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Dorset’s most beloved beaches

Posted on 27/06/2024 by Nick Johnson
Dorset’s most beloved beaches

Millions of visitors head to the Dorset coast every summer for the beaches. While Dorset has some of the finest beaches in the UK, there is no shortage of variety on the Jurassic Coast. Essentially, there is something for everyone and many beaches to explore beyond the classics that Dorset is renowned for.  Tourism is the most thriving industry in Dorset, and the beaches support a wide range of watersports and water leisure that make it an appealing destination for holidaymakers.  Once it is a beloved holiday destination for Brits, it can easily become the dream retirement location. Northover and Gilbert have been helping people move, store and ship their possessions to and from Dorset for years. As locals we know all about the beaches and what makes them appealing. Here is our local list of the 10 best beaches in Dorset.


1.Studland Bay – Knoll Beach
2. Sandbanks
3. Swanage
4. Chesil Beach
5. Tyneham
6. Durdle Door
7. Stair Hole
8. Lulworth Cove
9. Weymouth Beach
10. Lyme Regis
11. Northover and Gilbert in Bridport

Studland Bay – Knoll Beach

For a lovely family beach with sand and shallow water, Studland is perfect for a day at the beach and pure family fun. Watersports equipment is available for hire, including state of the art paddleos. There is even a sauna for those wanting to experience an ocean-side cold plunge. The National Trust Café sells food and drink and the views of the coastline from the sea are stunning.  Dogs are welcome at Studland Bay, making it a real family outing.

Sandbanks Beach

Another sandy attraction is the popular Sandbanks Beach, which has maintained the Blue Flag award for its clean waters for 35 years.  Car parks and bus links make it accessible for many, and it has many respected eateries close by, including Rick Stein’s Sandbanks restaurant. Mini golf, slacklining, beach volleyball, and of course water sports make it a place for holiday activities and amusements. In the summer, dogs have their own designated beach area and are not allowed on the main stretch of the beach.

Swanage Beach

With all the nostalgia of a bygone seaside town, Swanage is full of charm and wonderful views.  Crab fishing on the quay and the Punch and Judy show are timeless activities which do not fail to excite. Amusements and activities flank the beach side and of course, there are great fish and chips. Kayaks, sun beds and pedalos are all on offer, as well as sailing, water skiing and windsurfing. From May 1st – 30th September, dogs are not permitted on Central Beach, but they are welcome at Monkey Beach, between Stone Quay and Swanage Pier.

Chesil Beach

A shingle beach, but a geological wonder. 18 miles long, Chesil Beach stretches from West Bay to Portland, and is a landmark of the Jurassic Coast. While this is not the destination for beach holiday fun, there are no lifeguards and it is not recommended for swimming, it is beloved for other reasons. The vast elemental power of the beach captures the imagination and is a wonderful place to walk and take in the coastline. The Chesil Visitor Centre has parking spaces and toilets. Dogs are welcome all year round.

Tyneham Beach

Tyneham Beach is a hidden gem for locals who love a quiet beach when the tourists come to town.  The sweeping bay flanked by hills is picturesque and the waters clean and fresh. A 20 minute walk from Tyneham village, it requires a little effort to arrive at this treasure of a sandy bay. Open weekends and school holidays, Tyneham Beach, also known as Worbarrow Bay is situated within Lulworths Army Training Ground.

Durdle Door

The iconic arch of Durdle Door epitomises the Jurassic Coast for many. Whether it is for family holidays, school geography trips or Bollywood movie fans, there are many reasons why Durdle Door is famous beyond Dorset.  This wonderful beach with its signature limestone arch is a wonderful day out. Reaching the beach involves a descent of steps for which good footwear is advised. There are no facilities on the beach, it is a feast of natural splendour with stunning views as you descend onto the beach from the cliffside.

Stair Hole Beach

A little more accessible than Durdle Door and in the Lulworth area is Stair Hole a geological marvel.  It is a lovely cove with a fascinating display of geological formations.  Steep walk and a scramble will get you into this rocky wonderland, where nature’s museum is open to the sky.  A great local expedition if you are feeling like an adventure.

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove is situated close to both Durdle Door and Stair Hole, and is the classic beach destination in this region. This beach in a UNESCO World Heritage Site draws thousands of people every year. The crystal waters and the rock formations in this cosy bay cannot fail to delight. With food, glamping facilities and watersports, Lulworth is equipped to deliver holiday activities and make the area more accessible. You can book their off-road mobility scooter to explore access around Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole, or just relax in the sun with an ice cream.

Weymouth Beach

One of Dorset’s most famous beaches, Weymouth is a classic Georgian seaside town. King George III spearheaded the development of this seaside location in the late 1700s, with his frequent visits.  An award-winning beach, it has set the standard for many years in Blue Flag, Quality Coast and the Seaside Awards. Festivals and championships take place here, it being a perfect location to accommodate celebrations and special events. Shallow waters make it ideal for swimming, bathing and watersports.  Lifeguards operate through the summer, and there is plenty of parking. Dogs are restricted from the main beach in the summer, but there is a designated area for them.

Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis has four different beaches, while they don’t all offer classic beach holiday activities, they all give insight into this dramatic and fossil rich coastline. Front Beach is your destination for sandy beach relaxation, while the others have rich geological insight into the coastline.

Front Beach

Front beach has a sandy area and a pebble part of the beach. This is a popular beach for swimming and paddling. Beach showers, toilets, amenities and life guards are all present here at Front Beach.

Monmouth Beach

Monmouth Beach is a pebble beach, with a beach hut, caravan and chalet site attached. Popular with fossil hunters it has the ammonite graveyard here where endless fossil hunting can take place. Undercliffs National Nature Reserve can be accessed from here and there are stunning sunset and sunrise views throughout the year.

Church Cliff Beach

Found towards the east of Lyme Regis town Church Cliff Beach is a small sandy beach with a rock ledge that is visible at low tide.  Popular with locals for dog walking and its views.

East Cliff (Back) Beach

Church Cliff Walk gives you access to the beach where you can hunt for fossils in the shingle on the beach. Digging into the rocks for fossils is discouraged as they can be found on the beach. Cliffs are slowly collapsing into the sea here, naturally exposing fossils to be found . It is worth not getting too close to the cliffs as they are in active landslip. There are tours and guides for fossil hunting and remaining safe around the eroding landscape. Dogs are allowed any time of year.

Northover and Gilbert in Bridport

Northover and Gilbert are based in Bridport, with Chesil Beach 1.5 miles away. We specialise in providing excellent removals and storage services in the area. Shipping internationally and worldwide is something we can do effortlessly.  Our Man and Van services are ideal for quick local transportation, plus we can supply packaging to suit your needs. Call us today for a quote, and with all the time you save from our services, you can enjoy a little bit more time on your favourite beach.