What’s on in Swanage for summer 2023

With schools out for summer, there’s a full programme of events in Swanage and across Purbeck, with lots more happening as organisations recover from the disruption caused by the pandemic.

There’s a new summer festival for 2023, the Jurassic Dance Festival at Wilkswood Farm near Langton Matravers from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th August, plus the return of Swanage Carnival – eight days of music, events, competitions, displays and fireworks, as well as the carnival procession through the town.

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Swanage carnival programme goes on sale

July 2023

Saturday 22nd

  • Wilkswood Reggae Festival at Wilkswood Farm near Langton Matravers – Reggae music with more than 40 acts across three stages until Sunday 23rd
  • NT Corfe Castle – The pre-history of Corfe Castle before the castle was built. Live demonstrations and activities daily 10 am to 5 pm from Saturday 22nd to Sunday 30th. Normal admission price
  • NT Corfe Castle – Children’s trail to find all the hidden quest boards in the castle to earn a prize. Daily 10 am to 5 pm from Saturday 22nd July to Sunday 1st October. Normal admission price
  • Wareham Carnival – Chill out afternoon with live music, bar and cream teas, 2 pm to 5pm at Wareham Recreation Ground
  • Family fun day 10 am to 10 pm at Wareham Quay with stalls, fun fair rides, live music and fireworks
  • Shakespeare’s The Tempest performed by SISATA Outdoor Theatre – Daily performances at 2.30 pm on Saturday 22nd, Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th at Prince Albert Gardens. Cancellation possible if heavy rain. Free admission, donations welcome
  • Durlston Country Park – Time Travellers children’s activity trail. Learn about Durlston from prehistoric to present day. Daily until Thursday 10th August. £3.50 per trail pack
  • Durlston Country Park – 11 am Meet a Moth at the castle reception. Find out what’s in last night’s moth trap. Free – donations welcome

Sunday 23rd

  • Durlston Country Park – The Tree Festival of Live Cinema presented by The Enchanted Cinema 6 pm to 8 pm
  • Wareham Carnival – Carnival Procession day, starts 1 pm North Street followed by Fun on the Rec all day
Crowds on beach at Swanage Carnival 2022

Monday 24th

  • Durlston Country Park – Try orienteering event 2 pm to 4pm at the Learning Centre for all ages or families. Booking required. £3.50

Tuesday 25th

  • Durlston Country Park – Kids Drawing Workshop for ages 7+ at the Learning Centre. Join artist Mark Page for a workshop learning to draw everything from animals to plants. Materials included. Booking required. £15

Wednesday 26th

  • Durlston Country Park – The Isles Shetland: Exhibition 10.30 am to 5 pm daily at the Fine Foundation Gallery. Prints, paintings and drawings by Robin Mackenzie and Katy Harrald until Wednesday 30th August. Free entry
  • Durlston Country Park – Wild Wednesdays. Painting, crafts and activities 11 am to 3 pm at the Learning Centre. Free
  • NT Corfe Castle – Join Ben Buxton on a guided walk 1 pm to 3.30 pm exploring West Hill, part of the Purbeck Ridgeway. Discover The Rings, a 12th century siege castle close to Corfe Castle, and Bronze Age barrows on Corfe Common. Free but booking required. Meet at Corfe Castle booking office
Corfe Castle coronation celebrations
Catherine Candler

Thursday 27th

  • Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle until Sunday 30th
  • Durlston Country Park – Nature’s Arts and Crafts 2.30 pm at the Learning Centre. Using natural resources to make art and craft. Booking required. £3.50
  • Durlston Country Park – Stars in the Grass: Glow-worms walk 9.30 pm to 11 pm starting at the Learning Centre. Booking required. £8

Friday 28th

  • The Mowlem – A Beautiful Noise, The Ultimate Tribute to Neil Diamond. Show starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £25 plus booking fee
  • Durlston Country Park – Life in the Grass walk 11 am to 12.30 pm starting at the castle reception. Look for life in Durlston’s grasslands – wildflowers, butterflies, grasshoppers and more. £3.50

