What’s on in Swanage for Christmas 2023

There’s lots planned for this Christmas, perhaps more than ever in Swanage and across Purbeck as festivities return in full swing.

As well as the events, there’s plenty of independent shops in Swanage for Christmas presents with some of them newly opened in 2023, as well as cafes, pubs and restaurants to visit.

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Santa on pier at Christmas 2022
Rena Lang

Santa returns to Swanage Pier

Christmas lights banish the long gloomy nights

Parking charges are kept low in the Swanage Town Council car parks from 1st November to 31st March each year. It’s 60p an hour in Mermond car park, £1 a day for vehicles in Main Beach car park and Broad Road car park, and free in North Beach car park over the winter.

The Christmas lights switch on in Swanage at the end of November is always a happy occasion really marking the beginning of the festivities. Along with the fabulous displays of Christmas lights throughout Purbeck, they really do brighten up the long gloomy evenings.

Christmas lights for 2022 in Station Road

Sparkly Swanage

November 2023

Saturday 4th

  • Friends of Swanage Hospital autumn fayre, 10 am to 12 noon at the Catholic Church Hall in Rempstone Road, Swanage

Saturday 11th

  • Corfe Castle Christmas gift fair 10 am to 2 pm at the village hall

Wednesday 15th

  • Monty Mouse’s Hunt for a Festive Feast – family trail around National Trust Corfe Castle until Sunday 7th January 2024. Free, normal admission charges apply

Friday 17th

  • Swanage Railway The Polar Express train ride. Selected dates and times until Saturday 30th December. Ticket prices in the range of £44 to £55 per person depending on dates

Saturday 18th

  • Langton Matravers Christmas Fair 10 am to 2 pm at the village hall

Saturday 25th

  • Christmas lights switch on 3 pm to 4.30 pm in Swanage town centre by The Mowlem
  • Artisans on the Beach selling local unique hand-crafted items at Shore Road beach huts along Swanage seafront until Sunday 31st Dec 2023
  • Stalls in the Hall at Harmans Cross village hall 9.30 am to 12 noon
  • Christmas Wreath workshops organised by Lewis Manning Hospice Care 2 pm to 4.30 pm or 6 pm to 8.30 pm at Swanage Methodist Church Hall, High Street. Includes hot drinks and mince pies £35 per person

Tuesday 28th

  • Santa’s Sleigh tours around the streets of Swanage and surrounding areas on selected evenings up to Thursday 22nd December, helped by Swanage and Purbeck Rotary. Exact route details to be confirmed

Wednesday 29th

  • Swanage Town Band in Concert, 7.30 pm at Swanage Methodist Church. Free admission with a collection for band funds
rotary santa
Swanage and Purbeck Rotary

Santa gets out and about helped by Swanage and Purbeck Rotary

December 2022

Friday 1st

  • Karen ‘G’s Christmas Show with special guests Allsort’d Choir, Aaron Hughes and performers from Swanage Drama Company, 7.30 pm at The Mowlem in Swanage. Tickets £13.50 plus booking fee

Saturday 2nd

  • Swanage Christmas Market organised by Swanage and Purbeck Rotary, 10 am to 4 pm in Station Road. Shore Road will be temporarily open in one direction to allow traffic through to South Swanage
  • Swanage and Purbeck Rotary charity Christmas mail, Friday 2nd to Friday 16th. Various post boxes in Swanage
  • Christmas Wreath workshops organised by Lewis Manning Hospice Care 2 pm to 4.30 pm or 6 pm to 8 pm at Scout Hut, Durnford Drove Langton Matravers. Includes hot drinks and mince pies £35 per person
  • St Aldhelm Benefice Christmas tree festival at St George’s Church in Langton Matravers until Monday 4th December
  • Pull a pine at RSPB Arne 10 am to 3 pm – take home a pine tree for Christmas while helping to restore the heathland. Also on Sunday 4th December. Booking required
  • Corfe Castle Christmas refreshments and carol singing 4 pm followed by lights switch on and arrival of Santa 5 pm to 6 pm in the Square
  • Christmas festivities at National Trust Corfe Castle with a storyteller giving Christmas tours of Corfe Castle plus toasting marshmallows round a fire pit. Daily until Monday 1st January 2024. Free event, normal admission charges apply

Sunday 3rd

  • Christmas market 10 am to 1 pm at Swanage Town and Herston Football Club at Days Park in Swanage

