Chapmans Pool near Worth Matravers, In Dorset
Things to do in Dorset

Beaches and Coast

Beach in Dorset

Dorset's Famous Jurassic Coast

Over 40 stunning Dorset beaches and ragged Jurassic coast make up the breath-taking Dorset coastline, formed over a millennium.  The Dorset coast has it all, from long sandy beaches with clean, safe bathing to dramatic coastal walks along the Jurrasic coast – a World Heritage Site.

There are over 20 beaches to choose from along the Heritage coast, you really are spoilt for choice.  You and your family can enjoy a traditional day out at the seaside, making sandcastles and relaxing in the sunshine (Dorset has one of the best sunshine records too).  Alternatively marvel at the World famous Durdle Door, formed thousands of years ago. Here are a selection of the best days out at the beach or along the famous coast.

Christchurch beach, Dorset

Beaches in Christchurch

Avon beach, Friars Cliff,  Highcliff  & Gundimore Beach (Christchurch)

East of Mudeford Quay between Gundimore Beach and Friars Cliff Beach.

Avon Beach is the main beach for Christchurch. The beach is mostly sandy with some stones and has views of the Needles and Isle of Wight in the distance. Great for families with small children as it has its own beach level car park. A designated bathing beach apart from the area in front of the car park which is allocated for watersports.

Between 1st May – 30th Sept no dogs in groynes H8 – H11.

Mudeford Sandbank

Mudeford Sandbank is a sandy beach adjoining Hengistbury Head with picturesque views of Christchurch Harbour.

Dogs allowed all year.

Bournemouth Beach in Dorset

Beaches in Bournemouth

Seven long miles of golden sands are bigger and better than ever before, offering something for everyone.

Central Beach

Enjoy  seafront attractions, cafés and restaurants, not forgetting the fantastic views of the bay from our historic Pier. At Pier Approach, discover life beneath the waves at the Oceanarium or have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants. Take a walk along Bournemouth Pier for fantastic views of the bay, children’s rides and boat trips to a number of destinations along the coast.

Durley Chine beach

A family favourite, Blue Flag award-winning Durley Chine beach is great for kids. It also boasts a traditional pub on the promenade and a refreshment kiosk.

Alum Chine beach

Home to the beautiful Tropical Gardens and has both Green and Blue Flag awards. Alum Chine is a great family friendly area with a pirate-themed children’s playground and water play area.

Boscombe beach

Boscombe seafront has been transformed from a sleepy 1950’s style beach into the exciting 21st century through Boscombe Spa Village redevelopment scheme with plenty to do and see.

Southbourne beach

Blue Flag award-winning beach at Fisherman’s Walk. Snacks and ice creams are on hand and more refreshments can be found at the café on the cliff top, along with a crazy golf course, which is easily accessible by the Cliff Lift.

Some beaches permit dogs in winter months, call the beach office on 01202 451781

Sandbanks Beach, Poole

Beaches in Poole

Hamworthy Park

Offering an oasis of peace and tranquility from the busy town centre. It provides the setting for outstanding panoramic views over the middle and upper reaches of the harbour towards the Purbeck Hills in the distance.

Dogs all year.

Branksome Chine

Offers great sandy beaches and stunning views across the coastline. Its Blue Flag status attracts both locals and visitors.

Dogs are not permitted on the main beaches between 1st May & 30th September

Canford Cliffs

Is a natural and tranquil area situated between Shore Road and Branksome Chine. It has Blue Flag status with sandy cliffs and picturesque wooden huts, making Canford Cliffs a popular choice for locals.

Dogs are not permitted on the main beaches between 1st May & 30th September

Shore Road

Fine, golden sand, gradual sloping beach and clean, safe water make Shore Road Beach an ideal place to visit. This Blue Flag beach offers a range of facilities along the promenade, including ice-cream kiosks and cafe. The area is also renowned for its wind and kite surfing, with opportunity to hire equipment or have lessons nearby.

