Swanage is located on the south coast of England in Dorset. It lies to the west of Poole Harbour and Bournemouth and to the east of Weymouth. From Dorchester, it’s a 25 mile drive in a south east direction.
The most flexible way to arrive is by car but in the summer months, the roads are very busy and it’s best to avoid travelling at peak times.
There are two directions to get to Swanage by car.
If travelling from Weymouth or Bristol the best way is to drive to Wareham and from there follow the A351 into Swanage.
From Bournemouth via the ferry
If travelling from Bournemouth, Poole or London, you can drive to Sandbanks and take the car ferry across Poole Harbour to Studland. From there, take the Ferry road to Studland village. Once through the village take the left turning onto Ulwell Road, signposted to Swanage. This will lead you straight to Swanage’s seafront.
There is a vehicle and passenger ferry that operates between Sandbanks and Studland, crossing the mouth of Poole Harbour. It is operated by the Swanage-Bournemouth Motor Road and Ferry Company. It is often called the Sandbanks ferry or the Swanage ferry.
This is a convenient route to take if coming from Bournemouth or the M27 as it avoids driving round the harbour and then travelling along the A351 into Swanage, as it can get very busy through Sandford and Corfe Castle in the summer.
Ferry toll charges
Pedestrians (one way charge only, from Sandbank) £1.00
Pedal or Motorcycle £1.00
Car, light van, most camper vans (up to 3500 kg maximum operating weight ) and minibuses up to 17 seats £4.50
Goods vehicle with a maximum operating weight of more than 3500 kg £9.00
Bus or coach with 18 or more seats including the driver and a maximum if two axles £9.00
Purbeck Breezer Route 50: Bournemouth to Swanage Bus Station daily.
Journey time 1 hour and 2 minutes.
Purbeck Breezer Route 40: Poole Bus Station to Swanage Bus Station daily.
Journey time 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Purbeck Breezer Route 30: Weymouth (Kings Statue) to Swanage Bus Station daily.
Journey time 1 hour 42 minutes.
From London, Southampton or Bournemouth
There is a direct train from London Waterloo to Wareham, which is the nearest mainline railway station to Swanage. The train goes via stations including Woking, Winchester, Southampton and Bournemouth. From Wareham, passengers need to take a bus or taxi to Swanage.
There are future plans to run a train service from Wareham to the heritage Swanage Railway Station, but it is not currently a regular service.
An alternative option is to get a bus or taxi from Wareham to Norden Railway Station and then take the heritage Swanage Railway from there into Swanage. Swanage Railway operates a number of diesel and steam trains every day from the end of March to the end of October and at weekends during the winter.
There are a number of local taxi companies that will pick you up and take you wherever you wish to go. They also do train station and airport transfers.
Swanage Associated Taxis 01929 421122 / 01929 425350
Swanage and Purbeck Taxi 07969 927424
Bills Taxis 07549 776 736
Harrison’s Taxis Swanage 07594 282525