Traffic diversion planned for super sized Swanage Christmas market

Swanage Christmas Street Market in Dorset is back bigger and better than ever for 2023 – but its expansion means motorists will have to take more care getting through to the south side of the town.

This year, for the first time, the Swanage and Purbeck Rotary event from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday 2nd December 2023 will be extending into Institute Road as well as Station Road in the town centre. This means that temporary road closures, diversions and two way traffic on Kings Road East, will come into effect for the day.


Station Road and Institute Road will both be closed fully to traffic for the day of the Christmas Market

One way roads to take two way traffic

From 7 am until 7 pm on Saturday 2nd December 2023, traffic will be unable to use Station Road or Institute Road.

Instead, Kings Road East and part of the High Street will be open to two way traffic for the duration of the closure.

Road closures

On Saturday 2nd December 2023 between 7 am and 7 pm, temporary road closures will be introduced on the following roads

  • Mermond Place, from its junction with Station Place to its junction with Station Road
  • Station Road, from the roundabout by the station to its junction with Institute Road
  • Institute Road, from its junction with Station Road to its junction with the High Street
  • Commercial Road, from its junction with Station Road to its junction with Commercial Lane

Diversion routes

On Saturday 2nd December 2023 between 7 am and 7 pm, the one way traffic order in place on the following roads will be revoked to facilitate two way traffic

  • High Street from the junction with Institute Road to the junction with Kings Road East
  • Kings Road East from the junction with the High Street to the junction with Kings Road West
Map of Christmas market diversions

Red dotted lines show the streets which will be closed; the yellow line shows the one way system which will temporarily be two way

“Drive slowly and with patience”

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary president Chris Le Fevre said:

“The diversion will be signed, but not controlled and we would ask drivers to take due caution in driving down Kings Road East, which is normally one way only.

“Despite yellow lines down that road, people do tend to park there on occasions, so we do ask that people don’t park there at all as it will cause difficulties and potentially a safety hazard.

“The key thing is to drive slowly and with patience and with due recognition of other road users and pedestrians, who may have it in their heads that it is a one way road and not anticipating there may be a car coming the other way.

“We also ask people every year not to park on Station Road overnight on the Friday, because when they do, it is quite a performance to get it moved early on Saturday morning.

“If people do park in Commercial Road overnight, we would ask them to move their vehicles by 7 am as they won’t be able to afterwards.”

The exit from Kings Road East onto Kings Road West will allow two way traffic for one day only

Traffic will be two way on Kings Road East for the day, allowing vehicles to turn right into the road from the junction with Kings Road West

Road users and pedestrians must take extra care as Kings Road East will be two way during the Christmas Market

An increase in the number of stalls

The move to extend the annual Christmas Market into Institute Road is partly to increase the number of stalls to 50, rather than having to turn some stall holders away, and partly to give more space to attractions like the children’s rides.

There will be a wide variety of handmade gifts, crafts, Christmas decorations and food and drink available. Younger children can enjoy merry go round rides and visit Santa in his grotto, and adults can warm up with a hot mulled wine or cider.

There will also be entertainment from 10.30am, including local bands and carol singing, and an opportunity to buy a Christmas tree for ’23.

Currently the weather forecast is good for Saturday 2nd December 2023, but Rotary says that visitors should be aware that in the event of extremely bad weather or high winds, the event may be cancelled on safety grounds.

Pedestrians crossing next to the High Street must be certain to look both ways on Saturday 2nd December 2023

The temporary two way route will continue to the junction where the High Street meets Institute Road

Rotary’s pop up shop is back

In addition to the Christmas Market, Rotary will also open its pop up Christmas Shop again for the festive season, this year at Harlees Fish and Chips in Station Road.

The shop will open at 10 am on Friday 1st December 2023 and then every day except Sundays until stock is sold out! As in previous years, proceeds raised from the shop will go towards local good causes and international projects.

The Rotary Club will also be collecting Christmas cards to deliver to local addresses from the pop up shop at Harlees in Swanage Town Centre, and there are also mail collection boxes in the Grand Hotel, Corfe Bakery, Studland Stores and at Trevor’s Deli in Langton.

Collections, which will be from 11 am until 3 pm daily except Sundays, start on Friday 1st December 2023, with the last opportunity to drop cards off on Friday 15th December 2023. The cost per card is 40p.

Christmas market banner

Further information

  • The latest news about Rotary’s Christmas events is on its website

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