Saturday 29th

  • Swanage Carnival – Start of eight days of exciting events across Swanage from Saturday 29th July to Saturday 5th August. Carnival kicks off with the beer tent opening at 11 am and the Pimms bar at 12 noon. Photo marathon starts at 10 am in the marquee. We’re a Knockout and Fire Engine Pull in the afternoon and fireworks in the evening. Music from covers band Fluke and 70s disco band Carwash

Sunday 30th

  • Swanage Carnival – carnival procession in the afternoon, along with AeroSupaBatics Wingwalking Team. Music from local band Galaxy Thief followed by party band Sway Allstars

Monday 31st

  • Swanage Carnival – Go Kart Grand Prix and Swanage Bay Swim in the afternoon with carnival bingo in the evening. Daytime jazz from local bands The Jazz Knots and Swanage Jazz Machine

August 2023

Tuesday 1st

  • Swanage Carnival – Wacky Races and carnival cooking demo in afternoon. Barn Dance with the Dorset band Black Sheep

Wednesday 2nd

  • Swanage Carnival – Dog show in the afternoon, followed by 4 mile fun run and fireworks in the evening. Music in the evening from Cooley and the Gang and the Decatonics
  • Swanage Bandstand – Celebration of 100 years of the opening of the bandstand from 2 pm to 8.45 pm
  • Durlston Country Park – Wild Wednesdays. Painting, crafts and activities 11 am to 3 pm at the Learning Centre. Free
  • Wareham Wednesday at Wareham Quay – Krazy Kev, Jim Etherington and the Soapbox Challenge
Swanage Bandstand
Mark Eady

Thursday 3rd

  • Swanage Carnival – Circus Whizz and Giant Garden Games in the afternoon, with the Electro House Masquerade until 10 pm. Swanage rock band The Reptiles in the marquee in the evening
  • Durlston Country Park – Free castle tour 11 am to 12 noon starting in the castle reception.
  • Durlston Country Park – Wild Durlston Activity 2.30 pm at the Learning Centre. Join a ranger to learn about Durlston through games and activities. Booking required. £3.50
  • NT Corfe Castle – Open-air play Bad Dad adapted from the book by David Walliams 7 pm to 10 pm in the castle grounds. Ticket Prices: Family (2+3) £45, Family (1+3) £38, Adult £18, Child (5-17) £9, Under 5s free
  • Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge – Rockpool ramble 3 pm to 4.30 pm. £5 per adult, £3 per child, booking required. Children must be accompanied by an adult

Friday 4th

  • Swanage Carnival – Vintage and classic car day with the wheelbarrow race in the early evening. Bands Rockin the Joint and The Bournemouth Ratpack in the evening

Saturday 5th

  • Swanage Carnival – Titan the Robot during the day with the fireworks finale in the evening, with the hits and floor fillers band Penthouse 5 and 80s covers band Wildboys
  • Three Parishes Fete at the Old Rectory, Church Knowle BH20 5NG from 2 pm
  • Durlston Country Park – Park to Pier walk 10.30 am starting at the castle reception. Join a ranger from Durlston Castle to Swanage Pier learning about wildlife, geology and history. Adult £5, Child £3
  • Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge – Summer art exhibition by local artists inspired by Dorset’s coastal wildlife and scenery. Saturday 5th August to Sunday 3rd September
  • Swanage and Wareham Rugby Club, Bestwall Road in Wareham – Outdoor cinema under the stars Top Gun: Maverick (12A) 8.45 pm to 11 pm. Ticket Prices: Family £25, Adult £10, Child (5-17) £5

Monday 7th

  • The Mowlem – Children’s show, Sally’s Spooky Holiday on Monday 7th, Monday 14th and Monday 21st. Suitable for children 2 to 8 years. Tickets £9.50 plus booking fee
Exterior of the Mowlem lit up in orange and purple

Wednesday 9th

  • The Mowlem – Phil Collins tribute, Seriously Collins. Show starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £21.50 plus booking fee
  • Wareham Wednesday at Wareham Quay – Krazy Kev, The Captain’s Beard and the pirate invasion
  • Durlston Country Park – Wild Wednesdays. Painting, crafts and activities 11 am to 3 pm at the Learning Centre. Free
  • Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge – Family crafts 11 am to 4 pm. Aimed at ages 5 to 10 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult

