The famous Lulworth Cove is a perfect horse-shoe-shaped bay created by the sea hollowing out the soft clays to reach the harder chalk behind. Another bay is forming behind Lulworth at Stair Hole and half a mile west lies the famous Durdle Door, a perfect coastal arch.
Lulworth beach provides a great place to relax where you can swim in the cove, take a boat trip, or just take in the stunning scenery. The Lulworth Cove Heritage Centre, next to the car park, reveals the history of Lulworth from 150 million years ago to the present day.
The steps at the eastern end of the beach lead to Fossil Forest and Mupe Bay, with a stunning walk along the cliff top. As the footpath is within a MoD restricted area it is only open at weekends and for the whole of August. Call into the Heritage Centre for full details.
Durdle Door is one of the most photographed landmarks along the Jurassic Coast. This rock arch in the sea was formed as a result of the softer rocks being eroded away behind the hard limestones, allowing the sea to punch through them. The name Durdle is derived from an Old English word 'thirl' meaning bore or drill. Eventually the arch will collapse to leave a sea stack such as those that can be seen at Ladram Bay in East Devon.
Each year more than 200,000 walkers use the footpath between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, making it the busiest stretch in the south west!
Below the cliffs lies a sweeping beach that was once three separate coves. This popular beach has no facilities although there are public toilets at Durdle Door Holiday Park. In summer, a mobile kiosk on the path leading to Durdle Door provides ice creams and refreshments.
Scenes from the 1967 film of Thomas Hardy's novel 'Far From the Madding Crowd' were filmed here, and in 1997 parts of the film 'Wilde' starring Stephen Fry were also shot here.
Many may recall Cliff Richards' 1990 hit 'Saviour's Day' which saw Cliff singing both down on the beach and on the clifftop in the promotional video. And later, Tears for Fears shot parts of their video to promote 'Shout' at this iconic arch.
The small hamlet of Kimmeridge is humble yet dramatic with great cliffs and a beautiful bay. It is famous for its fossil finds which regularly fall from the unstable rock face and its unique geology means that it is home to many interesting marine creatures, in fact the bay is part of the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and also the famous Jurassic Coast. You can find more about the local wildlife at the Fine Foundation Marine Centre on the beach.
A pebble beach owned and managed by The Ministry of Defence. The beach is only open at weekends, during Bank Holidays and in the summer, although the MOD reserve the right to close it at any time - visit our 'Walking & Cycling' page for Lulworth Range opening times.
The beach shelves steeply and the safest part for swimming is the end next to Worbarrow Tout. Dogs are allowed. No refreshments available. Parking and toilets are available in Tyneham Village approximately 1 mile inland from the beach.
Studland is a small village located on a peninsula in south Purbeck, and is close to both Swanage and Corfe Castle. The start of the 630 mile South West Coast Path national trail is found at Shell Bay and continues to Minehead in Somerset.
The area is famous for it's long, sandy beaches, and visitors and locals flock to the area in summer. All the beaches are managed by the National Trust and each has it's own car park and facilities. Some offer watersports and the local riding stables offers riding on the beach at certain times of year.
Old Harry Rocks
Old Harry Rocks is found near Studland village. The Chalk stacks which make up the group known as Old Harry date back to the mezozoic era. There is an easy, short walk from the village to Old Harry. The Bankes Arms is a great place to eat, and has a beer garden with seviews!
Burton Bradstock acts as one of the main gateways to the Jurassic Coast and the South West Coast Path.
Consequently, easy access is a key aspect of this estate and spectacular cliff-top views can be enjoyed along the many varied and picturesque coastal walks. Hive Beach is a hugely popular family destination, made up of shingle, surrounded by spectacular sandstone cliffs.
When you need a break, sample the delights on offer at the Hive Beach Café. This local seafood restaurant sits on the shingle beach of Chesil Bank, savouring some of the best views of the Dorset coastline.
Ringstead Bay & Beach
Around 700 yards of shingle beach with uncovered sand once the tide goes out. There are also rock pools at the western end and an offshore reef that is uncovered by the tide. The beach is overlooked by unspoilt farmland and cliffs.
Around five miles east of Weymouth. It is reached by a narrow lane off the A353 near the village of Poxwell. It has superb views of Weymouth and Portland and has easy access. There is a fairly expensive pay car park just up from the beach plus free parking at Southdown, the National Trust’s land at the top of the cliff, a long, steep walk from the beach. Swimming is safe and there is plenty of grass above the beach.