There is a general store at the corner of Park Road and the High Street (open 7 am to 9 pm) selling groceries, bread, frozen foods, fresh milk, vegetables and newspapers.
Swanage has a safe sandy beach (four tides a day) set in a sweeping bay and flanked by Downs. As the capital of the surrounding Isle of Purbeck - a designated area of outstanding natural beauty - it is an excellent touring base for this highly scenic region. Many acres of National Trust land, including the whole Studland peninsula, Brownsea Island, and much land around Corfe Castle ensures magnificent unspoilt, uncrowded areas for all to enjoy.
The coastline varies dramatically from long expanses of sand at Studland (three miles of safe golden sand backed by dunes) and smaller secluded coves around Lulworth to rugged cliffs and magnificent coastal scenery to the west of Swanage. These cliffs are alive with birds, this part of Dorset being rich in wildlife. Durlston Country Park boasts of three dozen varieties of butterfly; and the nearby Arne bird sanctuary is owned by the R.S.P.B.
Swanage offers a wide range of sporting and leisure facilities including sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing and subaqua diving (with hire and tuition from Pierhead Watersports) angling, tennis, indoor and outdoor bowls, two golf courses and riding. The nearest BR station is at Wareham and the No. 142 bus to Swanage connects with most fast trains from Waterloo. The old railway station has steam train rides.