Thursday 10th

  • Rotary Summer Craft Fair and Fete
  • Durlston Country Park – Dolphins and the Underwater World 2.30 pm at the Belvedere. Games and activities about Durlston’s dolphins and other marine life. Booking required. £3.50
  • NT Corfe Castle – Open-air play Pride and Prejudice adapted from the book by Jane Austen 7 pm to 10 pm in the castle grounds. Ticket Prices: Family (2+3) £45, Family (1+3) £38, Adult £18, Child (5-17) £9, Under 5s free

Friday 11th

  • Swanage Lifeboat Week until Sunday 20th August
  • Durlston Country Park – Pirates of Purbeck activity trail. Follow the map around the park and find the treasure. £3.50 per pack. Friday 11th August to Sunday 3rd September

Saturday 12th

  • The Mowlem – The History of Soul. The celebration of Soul music starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £23 plus booking fee
  • Isle of Purbeck model railway exhibition 10 am to 5 pm Harman’s Cross Hall. Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th August
  • Knoll House Hotel, Studland – Outdoor cinema under the stars William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (12A) 8.45 pm to 11 pm. Ticket Prices: Family £30, Adult £12, Child (5-17) £6
  • Durlston Country Park – Meet a Moth 11 am at the castle reception. Find out what’s in last night’s moth trap. Free – donations welcome
  • Durlston Country Park – Stargazing 9 pm at the Learning Centre. Perseid meteors, Saturn and the summer constellations. Weather dependent, check Durlston’s website for cancellation. £4
Swanage Lifeboat week duck race

Sunday 13th

  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Duck race starts at 4 pm by the old Post Office, Kings Road East

Monday 14th

  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Outdoor theatre Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors 7 pm to 10.30 pm at Prince Albert Gardens

Tuesday 15th

  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Outdoor cinema Top Gun: Maverick (12A) 8.30 pm to 11.30 pm at Prince Albert Gardens

Wednesday 16th

  • The Mowlem – Show by BAFTA nominated entertainer Richard Digance. Starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £18 plus booking fee
  • Wareham Wednesday at Wareham Quay – Jamie Jambo, Vici Jo, I’m Every Whitney and Splitz Studio
  • Durlston Country Park – Wild Wednesdays. Painting, crafts and activities 11 am to 3 pm at the Learning Centre. Free
  • Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge – Eco-crabbing 2.30 pm to 4 pm. £7 per child which includes a plastic-free crab line to keep. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Accompanying adults free. Booking required

Thursday 17th

  • Purbeck Valley Folk Festival at Purbeck Valley Farm, Harman’s Cross until Sunday 20th August
  • Durlston Country Park – Dinosaurs and Fossils activity 2.30 pm at the Learning Centre. Learn more about Durlston’s prehistoric past through games and activities. Booking required. £3.50
  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Lifeboat launch at 6.15 pm from Swanage Lifeboat Station
  • NT Corfe Castle – Open-air play Robin Hood by the Three Inch Fools 7 pm to 10 pm in the castle grounds. Ticket Prices: Family (2+3) £45, Family (1+3) £38, Adult £18, Child (5-17) £9, Under 5s free
  • Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge – Seashore safari exploring the underwater world of the Fleet Lagoon 1.30 pm to 3 pm. £5 per adult, £3 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required

Friday 18th

  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Live music, bar and barbecue 6 pm to 11 pm at Prince Albert Gardens
    Durlston Country Park – Layers in the Landscape walk 11 am to 12.30 pm start at castle reception, Join a ranger to explore how geology, history and cultural change have created Durlston’s unique landscape. £3.50
  • Jurassic Dance Festival at Wilkswood Farm near Langton Matravers until Sunday 20th
Buid a boat at Swanage Lifeboat week

Saturday 19th

  • Swanage Bandstand – Swanage Town Band perform from 2.30 pm weather permitting
  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Build a boat competition at Prince Albert Gardens 12 noon to 4 pm with race 4pm to 5pm. Live music between 1 pm and 11 pm
  • The Mowlem – The Elton John Show. Tribute act starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £23 plus booking fee
  • Durlston Country Park – Glass engraving workshop 11 am to 12.30 pm at the Learning Centre. No experience needed. Children (8+) and adults welcome. Booking required. £15
  • Durlston Country Park – outdoor cinema under the stars Jurassic Park (PG) 8.45 pm to 11 pm. Ticket Prices: Family £30, Adult £12, Child (5-17) £6
  • Wareham Flower and Produce show – Wareham Scout and Guide Hut, North Bestwall Road, Wareham BH20 4HX