Dogs are not permitted on the main beaches between 1st May & 30th September


Winner of the prestigious Blue Flag award for a consecutive 27 years and with its soft golden sands and breathtaking views, it is no wonder that Sandbanks is considered one of the best beaches in Britain. Facilities include a crazy golf course, children’s play area, slacklining, BBQ area and Cafe. Take the chain link ferry across to Studland to further explore the Purbeck IsleDogs are not permitted on the main beaches between 1st May & 30th September

Beaches in Purbeck

Chisel Beach, a beach in West Dorset

Beaches in West Dorset

Ringstead Bay

Around 700 yards of shingle beach with uncovered sand once the tide goes out. There are also rock pools at the western end and an offshore reef that is uncovered by the tide. The beach is overlooked by unspoilt farmland and cliffs.

Dogs allowed all year


A shelving beach made up of pebbles and shingle, popular with both local anglers and families for mackerel fishing. It is also the site of the Chesil and Fleet Nature Reserve. There are stunning views across to Weymouth and Portland and to the east is the beautiful site of Golden Cap.

Dogs allowed all year

Chesil Beach

Located on the south coast England in the county of Dorset. It is a pebble beach 18 miles long and stretches north-west from Portland to West Bay. For much of its length it is separated from the mainland by an area of saline water called the fleet lagoon.

Dogs allowed

Weymouth Beach, in Dorset

Beaches in Weymouth

Weymouth Beach

Weymouth’s three mile beach is just minutes from the town centre and historic harbour. There’s plenty of entertainment for everyone to enjoy ranging from traditional attractions such as Punch & Judy and donkey rides, to lively events such as beach volleyball championships,live music and free summer firework displays.
Enjoy a stroll along the level promenade or on the sands with your dog during the quieter months

No dogs on main beach between 1st May – 30th September. Dogs permitted all year round within a restricted area

Bowleaze Cove

A small sand and shingle beach near to the village of Preston. Bowleaze Cove is a popular family beach with the ‘Fantasy Island Funfair’,  a take away and a gift shop. The beach is especially popular in the summer months. There are plenty of rock pools to discover along with a small pier which divides the beach.

Portland Bill

A narrow promontory at the southern end of the Isle of Portland, and the southernmost point of Dorset, England. One of Portland’s most popular destinations, the popular attraction Portland Bill Lighthouse is found in the area. Portland Bill is also noted for its rough coast, and is the only place on Portland where the limestone cliffs rise directly from the sea. As such many landforms including coves, ledges and caves have been formed.
West Bay, a beach in Dorset

Beaches in Bridport

West Bay

A fine, smooth, pebbly beach, with shingle and sand at the water’s edge.

East Beach consists of a very fine shingle ridged beach with sand at the water’s edge. The beach extends as far as the eye can see along the Chesil Beach to Portland Bill.

Note that dogs are not permitted on East Beach and West Beach between 1st May and 30th September. However, they are permitted on the East Cliff Beach area and West.

Burton Bradstock (Hive Beach)

A shelving shingle beach, close to the village of Burton Bradstock.

On a clear day, visitors can enjoy breath taking views round to Portland and right the way round to the East Devon Coast.

No dogs between June – end Sept, except East Beach

West Bexington

A shingle beach that shelves steeply. Walking is popular around this area and like many of the other beaches in the vicinity, views to the East and West are superb.Dogs allowed in restricted area.

Eype Beach

A steeply shelving pebble beach. Located three miles from Bridport. Walkers can enjoy breath-taking views across the West Dorset coast.

Dogs permitted on beach all year round.
Refreshments are available at Lower Eype.
Cliff Beach at all times.


Owned by the National Trust, this steep shelving, single beach is located on the coast road between Burton Bradstock and AbbotsburyDogs allowed all year round

Lyme Regis Beach in Dorset

Beaches in Lyme Regis

The Cobb, Church Beach, Town beach & Monmouth beach

Lyme Regis is a picturesque and historic seaside town set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. A town of steep streets, its most outstanding feature is a delightful 13th century harbour known as the Cobb.

The beaches in Lyme Regis are a mixture of sand and pebbles.

The Cobb, contains a small sandy beach sheltered by a curving harbour wall, famously used in the opening shot of the film ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’

Monmouth beach – dogs all year
No dogs May – end Sept. On leads at all other times.

Charmouth East & West Beach

Both beaches are a mix of sand and shingle

Popular on account of having a little more sand than Charmouth’s West Beach, Charmouth’s East Beach is a good place to find small Ammonite and Belemnite fossils

No dogs 1st May – end Sept.