8 Dorset Beaches To Fall In Love With

When you cast your eyes along the Dorset coastline and see the long stretches of white sandy beaches below, few will be surprised to discover that many Dorset beaches feature amongst the top 50 in the UK. Studland Bay is always a firm favourite, while Durdle Door even made it into The Guardian's 50 Best Beaches in the World list in 2016. With almost 100 miles of coastline, Dorset beaches offer beauty, peace tranquility, and adventure too; providing something for everyone.

Dorset Beaches - Something For Everyone

When it comes to beaches, we all look for something different. For families, the presence of an ice cream van, public loos and deck chairs for hire may top the essentials list and for couples or lone explorers, it's the off-the-beaten track inaccessibility which rewards us with blissful isolation. The great news is that Dorset has its fair share of both.

For Those Looking For Old Fashioned Family Fun...

Weymouth If it's a quintessential British seaside affair that you're after, with Punch & Judy shows, donkey rides and deck chair hire, Weymouth fits the bill beautifully. Good old fashioned family fun is the order of the day along this 3 mile stretch of golden sand. Spend the day rock-pooling, paddling, playing beach cricket and of course, building sandcastles. Our team are convinced that Weymouth has the best sand for sandcastle building, as well as all manner of other sand sculptures, so for those of you who enjoy the most competitive of sandcastle building contests, Weymouth is the Dorset beach for you! Swanage Popular since the Victorian era, Swanage is another great family beach destination. Offering golden sands and safe splashing, its a great place to spend a day. Swanage beach can become a bit busy in the height of summer, but its close proximity to Durlston Country Park nature reserve just a short hop along the coastal path, means you can escape the crowds easily for an hour or two. Durlston is a haven for wildlife, including birds, butterflies and wildflowers. You can even sign up to receive dolphin sighting alerts. Studland Bay As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life and Studland Bay certainly has plenty of that. As well as being a great choice for families, it also benefits from being part of a nature reserve. Studland Bay is an all time favourite for the Dorset Hideaways team, as there's simply so much to enjoy here. The 4 mile curve of sandy beach is backed by dunes and heathland to make way for Knoll Beach, bordered by South and Middle beach. Knoll beach enjoys the shelter of Old Harry Rocks and Handfast Point and its shallow waters make it perfect for families. There's plenty of watersports on offer too, alongside Enid Blyton style fun for the younger members of your group including rock scrambles and rock-pooling. For those of you interested in re-connecting with nature and fostering a passion for the outdoors in your little ones, Fore Adventure is well worth a look. Keep your little ones enthralled with beach, forest and forestry programmes designed to satisfy the most enquiring minds, that teach life-long skills along the way. There's plenty to keep adventure hungry teens occupied too at Studland Watersports. From sailing to paddle boarding, kayak safaris, wake-boarding and power boat rides, there's even an area set aside for kite surfing. For the less energetic, pack the car with all your beach essentials and base yourself in a National Trust beach hut for the day - perfect for everyone! Where to stay: The Old Mill House is a stunning and comfortable base from which to discover the delights of Studland Bay. Conveniently located in the heart of Swanage, this unique 16th century Grade II listed house has its own original watermill and duck pond and sleeps 8.

For Those Looking For Seclusion...

The stretch of Dorset beaches between Weymouth and Poole offer the best of the regions sandy beaches. It's also where you'll be able to find Dorset's more secluded beaches. As with many of the world's more secluded locations, access is a little more challenging, but for those who dont mind negotiating steeper descents, the rewards will be yours. Durdle Door West Durdle Door is often over-shadowed by its well-known neighbour, Lulworth Cove, but the fine shingle beach and impressive 65 foot arch of Durdle Door West are picture perfect and well worth the extra effort involved in accessing this breathtaking location.

For Those Looking For A Lively Atmosphere...

Poole The cosmopolitan quay area in Poole offers a sophisticated vibe and is a great choice if you fancy lunch or dinner all set within stunning views of the marina and Brownsea island. Where to stay: We have a collection of properties on the edge of the delightful cathedral city of Wimborne, which is just a short 20 minute drive away from Poole. Plum Cottage sleeps 4, and has a rustic feel, evoked through its country chic interior and stunning views of the surrounding Dorset countryside. Its charming neighbour Apple Cottage, is slightly bigger and sleeps 6. This fantastic 'dual property' combination makes a great choice for two families who are looking to enjoy a holiday together. Or, opt for The Gate House. This fabulously restored Georgian house is bursting with period elegance and boasts 7 bedrooms - the ultimate indulgent retreat for larger groups. Bournemouth It is impossible to talk about Dorset beaches without mentioning Bournemouth. With the town's award-winning beaches and lively atmosphere, it's a haven for young people, with much on offer for people of all tastes. Bournemouth is a great option for rainy days, with its vast opportunities for entertainment, including an IMAX theatre and Oceanarium; Bournemouth's Aquarium, which as well as offering people of all ages the opportunity to get up close and personal with all kinds of amazing sealife, presents the chance to learn about marine conservation too.

For Those Hunting For Fossils...

Seatown Dorset is of course home to the Jurassic coastline, which means there's no shortage of Dorset beaches of discovery. Fossil hunters will find themselves in their element as they deliberate over which beach to visit first. But instead of donning your rubber sandals with rock hammer in hand to Charmouth, we suggest paying a visit to the lesser known beach of Seatown, situated just 3 miles east instead. Head down hill from the pretty village of Chideock and less than a mile later you'll arrive at a steep shingle beach where fossil hunting is kids play. At Seatown's western end, under the dramatic Golden Cap cliffs, fossil hunters will be easily able to find ammonites. Meanwhile, a rummage amongst the rocks will unveil some more impressive finds. There's good news for parents and non fossil hunters too, who can sit it out at The Anchor Inn where you'll be perfectly based to keep an eye on your budding Indianas. Where to stay: The super stylish Albury House in Charmouth sleeps 10 (+3) making it perfect for a large gathering. This stunning 17th century cottage is bursting with boutique character and is only a short walk down to the beach, meaning you'll hardly need to get the car out during your stay! Lyme Regis It would be remiss to mention fossils and not include Lyme Regis. The town is after all birthplace to English fossil collector, dealer, and paleontologist, Mary Anning. For those interested in finding out more about Dorset's most famous paleontologist and the history of the Jurassic Coastline, you can book a variety of walks and fossil themed activities via The Lyme Regis Museum. Where to stay: Lyme Cottage is a beautifully renovated coastguards cottage in Lyme Regis which is perfectly suited for families. Aspiring young fossil hunters can set off on their own expeditions, while mum and dad can opt for bubbles and oysters if the mood takes them. Dorset beaches offer a huge spectrum of choice depending on what you want to get from your day out at the beach. Whether it's eating candy floss in Bournemouth or champagne & oysters at Mark Hix overlooking the bay at Lyme Regis. The choice is yours!

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