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Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Dorset  /  Isle of Purbeck  /  Swanage
(4.3/5 based on 6,500+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: wildlife areas, adventure, sightseeing
Swanage is a coastal town and civil parish in the south east of Dorset, England. It is situated at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck, approximately 6¼ miles south of Poole and 25 miles (40 km) east of Dorchester. In the 2011 census the civil parish and two electoral wards had a population of 9,601. Nearby are Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks, with Studland Bay and Poole Harbour to the north. Within the parish are Durlston Bay and Durlston Country Park to the south of the town. The parish also includes the areas of Herston, just to the west of the town, and Durlston, just to the south.The town, originally a small port and fishing village, flourished in the Victorian era, when it first became a significant quarrying port and later a seaside resort for the rich of the day. Today the town remains a popular tourist resort, this being the town's primary industry, with many thousands of visitors coming to the town during the peak summer season, drawn by the bay's sandy beaches and other attractions.
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