Sunday 20th

  • Swanage Lifeboat Week – Lifeboat service at Swanage Pier 4 pm to 4.45 pm

Monday 21st

  • Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge – Seashore explorer challenge 1 pm to 4.30 pm. Hire a backpack for £6 a day to complete the activities. Hire cost includes a plastic-free eco crab line to keep.

Tuesday 22nd

  • Durlston Country Park – Children’s drawing workshop for ages 7 and above, 10.30 am to 12 noon at the Learning Centre. Join artist Mark Page for a workshop learning to draw everything from animals to plants. Materials included. Booking required. £15

Wednesday 23rd

  • The Mowlem – Fleetwood Shack. Tribute act starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £20 plus booking fee
  • Wareham Wednesday at Wareham Quay – Final Night with Krazy Kev, Navi Michael Jackson and the Raft Race
  • Durlston Country Park – Wild Wednesdays. Painting, crafts and activities 11 am to 3 pm at the Learning Centre. Free
Wareham Wednesdays

Thursday 24th

  • Durlston Country Park – Painting with Nature activity 2.30 pm at the Learning Centre. Booking required. £3.50
  • NT Corfe Castle – Open-air play The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, adapted from the books by Beatrix Potter 7 pm to 10 pm in the castle grounds. Ticket Prices: Family (2+3) £45, Family (1+3) £38, Adult £18, Child (5-17) £9, Under 5s free

Friday 25th

  • Durlston Country Park – Try orienteering event 2 pm to 4pm at the Learning Centre for all ages or families. Booking required. £3.50
  • NT Corfe Castle – Outdoor cinema The Super Mario Bros. Movie (PG) 8 pm to 11 pm in the castle grounds. Ticket Prices: Family £30, Adult £12, Child (5-17) £6

Saturday 26th

  • The Mowlem – New Jersey Boys. Tribute act starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £20 plus booking fee
  • Durlston Country Park – Meet a Moth 11 am at the castle reception. Find out what’s in last night’s moth trap. Free – donations welcome
  • NT Corfe Castle – Outdoor cinema Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (12A) 8 pm to 11 pm in the castle grounds. Ticket Prices: Family £30, Adult £12, Child (5-17) £6
  • Wareham Duck Race – Wareham Quay

Sunday 27th

  • Swanage Bandstand – Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Concert Band from 12 noon to 4 pm
  • Durlston Country Park – Wild Durlston walk 11 am to 12.30 pm starting at castle reception. Explore the late summer wildlife. £3.50
  • National Coastwatch at Peveril Point – Tea and cake available Sunday 27th and Monday 28th August

Monday 28th bank holiday

  • Harman’s Cross Field Day and Fayre, Haycrafts Lane from 12 noon
  • The Mowlem – Thought Control, Pink Floyd tribute act starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £21 plus booking fee
Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge
Phil Abraham

Tuesday 29th

  • Durlston Country Park – Walk and draw workshop 2 pm to 4 pm at the Learning Centre. Join Madelaine Devenay to learn outdoor sketching at Durlston (indoors in bad weather). Booking required. £15

Wednesday 30th

  • Durlston Country Park – Wild Wednesdays. Painting, crafts and activities 11 am to 3 pm at the Learning Centre. Free
  • Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge – Eco-crabbing 2 pm to 3.30 pm. £7 per child which includes a plastic-free crab line to keep. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Accompanying adults free. Booking required

Thursday 31st

  • The Mowlem – NT Live Fleabag screening starts at 7 pm. Tickets £13.50 to £15 plus booking fee
  • Durlston Country Park – Mammal safari activity 2.30 pm starting at the Learning Centre. Join a ranger to hunt for signs of wildlife and maybe meet a mammal. Booking required. £3.50
  • Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge – Seashore safari exploring the underwater world of the Fleet Lagoon 2.30 pm to 4 pm. £5 per adult, £3 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking required
  • Bournemouth Air Festival until Sunday 3rd September
Music by the sea concert

