Beach & Coast

Beaches West towards Lyme Regis

  • West Bay
  • Eype
  • Seatown
  • Charmouth
  • Lyme Regis

Beaches East towards Weymouth…

  • Hive Beach
  • Cogden
  • Abbotsbury
  • Sandy Cove, Weymouth
  • Weymouth
  • Stoney Cove, Portland

Beaches East of Weymouth…

  • Ringstead
  • Dudle Door
  • Man o’ War
  • Lulworth
  • Worbarrow Bay
  • Chapmans Poole
  • Studland
Cliffs and beach at West Bay in Bridport

West Bay

West Bay is the cosest beach but not that nice to be honest. You may recall this was the filming location for the popular TV series Broadchurch, so it’s one of the more famous Dorset beaches. Towering above the rocky shingle beach is a dramatic golden sandstone cliff – one which featured prominently in the drama. It’s a gorgeously wild and rugged setting, while the nearby fishing village and harbour are lovely to explore.

Eype

Less well known than some of the beaches but offers peaceful seclusion away from the more popular beaches located at Lyme Regis and West Bay. The shingle shelving beach can be quite steep as you enter the water’s edge so it advised to take caution when entering the water. Swimming should only be enjoyed by strong swimmers, the step shelving can create currents that can cause difficulty for less confident bathers. Parking can be found just above the beach with access to the beach via steps. A local pub, shops and local tea rooms offer refreshment.

Seatown

One of my favorites, a beach with a pub what more could you ask for…….well its also great for fossils and at either end on the beach its also good for boldering if you are into it, fishing, or just top up the tan on the pebble beach and when you get tired enjoy a beer in the cliff bar of the Anchor Pub.

charmouth beach at low tide

Charmouth

Just down the road from Lyme Regis, Charmouth is another great location for fossil hunting. The charming seaside village is tucked into an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the shingle beach is overlooked by the striking cliffs of the Jurassic Coast. Most impressive is the Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast, which stands about a mile from Charmouth beach.

Fossil on Beach at Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis

Although well known as a tourist destination, Lyme Regis is also one of the most significant spots along the Jurassic Coast for fossil hunting. This was the birthplace of Mary Anning, the renowned palaeontologist, and the area is rich with the fossils of sea creatures from 180 million years ago. Lyme Regis is fast becoming one of the trendiest spots in Dorset.  You have the choice of sand or pepples. However expect a walk down the steep hill from the main car park to the front.

Hive Beach Cafe

Hive Beach

Hive Beach is about 5 miles away at Burton Bradstock and is a great choice of beach if you just want to top up the suntand and has all the imenities on hand together with the award winning Hice Beach Cafe. definitly worth a visit although in mid summer can be a victim of its owns success.

Cogden Beach

Owned by the National Trust, Cogden Beach, is not a well know beach and can be the place to go during mid summer. The beach is steep shelving and is a single beach located on the coast road between Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury (B3157).  Bathing can be dangerous. The beach shelves steeply & there is a strong under-tow. Take care on the shoreline because sudden large waves can engulf persons at the water’s edge. However big beach so there is plenty of space but no immenities so bring your own. Great place for an evening BBQ and if you can catch your own mackeral, so much the better.

Chesil Beach in Weymouth and Portland

Chesil Beach

The 29km long stretch of shingle connects the Isle of Portland with the mainland at Abbotsbury.  Along the way, it forms The Fleet, a brackish water lagoon which was once a popular area for smugglers. Legend has it that smugglers could tell where they’d landed at night by the size of the shingle, because it varies uniformly along the beach! 

Sunset over Castle Cove Beach in Weymouth

Castle Cove Beach, Weymouth

This is one of my favourite beaches in Weymouth. Over the other side of the harbour, facing the Isle of Portland, this little beach is almost always super quiet when I visit. The bay enjoys some of Portland Harbour’s natural protection, so it’s usually very calm. Perfect conditions for SUP or kayaking! Plus you can always find loads of marine life in the shallows – including crabs, shrimps, and anemones. At the top of the cliff above the beach, you can visit the majestic ruins of Sandsfoot Castle – an artillery fort constructed by Henry VIII!

