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
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 drive along the peninsula from the Swanage end or, alternatively, you can…
© Mike Searle | BY-SA
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.
Given the Lulworth's iconic nature it does get busy down here during the holidays, throughout…
© Roman Grac
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. The beach extends off the ancient headland of Hengistbury Head with the…
© Tony Armstrong-sly | BY-SA
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 Durdle Door from Man o'War Bay, was formed by thousands of years' of pounding waves sweeping against the headland.
Curving away from the arch the the sand and shingle beach…
© Ian Wool
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 by upmarket hotels and restaurants.
The Sandbanks Chain Ferry connects Sandbanks with Studland.© Chris Downer | BY-SA
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.
8. 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 along its length with a height of 50 feet (15m) and width of 600…© Jackpeasephotography | BY-SA
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 resort town. In the summer Bournemouth beach may get a little too popular for some,…
10. Swanage Beach© Chris Leather
Swanage combines a Victorian-style seaside resort with a sheltered, calm, gently sloping sandy beach that runs the entire length of the town. Behind the beach is a promenade, which is partly pedestrianised in summer. Entertainments include the pier and amusements, crazy golf, canoeing and/or kayaking, diving, snorkelling, fishing, jet ski, sailing, swimming and bathing, and…©
This wide, sandy beach (with some shingle areas) has stunning views out to sea, and backs on to a promenade with a bar, restaurant, and shop. Drinking water is also available, with other refreshments and seaside essentials on sale at the shop. Beach huts can also be hired.
There is parking at Branksome Chine Surface Car…
12. Weymouth Beach© A S Nash | BY-SA
Weymouth Beach is a curving arc of golden sand adjacent to the town centre, with Weymouth pier at the southern end. Family-friendly, the safe, shallow waters are ideal for swimming, and a range of other activities are on offer during summer, from donkey rides to Punch and Judy shows.
Ramps lead to the sand from the…