September 2023

Friday 1st

  • Durlston Country Park – Gentle stroll 11 am to 11.30 am starting at castle reception. Join a ranger to enjoy the park. Free
  • Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre at Kimmeridge – One-day course 11 am to 5 pm to learn about rocky shore wildlife, how to identify different species and where to find them. £75 per adult (+ booking fee). Booking required

Saturday 2nd

  • Music by the Sea festival – music 11 am to 9 pm including bands Toploader and Galaxy Thief at Prince Albert Gardens, Swanage. Wristbands £15 adults (postcode BH19/20), £20 all other adults. Children free under 14

Tuesday 5th

  • Durlston Country Park – Linear: Exhibition 10.30 am to 5 pm at the Fine Foundation Gallery. Landscapes by Bonnie Brown, exploring light and water, their qualities of transience and transformation and the boundary between land, sea, and air, the static and the moving. Tuesday 5th to Wednesday 20th September
  • Durlston Country Park – Talk 7.30 pm at the Learning Centre by Swanage photographer Simon Parvin, including landscape photography, travel and winning photos from Swanage Photographic Society competitions. £3
View of Peveril Point from Durlston Country Park

Thursday 7th

  • Durlston Country Park – Pleasure Grounds walk starting 12.30 pm at the castle reception. Discover the curious history of the Pleasure Grounds and their recent restoration. £3.50

Friday 8th

  • Swanage Folk Festival – Friday 8th to Sunday 10th
  • Swanage Railway – Classic Steam and Vehicle Show in field opposite Harman’s Cross Hall, Haycrafts Lane, from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th
    Saturday 9th
  • The Mowlem – Comedian Sean Walsh, Back from the Bed show starts at 8pm. Tickets £20 plus booking fee

Sunday 10th

  • Durlston Country Park – Birds of Durlston walk 10.30 am to 12 noon starting at the Learning Centre. Join ranger Katie to look for bird-life around the reserve. £3.50

Friday 15th

  • Planet Purbeck Festival – Friday 15th to Sunday 24th
  • Durlston Country Park – Stargazing 8 pm at the Learning Centre. Jupiter, Saturn and the summer constellations. Weather dependent, check Durlston’s website for cancellation. £4

Saturday 16th

  • Durlston Country Park – Meet a Moth 11 am at the castle reception. Find out what’s in last night’s moth trap. Free – donations welcome
  • Durlston Country Park – Glass engraving workshop 11 am to 12.30 pm at the Learning Centre. No experience needed. Children (8+) and adults welcome. Booking required. £15
  • NT Corfe Castle – Free entry to celebrate National Heritage Open Days 2023
Moth identification at Durlston as part of Planet Purbeck Festival
Dean Storer

Sunday 17th

  • NT Corfe Castle – Free entry to celebrate National Heritage Open Days 2023

Wednesday 20th

  • Durlston Country Park – Durlston Rocks! Geology walk 11 am to 12.30 pm starting at castle reception. Join a ranger to explore this exceptional part of the Jurassic Coast. £3.50

Friday 22nd

  • The Mowlem – An evening with Ken Wharfe – former personal protection officer to Princess Diana. Stories about his life including Princess Diana’s visit to Studland and Corfe Castle. Show starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £15 plus booking fee
  • Durlston Country Park – Stargazing 8 pm at the Learning Centre. Moon, Saturn and the summer constellations. Weather dependent, check Durlston’s website for cancellation. £4

Saturday 23rd

  • Durlston Country Park – Park to Pier walk 10.30 am starting at the castle reception. Join a ranger from Durlston Castle to Swanage Pier learning about wildlife, geology and history. Adult £5, Child £3

Wednesday 27th

  • Durlston Country Park – Gentle stroll 11 am to 11.30 am starting at castle reception. Join a ranger to enjoy the park. Free

Saturday 30th

  • The Mowlem – Pop-up Bowie tribute with Paul Antony. Show starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets £19
  • Swanage Supervets Rowing Regatta – Swanage Bay

Further information

  • For more about events contact the Swanage Information Centre on 01929 766018 or via email

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