Magnificent beaches of Dorset
Dorset has a large number of beaches along its coastline of about 90 miles, meaning there is, on average, a beach every two and a half miles or so. Underlying geology and wave action mean that the beaches all have their own unique character, points of interest and things to do. In the west of the county between Lyme Regis and West Bay, the beaches consist predominantly of shingle, with the size of the pebbles increasing as you head east. Passing the Isle of Portland, the beaches tend to be more sandy, with Swanage, Bournemouth and Christchurch, the pick of these. For instance, Bournemouth has over seven miles of clean sandy beaches with Blue Flag beaches at Alum Chine, Durley Chine, Southbourne, Fisherman's Walk, Branksome Chine, Canford Cliffs Chine, the Sandbanks peninsula and at Shore Road.
Most beaches allow dogs out of season but it is always wise to check locally beforehand. Listed below are the 36 best beaches to visit and explore.