Best beaches in Dorset

Below are a list of the top 10 beaches in Dorset as selected by the users of the Beach Guide website.

The current most popular beach in Dorset is Studland - Shell Bay. If you would like to have your say on which are the best beaches in Dorset just follow the link to the beach and vote by clicking the star ratings at the top right of the page.

  • © Chris Leather | BY-SA

    1. Studland - Shell Bay

    Set at the very tip of the National Trust owned Studland Peninsula is the lovely Shell Bay. Depending on where you start this either the first or last of Studland's beautiful sandy beaches. There are two ways to reach Shell Bay; you can…

    Dog friendly beach Lifeguarded beach Beach cafe Toilets
  • © Mike Searle | BY-SA

    2. Lulworth Cove

    Lulworth Cove is a very sheltered pebble beach in a remarkable, horseshoe shaped cove, formed ten thousand years ago by erosion from the sea. There is ample parking, a cafe, toilets and boat trips in summer to Durdle Door and Mupe Bay.…

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  • © Roman Grac | BY-SA

    3. Mudeford Sandbank Beach

    Situated at the mouth of Christchurch harbour this sandy spit of beach forms a barrier between the sea and this large natural harbour. There are great views both of the harbour itself and to the Isle of Wight and Needles across the Solent.…

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  • © Tony Armstrong-sly | BY-SA

    4. Durdle Door Beach

    The main feature of this iconic cove is the magnificent limestone arch leading into the clear, aquamarine waters of the sea. The arch, which separates Doodle Door from Man'o'War Bay, was formed by thousands of years' of pounding waves…

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  • © Ian Wool | BY-SA

    5. Sandbanks Beach (Poole)

    Sandbanks is a spit of golden sand that crosses the mouth of Poole harbour and continues all the way to Bournemouth, a distance of around five kilometers. Dubbed Britain's Palm Beach, because of astronomical land prices, Sandbanks is well-served…

    Lifeguarded beach Beach cafe Toilets Blue Flag beach
  • © Chris Downer | BY-SA

    6. Canford Cliffs Beach (Poole)

    Canford Cliffs has to be one of the quieter beaches on the south coast of Dorset, yet it ticks all the boxes for facilities with cafes, toilets, summer lifeguards and excellent Blue Flag water quality. Located between Branksome Dene and…

    Lifeguarded beach Beach cafe Toilets Blue Flag beach
  • © | BY-SA

    7. Chesil Beach

    Chesil beach is one of the most unusual beaches you will find anywhere in Britain. Stretching nearly 17 miles from Portland to West Bay the beach is comprised of a huge bank of pebbles. The beach is unnaturally straight and consistent…

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  • © Jackpeasephotography | BY-SA

    8. Bournemouth Beach (Pier)

    Bournemouth's main beach has been catering for beach-goers since Victorian times, yet remains one of Britain's favourite beaches. It is easy to see the attraction; a huge swathe of fine golden sand set on the doorstep of this vibrant coastal…

    Lifeguarded beach Beach cafe
  • © Capt' Gorgeous | BY-SA

    9. Mudeford Quay Beach

    A small stretch of sand facing into Christchurch harbour. Ideal launching spot for small boats and canoes. Behind is a large grassed area which is great for picnicking and playing on. There are plenty of facilities scattered around the…

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  • © Eugene Birchall | BY-SA

    10. Seatown Beach

    Seatown is a coastal hamlet with a privately-owned beach, just east of Golden Cap, the highest point on England's south coast. The shelving shingle beach is open to the public and popular with fossil collectors, fishermen and families…

    Lifeguarded beach Toilets