Ringstead Bay

The shingle beach at Ringstead Bay stretches for nearly half a mile (700m) revealing a wide expanse of sand at low tide. The western side of the beach has a number of rock pools and there is also a reef close to the shore which is visible when the tide is out.

Ringstead Bay has a fascinating history and would have been used by smugglers in days of old. Nowadays it is encircled by farmlands and dramatic cliffs from which you can look out over neighbouring Weymouth and the Isle of Portland.

Swimming is generally safe here, but there is no lifeguard. If you are visiting with young children then the area backs on to grass that make a good spot to play. As this is part of the Jurassic Coast, you can search for fossils on the beach, but be aware of the potential for falling rocks near the cliff faces.

You can park close to the beach although this is paid parking, and if you want to use the free car park provided by the National Trust then you will need to be prepared for a long walk down to the beach. You should also note that around 20 minutes walk from the main beach is a nudist beach area that is technically part of Ringstead Bay.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dogs are permitted throughout the year.

Dorset dog friendly beaches »


  • Sailing
  • Swimming/bathing


  • Pub nearby

Nearest town




OS grid ref.

SY 7531 8133


There is a National Trust car park which is free - the car park is above Southdown Farm and is a quite a walk up hill from the beach. Also parking in the village but this is quite expensive.

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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