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.
- The Central beach at Swanage is a great family beach set within a Victorian town with a pier. Swanage is a nice traditional family seaside resort whilst the beach is a sandy beach and is part of a larger stretch of sand that lasts for approximately 2km. Facilities include pier, promenade, cafes/restaurants, shops, children’s play area, beach huts, seasonal lifeguards, toilets with disabled facilities, showers and car parking.
- Charmouth beach is a sand, at low tide, and shingle beach that stretches for two miles with many rock pools. The beach is split into two either side of the River Char, with the East beach being the main family beach and the West beach is an excellent place for fossil hunting. To the west of Charmouth is the site of the largest coastal mudslide in Europe, called Black Ven, it was created in the winter of 1958/59. If you are interested in fossil hunting then the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre is worth a visit as it has fossil displays, local information and organizes fossil finding walks on Charmouth Beach. Facilities the beach include parking, toilets, cafe/shop, beach hut hire.
- Hengistbury Head is a headland jutting into the English Channel between Bournemouth and Christchurch, at the end is a spit that creates the narrow entrance to Christchurch Harbour. Hengistbury Head beach is a pebble beach below the imposing clay and ironstone cliffs, with the Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve separates Poole Bay and Christchurch Bay and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Not so much a beach holiday location but a good place to explore and go for walks along gravel paths throughout the nature reserve. Facilities include pay and display car park, toilets, cafe and the Hengistbury Head Centre.
- 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.
- Durley Chine beach (west cliff) is a good family sandy beach. Water activities include sailing, windsurfing and canoeing and are zoned to allow for safe bathing. Facilities include parking, pub, beach hut and deck chair hire, lifeguards in the summer months, kids zones, toilets, pedalos for hire.
- Harbour Sandbanks beach is a prime location for launching watersports into the harbour. You can see many windsurfers and kite surfers blasting in sometimes very shallow water. Facilities include parking on the road (need to be early), shops, food and toilets a short walk.
- Rockley Park beach is a small (150m) sandy beach within Poole Harbour that is also known as Rockley Sands and Rockley Point beach. The beach offers some good views into Poole harbour and over to the Purbecks. The beaches location means that at low tide swimming from the beach is not possible due to strong currents. Facilities include toilets, beach shop/kiosk, cafe/restuarant, watersports, boat storage and slipway.
- Church Ope Cove beach is a pebble beach with a small stream on the eastern side of Portland and as the tide goes out you have a number of rock pools and some sand. The beach is sheltered as it has cliffs on three sides. Popular diving location to access the many wrecks off Portland. Facilities include car parking a short walk away, toilets and cafe nearby. Parking is a little way away and the route to the beach involves a walk through a wood, graveyard and then down stone steps.