Swanage Bay

Swanage is the most easterly town on the Jurassic Coast and the perfect location from which to explore natural beauty spots in the local area.

Swanage Bay, part of the Isle of Purbeck, is situated on the southeast coast of Dorset. The town is popular with watersports enthusiasts and holiday makers looking to enjoy a traditional beach holiday. The vibrant seaside resort boasts a bustling town centre, excellent fish and chip shops and easy access to a range of scenic walks along the South West Coast Path. The beach has consistently been awarded Blue Flag status for its clean water and well-maintained shoreline. Swanage Bay is the perfect place to relax or get active on the water!

In the early 19th century, Swanage was known only for being a fishing port and a stone quarrying town. However, when staycation seaside holidaying became popular in the Victorian era and local Weymouth saw success, efforts were made to expand Swanage in the same way. Today, there are still nods to the Victorian roots of Swanage with traditional elements remaining on the bay. Known as ‘Little London’ many structures were transported from the capital and incorporated in the Swanage townscape. The Wellington Clock Tower located by the pier was originally built by the Commissioners for Lighting the West Division of Southwark at the southern end of London Bridge in 1854. The town hall was constructed by the local building contractor George Burt in 1882, reusing materials salvaged from demolition works in London and the façade was rescued from London’s 17th-century Mercers’ Hall. The Greek style pillars at Prince Albert Gardens arrived from London as ballast in the boats which had transported Purbeck Stone to the city for street paving as did the many cast iron street bollards dotted around the town.

We are very lucky to be based just a 10 minute walk from Swanage Bay, where we host a range of outdoor adventure activities such as rib rides, as well as field studies and fishing.

  • Ballard Down and Swanage Bay Purbeck Dorset
  • rib ride during dofe gold residential
  • View od Swanage Bay in the sunshine towards the pier

School Trips on the Jurassic Coast

The Cumulus Team have over 25 years’ experience providing the best adventure school trips on the Jurassic Coast. We specialise in bespoke outdoor activity programmes and we’re proud to have earned many glowing reviews about our coastal residential trips in Swanage.

We have two accommodation options to choose from during a school trip with Cumulus Outdoors. Base yourselves at our purpose-built Residential Centre, which sleeps 139 people across 3 dormitories, or our Tented village close to Poole Harbour! Our Swanage residential centre boast stunning views over Swanage Bay and easy access to the town and beach.

However you choose to stay, you’ll be a stone’s throw from exploring iconic locations along the Jurassic Coast. Adventure is never far away at Cumulus Outdoors!

Simply choose from a range of outdoor adventure activities that suits your group, and we’ll put together an exhilarating itinerary. We also offer gold Duke of Edinburgh gold residentials throughout the year.

Field Studies on the Jurassic Coast

What better way to take Geography lessons into the real world than a field studies session on the Jurassic Coast with Cumulus Outdoors. Swanage is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Some of the most famous fossil discoveries have been made here, and your students will love trying to uncover the newest secret of the past. During our field studies trips we visit a range of destinations, which can include Durdle Door, Old Harry Rocks, Lulworth Cove and Studland Bay.

We also frequently partner with the Jurassic Coast Trust to offer evening field studies sessions for young people.

Field studies trips are flexible and can be tailored to suit a range of ages, from KS1 to KS5. We can also develop sessions for AS/A-Level students and will provide informative, fun sessions that aim to extend the knowledge of your group and inspire further learning!

Outdoor Adventure Activities in Swanage

Rib rides

We are pleased to have teamed up with Pier Head Watersports to offer Rib rides for school groups in Swanage! These action packed boat trips will take your students across Swanage Bay, passing popular locations like Old Harry Rocks and Poole Harbour. Your qualified skipper will give a running commentary at various points to teach your group about Dorset’s famous landmarks. A high speed RIB ride will be a memorable experience and a fantastic way to learn!

Evening activities

Our residential centre is located just a 10 minute walk from Swanage Bay and we certainly make the most of this! We often take our residential groups into Swanage in the evenings after a full day of fun. Here, students can visit the Blue Flag Beach and fish from the pier with the help of our experienced team. We also enjoy a leisurely walk around Swanage when the sun is going down – allowing students to get snaps of the many scenic locations we know so well.

More adventure

Other exhilarating adventure activities are on offer as part of a residential school trip at Cumulus Outdoors. Enjoy coasteering, climbing, and raft racing at scenic locations on the Jurassic Coast

dofe rib rid
rib ride with coasteering jurassic coast

Swanage Mackerel Fishing

Mackerel fishing boat trips are a popular activity that you can select as part of your bespoke adventure school trip on the Jurassic Coast. Swanage has a famous history of being a popular fishing port – and boat fishing is still an important part of what Swanage stands for today.

Your students will love learning to fish in Swanage, where our experienced skipper, Tom Greasty and crew will teach the group how to use a fishing rod and line and safely unhook fish. Toms’ experience as an RNLI volunteer ensures that sea safety is very pertinent in our Mackerel Fishing Sessions. We like to foster friendly competition between students to see who can catch the biggest fish!

Aside from being relaxing, fun and great for mental and physical wellbeing, we always make sure that mackerel fishing trips for schools are learning experiences too. Your group will be taught about water safety and the importance of sustainability. We place great importance of eating local and knowing where our food is from – and we think it is a great lesson to teach our residential groups.

  • school group fishing with cumulus outdoors

Get in touch

Plan your outdoor adventure trip on the coast now!

Contact us on 01929 422480

What our schools say about us

  • Boat fishing swanage Cumulus Outdoors Residential
    School Testimonial

    We took 19 Y6 pupils for a five day camping and adventurous activities residential organised entirely by Cumulus. Now, we cannot recommend this company enough.
    We were welcomed on arrival, shown to our area which was encircled by tents and separate to another camping area for another group.
    The staff were exceptional. They organised games, tent inspections, bag for the day packing and accompanied us on each experience. Jack was amazing with the children and taught them games that they have brought back to school.
    Josh was a wonderful cook and the Thursday evening chicken pie is still talked about with hushed awe amongst the children as they describe it to their parents.
    The experiences were incredible. Coasteering was astonishingly brilliant. Fishing on the pier and paddling in the sea were such treats. Safety was absolutely paramount and the experience leaders were highly skilled, patient and encouraging. Kayaking was such enormous fun, made even more so by the games we played on the water. However, for most of the children, the water park was their highlight. Think celebrity cyclone from `I’m a celebrity’ and then add a bit more, you will have some idea of how superb it is.
    The finale of our week was a trip to the beach. It was a fitting end to such a super week. We did not want to go home.
    This was amazing value for money and an unforgettable experience for our school leavers.

    G, Lakin-Hall - Trip Advisor