Swanage buzzed with activity as the Rotary Christmas Market took over Station Road, people browsed the hand-crafted items on sale at the beach huts and race runners crossed the finishing line on the beach.
With strong winds forecast for Saturday 4th December 2021, there had been concerns that it might affect events but in the end the weather was fine with blue sky and sunshine, if a little cold.
Christmas market went ahead as planned
Organised by Swanage and Purbeck Rotary, the Christmas market in Station Road went ahead as planned, unlike last year when Covid restrictions meant that it was cancelled.
From Christmas trees to tombolas, knitted teddies to iced buns and bungee jumping to Christmas songs, the main road through the town centre offered a mix of things to buy and do.
“The market gets more popular each year“
Swanage and Purbeck Rotary, which fundraises and supports lots of community projects and events throughout the year, said:
“The market gets more popular each year with a wide range of stalls, music and attractions with the focus on Christmas, including a visit from Santa.
“Not only is it well worth a visit but also raises a lot of money for good local causes!”
Artisans on the Beach
Meanwhile at the beach huts on Shore Road, Artisans on the Beach, which offers local, handcrafted items for sale, was busy with people looking for unique gifts.
The beach hut artisan event takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout December.
“Much better than a draughty gazebo!”
One of the artisans, Claire Armstrong from Bournemouth said:
“Swanage is lovely and traditional and the Artisans on the Beach is a brilliant eclectic mix of tradespeople and artists. It’s a great place for me to sell my Through the Looking Glass items and it’s very friendly.
“I tell you, a cosy beach hut at Christmas is so much better than a draughty gazebo!”
Endurance Life finishing line
Opposite the beach huts was the finishing line for the Endurance Life race, with runners completing 10K, half marathon, marathon, ultra and ultra plus courses on Swanage Beach.
This is the first time that this race has taken place along the South West Coast Path in Dorset but not expected to be the last after the success of this year.
“Swanage is as open in the winter as it is in the summer!”
Swanage visitor services manager Culvin Milmer said:
“What a beautiful day – there’s runners finishing on the beach, artisans here at the beach huts and an amazing Christmas market up at Station Road.
“Just look at the number of people milling along the seafront enjoying themselves. We’ve got 40 stalls at the market, 42 beach huts selling items and 800 runners in town.
“It really goes to show that Swanage is as open in the winter as it is in the summer!”