Find The Nearest Beach Dorset
Planning a trip to Dorset and looking for the nearest beaches. From Lyme Regis in the West to Bournemouth in the East, most of Dorset’s coastline is part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, which stretches for 155 km. Dorset really does offer everything from sandy beaches and rocky cliffs to natural rock arches, rare wildlife and loads of fossils.
Finding the right Dorset beach is easy – simply explore the links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search at the top of the page to plan your next Dorset beach visit.
- Newton’s Cove is a small cove between the main Weymouth beach and Portland Harbour, next to the Nothe Fort. The cove is a mix of sand, shingle and rock pools. No facilities at the beach although car park, toilets and cafe near the entrance to the Nothe Fort. After parking, you can walk through Nothe Gardens to the promenade and along to the beach at Newton’s Cove.
- Worbarrow Bay beach is mainly pebbles with a little sand. The beach has a steep shelf and so swimmers will be in deep water very fast. Popular anchorage for boats due to the steep shelf, meaning boats can come right into the bay and anchor a few metres from the beach. No facilities and no parking, with the best parking option being to park at Tyneham car park and walk the last half mile.
- Burton beach also is known as Hive beach is a coarse long sandy beach overlooked by cliffs, with this beach and coast spot being one of the main gateways to the Jurassic Coast and the South West Coast Path. The beach is good swimming although tides can be strong and is a popular diving location. There are also some great walks to enjoy after a full breakfast or just before a late lunch that start close to the café making it a good day out even in the colder months. Facilities include grassy area behinds the beach, parking managed by the National Trust, cafe and toilets. A superb beach café is situated right on the Chesil Bank offering superb views of Lyme Bay while you relax and enjoy fantastic food. There’s lots of inside space and a large deck to enjoy in the warmer weather. This eatery is family friendly and very welcoming to all, dogs included.
- Bowleaze Cove beach is a sand and shingle beach backed by cliffs and is at the eastern end of the long beach stretch within Weymouth Bay. When the tide comes in the sand disappears and you are left with just pebbles but you can make use of the grass area behind the beach or head into Fantasy Island Amusement Park. This is a great location as it is a dog-friendly beach but you are also close to all the facilities of Weymouth itself. The beach has a slipway that is mainly used by jetskiers and the water has zoned areas to keep waters crafts and swimmers apart. Facilities include car parking, shop, cafe, pub, amusement park and slipway.
- Swanage bay has a gentle shelving beach that runs the length of the town and is backed by a promenade lined with amusements and attractions. On a clear day it is possible to see all the way over to the Isle of Wight. Swanage beach is home to many water sports. Swanage pier is one of the best diving locations in the country with diving training programmes and excursions running regularly from Swanage, the shallow bay and clear waters offer excellent training grounds for this sport. Other water sports include sailing, water-skiing and windsurfing. Swanage beach is part of the South West Coast Path with superb views over the Jurassic coast. Facilities include restaurants, cafes, shops, supermarkets, theatre/cinema, amusement arcades, car parking and marker buoys cordon off a swimmers-only area in Swanage Bay.
- Shell Bay beach is the first beach on the Studland Peninsula, Isle of Purbeck, at the mouth of Poole Harbour. From Shell Beach you have the wide sweeping Studland Bay and the Studland National Nature Reserve. You can also take a pedestrian ferry to Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour. There is a designated naturist area between Shell Bay and Knoll Beach. Facilities include parking, toilets, restaurant and Cafe.
- Bournemouth beach is by the name located by the pier, an all round good family sandy beach with all levels of entertainment and facilities. Some good surfing by the pier but often very crowded. Facilities include car parks, toilets, disabled access, lifeguards between May and September, cafe and restaurants, amusements, piers (Bournemouth and Boscombe), cliff lifts, kid zones, and equipment hire (deck chairs, sun-beds, windbreaks and parasols). Beach huts, day and week hire available, all fitted with chairs and gas stove.