It has a beautiful setting, between the Purbeck Hills and its own wide bay. There are chalk cliffs to the North, and the stack known as Old Harry.
Originally a little fishing town, Swanage was developed as a resort from the 1820s, but development was slow until the arrival of the railway in 1885.
There are several pieces of architecture brought from London, including the frontage of the Town Hall.
There is a very picturesque millpond, with the parish church nearby.
The Alfred Pillar on the seafront commemorates Alfred the Great`s sea victory against the Danes in 877;
Swanage has an excellent pier.