Secret Dorset Beaches

Church Ope Cove, Portland

Tucked into the side of Portland and surrounded by soft, grass-covered cliffs on three sides, Church Ope Cove is a pretty little pebble beach that’s far quieter than most others in the area. The beach is overlooked by the ruins of Rufus Castle, and there are some lovely viewpoints from the top of the cliffs.

Best Beaches in Dorset - Ringstead Bay

Ringstead Bay

The unspoilt beach at Ringstead Bay is probably my favourite beach in Dorset. Surrounded by the golden cliffs of the Jurassic Coast, this long stretch of shingle beach has great views across the water towards Weymouth Bay and Portland. It’s also relatively quiet most days, as most people stick to the area’s better-known beaches. The far east end of the beach is very quiet and is a local nude beach.

Durdle Door

Durdle Door is an icon of the Jurassic Coast, and its home to two of the best beaches in Dorset. On the right-hand side as you look at the sea is Durdle Door Beach, which is the more popular one as you can actually see the rocky arch from here. But on the left side, Man O War Bay is probably the nicer beach. The beautiful semi-circular cove is protected by a string of rocks, which help to shelter the water. So this is the better beach for swimming, especially with small children.

Man O War Bay Dorset

Man o War Bay

Durdle Door is an icon of the Jurassic Coast, and its home to two of the best beaches in Dorset. On the right-hand side as you look at the sea is Durdle Door Beach, which is the more popular one as you can actually see the rocky arch from here. But on the left side, Man O War Bay is probably the nicer beach. The beautiful semi-circular cove is protected by a string of rocks, which help to shelter the water. So this is the better beach for swimming, especially with small children.

Lulworth Cove

Another iconic spot on the Jurassic Coast is Lulworth Cove, a picturesque fishing village nestled beside a gorgeous circular cove. The water is sheltered, and the long stretch of shingle beach is backed by white chalk cliffs which give the area a really rugged, dramatic feel. It’s the perfect spot for a chilled beach day, or something more adventurous like a cliff walk (head to the nearby Fossil Forest).

Kimmeridge Bay

Kimmeridge Bay

Kimmeridge Bay is also one of the most important geological sites in the world. So it’s definitely one of the best beaches in Dorset if you want epic coastline! Although there’s no sand, the rocky beach is a breath-taking setting. Fossils are common here, and the many rock pools that form along the bay are ideal for discovering the abundant marine life of this area of Purbeck. In fact, the whole place feels more like a vast rock pool than a beach! 

Worbarrow Bay Dorset

Worbarrow Bay

One of the best Dorset beaches for enjoying the Jurassic Coast is Worbarrow Bay. Just east of Lulworth Cove, this is a broad and shallow bay with calm waters and a stunning backdrop of dramatic cliffs. Better still, the nearest carpark is a mile walk away, so it’s relatively quiet. You might even have the place all to yourself! This beach is a prime spot for fossil hunting and rock pooling, and the walk from the historic village of Tyneham nearby is a gorgeous one! 

Chapman's Pool Dorset

Chapmans Pool

Chapman’s Pool is a small cove on the Isle of Purbeck – one of the most stunning areas along the Jurassic Coast. It’s one of the best Dorset beaches if you want to get away from it all. Especially because the nearest carpark is about a mile away, and the walk can be slightly challenging. The reward is a wonderfully wild and secluded little beach – so it’s definitely worth the journey! 

Studland Bay

Studland Bay with rolling white sand dunes and swaying beach grass, the beaches around Studland are some of the wildest and most enticing in Dorset! Studland Bay is a National Trust nature reserve home to a vast lowland heath, so it really does feel like a true wilderness. In summer, with the heathland covered in purple heather and bright yellow gorse, they form a stunning backdrop to the rugged beaches.