Named one of the best places to live in 2021, Swanage offers quintessential British seaside living with reasonably priced houses compared to other Dorset destinations. The coastal town has everything from quaint housing to charming locals and independent shops. From clifftop walks to Punch & Judy shows, it’s a throwback to old school coastal living. If you’re thinking of escaping the hustle and bustle, this moving to Swanage guide is for you.
A brief history of Swanage
Originally a small port and fishing town, Swanage thrived in the Victorian era as the first important quarrying port. It later went on to become a seaside resort for the wealthy and is still a popular tourist destination to this day.
Where is Swanage
Swanage is a coastal town in the southeast of Dorset. It lies at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck and is just over five miles from Poole and 25 miles from Dorchester and Bournemouth. London is 125 miles away.
Moving to Swanage
You’ll find charming cottages in Church Hill and family homes north of Swanage bay. Victoria Avenue up to Redcliffe Road are also sought-after areas, as is south from Queen’s Road up to Durlston.
Buying in Swanage
The average sold price in Swanage is £432,162, which is higher than the UK national average of £329,547. Expect to pay an average of £626,585 for a detached home, £401,650 for a terraced house and £259,057 for an apartment.
There’s a varied selection of estate and letting agents in Swanage, with chain and independent options available to help you find a home.
Renting in Swanage
One-bedroom homes rent for an average of £750 per month in Swanage, with two-bedroom properties fetching in the region of £950 per month. For larger homes, expect to pay an average of £1,100 per month.
Cost of living
If you’re moving to Swanage, you can expect to pay similar prices to the UK national average for everyday living. A meal for one person is around £15, while a cappuccino and a pint of milk cost about £2.80 and 95p respectively.
Utility bills are lower than the national average (UK average £155) in Swanage, at around £145 per month for electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal. Expect to pay around £28 per month for broadband.
Living in Swanage
Stroll the Swanage coastline and admire dramatic and rugged scenery before taking a dip in the sea during the warmer months. There are also local parks to explore and the Dorset coast if you feel like venturing further afield.
The nearest trains can be found in Wareham and have services to Dorchester and Bournemouth. Ideally, you’ll need a car to get around Swanage and make the most of Dorset and everything it has to offer.
Think amusement arcades more than high-end fashion stores, and you get an idea of what to expect when shopping in Swanage. There are a few local independents, including clothing stores and gift shops. For chain shopping, head to nearby Bournemouth.
Being a coastal town, you can expect plenty of seafood spots. Visit one of the seafood restaurants, some are designed as an unfussy seaside stop with low-key al fresco seafood dishes alongside beer, wine and ice cream. Or try one of the charming continental-style pavement cafés and bars.
Again, Bournemouth is the place to go for late-night partying and clubbing. But if you’re after a local drink, Swanage has a range of bars and pubs where you can see familiar faces while enjoying a low-key night.
Art & culture
Purbeck New Wave Gallery is an artist-owned gallery where you can buy work by established and emerging artists. Visit the Mowlem Theatre for a cinema experience showing a range of movies, from classics to modern flicks.
Things to do
There’s no doubt that the primary draw in Swanage is the beach, but if you’re after something else, head to Corfe Castle. It was built by William the Conqueror and dates back to the 11th century.
What’s not to like?
Swanage probably isn’t the location of your forever home if you prefer the big-city buzz.
Who lives there?
Swanage has a population of just 10,000 and a median age of 51.
Typical broadband speeds
The average broadband speed is 63mbps in Swanage, which is only marginally slower than the UK national average of 67mbps.
The overall crime rate in Swanage averages around 45 crimes per 1,000 people.
Moving to Swanage
Move iQ’s property report provides an in-depth analysis of specific properties as well as details about the local area of Swanage. If you’re thinking of moving, make sure you get one first!
Last Updated: May 31st, 2022