punch and judy Weymouth Beach.

10 Of The Best Dorset Beaches

Posted on: 20th June 2017

Days Out

A big draw for visitors to our area are the stunning Dorset beaches which stretch all along the county’s coast. From bucket and spade family friendly beaches to the pebbly hidden gems that the are mainly visited by locals – there’s something for everyone.

From east to west, we take a look at some of the popular seaside destinations which our guests love heading to for a day out from our campsite in Dorset.

Bournemouth Beach

The main beach in Bournemouth has been drawing visitors to its sandy shores for decades. The vibrant seafront area and golden sands attracts visitors in their thousands every year. Popular with families, couples and groups of friends, Bournemouth beach is a great place to hang out during the day before heading to the town’s hot spots in the evening. Many people who are looking for campsites in Bournemouth stay with us.

The Oceanarium is right on the seafront if you are looking for family day out in Dorset during the day. Alternatively take a stroll along Bournemouth Pier and you can get back to the beach via a zip wire. Are you brave enough to try it out – there’s no safety wire netting!


Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Bournemouth Beach – 10 miles

Branksome Chine

If you’re after something a bit calmer but still close to Bournemouth, then the Blue Flag beach at Branksome Chine is a great family friendly option. It has a wide, sandy beach backed by a promenade. Facilities there include beach huts, shop, bar and restaurant. Spend an hour or two sat on the terrace at the lovely Branksome Restaurant and watch the world go by.

Branksome Beach Restaurant.

Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Branksome Beach – 8 miles


The Sandbanks peninsula is renowned for being the home to many millionaire mansions. However you don’t have to be on the rich list to enjoy the magnificent beaches which form one side of the entrance to Poole Harbour. The beaches at Sandbanks have been winning Blue Flag awards for many years so you can be assured of clean sand and good water quality here.

If you get peckish on your day out at the beach, there are a number of superb restaurants you can head to. At Rick Stein you can enjoy a casual lunch with classic dishes such as crab salads and moules marinière, alongside seafood dishes including dover sole meunière, turbot hollandaise and fruits de mer.

Sandbanks Beach and peninsula. One of the finest Dorset beaches. Image supplied by Poole Tourism.

Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Sandbanks Beach – 8 miles

Hamworthy Beach

Located on the shores of Poole Harbour is the little known Hamworthy Park Beach. As the name suggests a unique feature of this beach is that it has a large green space right next to it making it perfect for a game cricket, football or playing with the dog away from people on the sand. A cute row of beach huts line up between the park and the beach.

Hamworthy Park.

Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Sandbanks Beach – 3 miles

Studland Beach

If you head over on the short chain ferry journey from Sandbanks you will arrive on the Isle of Purbeck and be on the main road which take you up to Studland village. You can choose from a number of beaches to base yourself. Primarily maintained by the National Trust you will have free car parking if you’re members of the charity. This destination features in our list of National Trust days out in Dorset.

When you find you spot on the beach you should be able to clearly see the chalk stacks know as Old Harry Rocks. These mark the start of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The next 95 miles of coastline to Orcombe Point in East Devon are contained within the Site. Within the geology of this area, you can be taken on a walk through 185 million years of earth’s geological and marine life history.

SLM Poole Tourism Family at Sandbanks 1

Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Sandbanks Beach – 12.5 miles (includes toll ferry)

Swanage Beach

The next big seaside town along from Bournemouth is Swanage. The bay offers great shelter from the prevailing south westerly wind so the chance of having sand blown onto your ice cream is lessened. Swanage beach is a Blue Flag winner in 2017 so what are you waiting for? Run on into the clean water which laps the bay.

A great time to visit Swanage is during their carnival week. Many people who are looking for campsites in Swanage stay with us.

Swanage beach.

Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Swanage Beach – 16 miles

Lulworth Cove

The scallop shell shaped beach of Lulworth Cove has been a field trip pilgrimage for many students due to the unique way that it has been formed. Still used as a fishing port for small vessels, the walk down from the car park to the pebbly beach is idyllic. The pretty thatched cottages which line the lane offer just a flavour of what is to come as the Cove itself is spectacular in size and unspoilt majesty.

Lulworth Cove, one of the finest beaches in Dorset.

Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Lulworth Cove – 14 miles

Durdle Door

Probably the best known feature of all of Dorset beaches is Durdle Door. The giant limestone arch rises from the cliff in front of the beach. The walk from the car park at the top of the ridge is steep but well worth the effort – just don’t forget anything you might need for the day!

The beach is pebbly and there is usually a shelf below the waterline, however don’t let this put you off as the views from the beach of the cliffs and over to Weymouth will keep you entertained for hours.

Durdle Door beach is just a short drive from South Lytchett Manor Park.

Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Durdle Door Car Park – 14.5 miles

Ringstead Beach

Probably the quietest beach on our list is Ringstead, the pebbly beach is overlooked by unspoilt farmland and cliffs. It is a good option for families as the shoreline gently slopes, there are rock pools to explore and there is also a well stocked shop and cafe. It has superb views of Weymouth and Portland and has easy access from the nearby car park. This one is where quite a few locals head to to escape the madding crowds in the summer.

Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Ringstead Beach – 20 miles

Weymouth Beach

Voted the best beach in the UK for 2017 by TripAdvisor, Weymouth Beach is likely to draw even more crowds this year to its fine golden sands. The stunning Georgian buildings which rise from behind the promenade give a sense of summer holiday trips from yesteryear. However the donkey rides, punch and judy shows and traditional ice cream kiosks provide nostalgia from a much more recent past.

Weymouth Beach.

Distance from South Lytchett Manor to Sandbanks Beach – 22 miles.


Many of the beaches in Dorset are dog friendly too!

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