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Charmouth Beach (West)

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Charmouth Beach (West) - Dorset

© John M and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Part of the 96-mile long Jurassic Coast, Charmouth Beach is one of the best spots on the south coast to come fossil hunting.

The beach is mainly shingle, although at low tide a good expanse of sand is exposed.

The beach divides into three sections. The area immediately in front of the seafront car park and the Heritage Centre is known as the Central Area. When the tide is out, the exposed sand slopes gently into the sea making this a good spot for swimmers and young families.

Admission to the Heritage Centre is free, although children will enjoy making a donation into the mouth of the dinosaur. There are plenty of visual displays and activities for young children. From February to September, the centre organises fascinating Fossil Walks along the beach, which can be booked online.

Fans of TV series Broadchurch might recognise the attractive blue beach huts which run alongside the Central Area. These can be rented out.

A footbridge leads to the East Beach (turning left if facing the sea). This beach can be inaccessible at high tide. At low tide this area of the beach has more sand than other areas. The East Beach has fine views over the cliffs of Stonebarrow Hill, and Golden Cap towers above the sea about one mile along the coastline.

The area of beach between the River Char and Lyme Regis (turning right if facing the sea) is known as West Beach. Walkers planning to walk along the beach to Lyme Regis (approximately 3 miles away) need to take care that they are not cut off by incoming tides.

There are restrictions on dog-walking. Different restrictions apply to each area of the beach - see signs.

Visitors need to keep a good distance from the cliffs because of the very real risk of rockfalls. Hammering at the cliff face is not permitted.

Type of beach

Sand & shingle

Lifeguard service

No

Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs restricted.

Dorset dog friendly beaches »

Activities

  • Swimming/bathing

Facilities

  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Disabled facilities
  • First aid point
  • Shop
  • Beach hut hire
  • Promenade

Nearest town

Lyme Regis

Postcode

DT6 6QX

OS grid ref.

SY 3644 9301

Water quality

Water quality star rating

Awards

Marine Conservation Society Recommended