis – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • Lower Sea Lane, Charmouth
  • Charmouth Road
  • Broad Street
  • Cobb Gate
  • Holmbush

Shaftesbury – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • Angel Lane
  • Bell Street

Sherborne – free all day on Mondays 7th, 14th and 21st December

  • Acreman Street
  • Coldharbour
  • Culverhayes (short stay)
  • Culverhayes ( long stay)
  • Culverhayes (commercial)
  • Digby Hall
  • Newland North
  • Old Market Yard

Sturminster Newton – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • Church Street
  • Station Road

Weymouth – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • Cosens Quay
  • Council Offices
  • Governors Lane
  • Harbourside
  • Lodmoor
  • Melcombe Regis
  • Nothe
  • Park Street
  • Pavilion
  • Pavilion Forecourt
  • Royal Yard
  • Swannery

Wimborne – free parking all day on Saturdays 5th, 12th and 19th December

  • King Street
  • Allenview South
  • Allenview West
  • Allenview North
  • Westfield Close
  • Pye Corner
  • Old Road
  • Hanham Road
  • Poole Road
  • Leigh Road
  • Park Lane

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