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11 Best Beaches in Dorset - Weymouth beach (2)

We have gathered a list of all of the best beaches in Dorset for you to discover during your holiday. Dorset is famous for its fossil-rich coastline and outstanding natural beauty hotspots, making it the perfect destination for a beach holiday.

We’re talking stretches of fine sand, spectacular scenery and some of the most incredible hidden havens nestled, amidst picturesque backdrops away from the crowds. From water sport enthusiasts to family fossil hunters, this list of the best beaches in Dorset will guarantee to have you reaching for the suncream and enjoying your best summer yet!

Best beaches in Dorset to add to your bucket list:

1. Weymouth Beach

Weymouth beach in summer

First up on our list is the blue flag awarded Weymouth beach. With its golden sand and safe shallow waters, it’s perfect for paddling, swimming and soaking up the sunshine. Children will have a pure bucket and spade pleasure with Punch and Judy shows, donkey rides and amusement arcades, therefore, making it a great traditional day at the seaside.

Check all our Weymouth cottages, you might just find your dream cottage overlooking the beach.

Note: Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach between May and end of September


2. Lulworth Cove

11 Best Beaches in Dorset Lulworth Cove

A beautiful white pebble beach in the shape of a horseshoe certainly makes Lulworth Cove a popular destination. In the summer months, you can enjoy boat trips from here to the Durdle Door and Mupe Bay. Low tides reveal wonderful rock pools and the clear blue waters are easily accessible by a chalk pathway with views over the cove. There are places to eat and drink, lots of parking and dogs are also welcome.

Why not choose to stay next to the cove and explore Dorset whilst staying in Lulworth cottages?


3. Chesil Cove

11 Best Beaches in Dorset Chesil Cove

Next up, Chesil Cove, a large naturally formed 18-mile long pebble bank. The cove is a great spot for sea fishing, scuba diving or simply soaking up the sun. With the waves crashing to the bank, it certainly is a wonderful spot to watch the sunset.

Top Tip: There’s a National Sailing Academy nearby therefore perfect for water sports enthusiasts.

Stay in one of our Portland cottages and enjoy stunning views over the Chesil bank.

Note: Dogs aren’t allowed on certain parts of the beach due to the some restrictions in place however there are plenty of spots where dogs are welcome


4. Durdle Door

11 Best beaches in Dorset Durdle Door

Also on our list is Durdle Door, an extremely popular destination for holidaymakers. It has a spectacular postcard setting which makes the perfect picnic spot.

Admire the natural rock formation of Durdle Door and snorkel through the arch while looking for underwater marine life.

Bear in mind in summer months this place is heaving with visitors although the nearby Man’ O War beach and St. Oswald’s Bay will suit those looking for a quieter scene.

Dogs are welcome all year but due to there being no facilities, take your own flasks of tea and a picnic rug so you can enjoy this beautiful location.


5. West Bay beach

11 Best Beaches in Dorset West Bay

West Bay is also known as Bridport Harbour and lies at the mouth of River Brit. It is a small seaside resort with magnificent sandstone cliffs which tower above the shingle beach creating a dramatic backdrop. A fabulous destination for fossil hunting and clifftops walks whilst admiring the views as far as the eye can see!

Rising almost 50 metres vertically, these spectacular cliffs can be unstable therefore visitors should observe the various warning signs around the beach.

 Check the availability and book on our holiday cottages in West Bay page.


6. Hive beach, Burton Bradstock

11 Best Beaches in Dorset Hive Beach Burton Bradstock

Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock is very popular among locals and holidaymakers too. With a picturesque setting of cliffs and countryside, it’s perfect for those looking for a quieter beach. This shelved, shingle beach is great for those with dogs as they are welcome throughout the year.

There is a café located right on the beach with far-reaching views across Lyme Bay and Chesil Beach. Enjoy fresh, local seafood, homemade cakes or just a simple cup of tea.

Choose one of our cottages in Burton Bradstock for your Dorset holiday base.


7. Charmouth beach

11 Best Beaches in Dorset Charmouth

Charmouth beach just might be the best fossil beach in Dorset! The beach is a mix of pebble and sand and easily accessible through the delightful village of Charmouth. Start your day at the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre where they have lots of displays and advice to help you discover your very own fossils to take home.

Enjoy a “blow-away-the-cobwebs” walk to Charmouth beach from Lyme Regis or Golden cap – the tallest cliff on the south coast. The views are just magnificent!

Always follow the Fossil Hunting Code before setting out on your expedition.


8. Swanage Beach

11 Best Beaches in Dorset Swanage

Swanage beach is a calm and sheltered bay sat amongst the lovely little town of Swanage. Due to it’s gently shelving golden sand and crystal clear waters, the beach has been awarded the blue flag award.

The attractive promenade runs along the stretch of the beach with an array of shops, amusements and plenty of places to enjoy a bite to eat. So grab an ice-cream, soak up the glorious sunshine and enjoy a traditional day at the seaside.

Stay in one of our cottages in Swanage and nearby.

Note: Dogs are welcome on Swanage beach between 1st October and 30th April each year.


9. Studland Beach

11 Best Beaches in Dorset Studland

Another one for our list is Studland beach, a beautiful four-mile stretch of golden sandy beach. With gently shelving waters, it’s perfect for swimming and offers stunning views of Old Harry Rocks on the Isle of Wight.

Adjacent to the beach you will find Studland Heath, a National Nature Reserve, home to an abundance of wildlife. So from beach games and sandcastles to bird watching and nature walks, Studland is a lovely day out for all.

Note: Dogs are welcome on Studland beach between 1st October and 30th April each year.


10. Bournemouth beach

11 Best Beaches in Dorset Bournemouth

With seven miles of sandy shores complete with a lively pier, Bournemouth beach boasts an array of activities such as paddle boarding, surfing, jet-skiing and kayaking. The main stretch gets particularly busy in the summer but if you walk towards Westbourne or Southbourne, it does quieten down.

With it’s iconic, colourful beach huts which line the seafront, Bournemouth beach is sure to be a fun-filled day for all the family. Not only is it stunning, but the beach boaststhe warmest waters in the UK, due to its own micro-climate, making it incredibly pleasant for a swim.

Check out our properties in Southbourne


11. Ringstead beach

11 Best Beaches in Dorset Ringstead

Last, but not least, is Ringstead beach.  The sloping pebble beach has been a favourite with visitors looking for a quieter, less crowded day by the sea. Boasting great views across Weymouth to Portland, why not bring a kite, pack a picnic and follow one of the ancient tracks down to the shingle shoreline? The water is incredibly clear making it perfect for paddling and bathing.

As dogs allowed all year round, a lot of dog owners choose Ringstead as their holiday base too. Check our cottages in Ringstead.

We hope you like our list! Head to our website and find your dream cottage so you could tick off that beach on your bucket list.


More information on dog-friendly beaches in Dorset:

If you have dogs and wish to bring them on a holiday, browse through our fantastic dog-friendly cottages in Dorset.