Monday 4th

  • Swanage and Purbeck Rotary charity pop up Christmas shop up to Christmas

Wednesday 7th

  • Purbeck Christmas Tree Festival at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Victoria Avenue in Swanage until Saturday 9th December with Lights of Love, a special service of remembrance at Emmanuel Church on Sunday 10th December at 4 pm

Friday 8th

  • Lighting up Lives on Swanage Pier – Live music from Kelp! and All Sort’d Choir plus Christmas entertainment from 5 pm with the switch on of the Swanage Pier illuminations at 6 pm. Illuminations until Thursday 5th January 2023. To dedicate a light to someone special go to the Swanage Pier website

Saturday 9th

  • Santa’s grotto on Swanage Pier opens for selected dates and times until Saturday 23rd December. Tickets £8 per child. Under 2s free if not receiving a gift. Booking required
  • Snow Angel, 7.30 pm at The Mowlem. A live festive cabaret show with Charlie Bicknell and Louise Innes. Age 13 plus. Tickets £19 plus booking fee
  • Hey ding-a-ding! 7.30 pm at St Mary’s Church in Kings Road, Swanage. The annual Christmas concert by the Belvedere Singers featuring a mixture of traditional and newer carols and Christmas songs. Tickets £7 available on the door, under 18s free.

Wednesday 13th

  • Carols on the Bandstand with Swanage Town Band, 6.30 pm at Swanage Bandstand on the Recreation Ground. Financial collection for Purbeck Youth Music and Herston village hall.

Thursday 14th

  • Crazy Christmas children’s activity trail at Durlston Country Park. Take a trip around the park to help Santa get Christmas back on track. £3.50 per trail pack. Until Tuesday 2nd January 2024

Saturday 16th

  • National Trust Tinsel10. A 10k trail run in Studland starting at Knoll Beach, uphill to Ballard Down, past Old Harry and back down to finish at Knoll Beach. Fancy dress is encouraged. Starts 8.45 am to 11 am. Free event
  • Harmony Rocks Choir will be Singing for Christmas 2 pm to 3 pm at St James’ Church in Kingston. Free entry
  • Charity art auction at Not Just Sundaes cafe, Trinity Church, South Street, Wareham. Viewing from 11.30 am with auction starting at 2 pm or online

Tuesday 19th

  • Santa’s Christmas Wish family show, most suitable for two to seven year olds with every child receiving a specially wrapped present from Santa. 2 pm at The Mowlem. Tickets adult £10.50, child £9.50, family £36
  • Kids Christmas drawing workshop with artist Mark Page learning to draw robins, reindeer and all things Christmassy in the Learning Centre at Durlston Country Park. £17, materials included, age 7+. Booking required

Wednesday 21st

  • Winter solstice walk 7.15 am to 10 am – National Trust early morning walk to view the sunrise from Old Harry Rocks on the shortest day of the year followed by breakfast at Knoll Beach cafe at Studland. Children £10 and adults £19.50. Booking required
  • Winter solstice sunrise at National Trust Corfe Castle. Castle gates open at 7 am. Event is free but normal admission charges apply. NT members free.
  • Wild Wednesdays – drop in between 11 am and 3 pm for children’s painting, crafts and activities with a Christmassy theme in the Learning Centre at Durlston Country Park. Donations welcome. Booking not required

Saturday 23rd

  • Festive fancy dress 5k parkrun, 9 am to 10.30 am at Durlston Country Park. Free, registration required

Tuesday 26th

  • Boxing Day swim 11 am at Swanage Beach by The Mowlem organised by the charity #Willdoes

Wednesday 27th

  • Wild Wednesdays – drop in between 11 am and 3 pm for children’s painting, crafts and activities in the Learning Centre at Durlston Country Park. Donations welcome. Booking not required

Thursday 28th

  • New Year bottle rocket launch – bring in the New Year with a bang by decorating a bottle rocket and then launching it into the sky. Meet at the Learning Centre at Durlston Country Park 10.30 am to 12 noon. £3.50 booking required
Christmas Tree Festival at Langton Matravers

Christmas tree festival at St George’s Church in Langton Matravers

January 2024

Friday 12th

  • Swanage’s panto Cinderella at The Mowlem. Performances at 7.30 pm on Friday 12th, Saturday 13th, Friday 19th and Saturday 20th. Matinee performances at 2 pm on Saturday 13th and Saturday 20th. Tickets adult £13, concession £12, child £8, family £35 plus booking fees

If there’s any more Christmas events to be included please send the details to info@swanage.news

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