Swanage to get seafront sauna and new beach cafe

With the increasing popularity of all year round sea swimming, a new service will provide a sauna facility on Swanage seafront in Dorset, alongside a new beach cafe offering top class coffee.

Following a competitive tender process, two local businesses, Swanage Bay Sauna and Carve Coffee Roasters are set to open by the end of May 2024 on the terrace area next to Swanage Information Centre, subject to contract and planning permission.

Shore Road

The southern end of Shore Road near The Mowlem has a clear and uninterrupted view of Swanage Bay now that the former ice cream kiosk has been removed and this section of the road has been permanently closed

Sauna with a spectacular sea view

Swanage Bay Sauna will be operated by Tracey Waters who is a partner in Studland Watersports and already runs the much in demand saunas at Knoll Beach in Studland.

While the ones at Studland are of a rustic design, the facility at Swanage, custom built by The Cedar Sauna Company, will have a much more contemporary seaside look.

There will be two saunas – one suitable for four people and the other one for a group of 10. Tinted glass windows will allow those in the saunas to admire the stunning view of the sea, while not being visible to people walking by.

They will be powered by mains electricity in order not to create any fumes from wood burning heaters in this ecological sensitive area.

Tracey Waters at the Studland sauna

Tracey Waters has been in the watersport business for 25 years and started offering sauna facilities at Studland in 2022

“Great for wellness”

Tracey Waters said:

“The growth in swim groups has been massive and I’ve been asked many times, whether there’s a beach sauna in Swanage, so when the opportunity came up, I was pleased to go for it.

“I think it will be really popular and naturally busy during the summer, however the saunas really come into their own during the winter. It’s great for wellness to experience the heat of a sauna and the cold of the seawater.

“It’s totally down to personal choice whether to go in the sauna and then the sea, or the other way round. Many dip in and out of the sauna and the sea, many times throughout their booking. It’s a really nice thing to do!”

Carve coffee gazebo
Carve coffee

Will Moy and Sophie Tanner will be offering more than a gazebo when their customised 20 foot shipping container is transformed into a cafe

Speciality coffee at Carve Beach Cafe

Once the steam of the sauna has been experienced, there will be the chance to enjoy the froth of a speciality coffee at the neighbouring new Carve Beach Cafe run by Will Moy and Sophie Tanner, who founded Carve Coffee Roasters in 2020.

Specialising in roasting their own coffee beans for their quality coffees, there will also be cold drinks, sandwiches, cakes and ice cream on offer.

They are currently converting a 20 foot shipping container to form the shell of the cafe. It will be clad in wood to give it a slick modern look.

Outside, there will be seating and tables overlooking the beach, set back from the pavement.

Carve coffee beans
Carve coffee

Coffee beans roasted in Swanage will also be available to buy and use at home

“Outstanding food options too”

Sophie Tanner said:

‘We are so excited for this next chapter. Being able to expand in a town where we live and work is incredible. We hope to share our passion and love of specialty coffee with both locals and visitors alike and offer outstanding food options too’.

“We are also excited to share the space with Swanage Bay Saunas and can’t wait to welcome customers for pre or post sauna refreshments!”

‘Swanage is already such a well loved destination with a thriving high street and a growing number of new shops and restaurants popping up. We can’t wait to be part of that growth.

“The aim is to be open to the public in May. We have a busy few months ahead!

As well as this new venture, the team will continue to operate from their unit on the Prospect Business Park and are looking to expand the wholesale side of Carve Coffee Roasters by getting a bigger roaster and hiring new staff.

Shore Road

The area below Santa-Fe Fun Park used to be the bus station but is now a blank canvas for the new businesses

“Support the local economy throughout the year”

The opportunity for these new businesses was made possible by the termination of the contract for the old ice cream kiosks along the beach and the results of a public consultation about the development of the seafront, which revealed a demand for more facilities.

Swanage Town Council, which owns the land, put the opportunities out to tender and these businesses were the successful applicants.

Swanage Town Council visitor services and business development manager Culvin Milmer said:

“These concessions are a key part of delivering the seafront masterplan. The consultation demonstrated a strong interest in additional catering facilities and activities along the seafront.

“Both businesses will operate throughout the year, supporting the town council’s corporate aim of encouraging visitors to the town outside the main summer season.

“With the permanent closure of the southern section of Shore Road now confirmed, it is anticipated that these concessions will help to revitalise this section of the seafront and bring new visitors to Swanage to support the local economy throughout the year.”

Local charities and community groups will still be allowed to have stalls at this site at no charge, although the number of stalls will be reduced to a maximum of two each day.

Lifeguard on Swanage Beach

Changes mean that the RNLI Lifeguard team can now be positioned right in front of the designated swim area in Swanage Bay

RNLI Lifeguard hut on the move

Further along the beach, the site of the former ice cream kiosk opposite the Spa Beach Huts, will not be replaced, partly due to the complexity of installing a reliable electricity supply.

However this will allow the RNLI Lifeguard hut to relocate in May 2024, to the centre of the designated bathing area, making it safer for beachgoers.

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