Ringstead Bay is a picturesque beach on the outskirts of Weymouth. Even in the height of the summer season, it’s seldom busy, providing the perfect spot to escape the crowds and the hustle and bustle of nearby towns. This quiet haven is ideal for a picnic or a barbeque on warm summers evening.
On a clear day the water is a beautiful shade of blue, inviting you to go for a paddle or take a dip if you’re feeling brave. The sheltered Bay is perfect for swimming and popular with experienced snorkellers and spear fisherman. Care should be taken in the water as there is no life guard in the vicinity.
Little boats line the shingle bank and remnants of pillboxes can be found along the shoreline giving an insight into the region’s involvement in the Second World War.
At low water an offshore reef is uncovered by the tide, exposing rockpools waiting to be explored. Although relatively unfished in comparison to other beaches in the area, Ringstead is an excellent shore fishing venue boasting a mixed bag of species, depending on the time of year.
The shingle beach is flanked by farmland and an abundance of coastal walks. The relatively short 3-mile route from Osmington Mills to Ringstead is popular with families and provides walkers with unrivalled views across Weymouth Bay towards Portland in the distance. The South West Coast Path runs along the length of the beach itself, so a trip to Ringstead can be incorporated into a longer hike.
Despite its remote location, Ringstead Bay is well serviced by a number of facilities. There is a café serving tasty snacks, ice creams and light bites to help set you up for the day. There’s also a public toilet and a variety of beach goods on sale in case you leave the essentials at home.
For younger children there’s a small playground just a short walk from the beach.
Ringstead is one of the best dog friendly beaches in Dorset. Dogs are permitted on Ringstead beach throughout the year.
Ringstead bay can be accessed via a narrow track that winds through the beautiful Dorset countryside. At the top of the hill there is a National Trust car park, which is free of charge. From here it is a relatively steep 15-20-minute walk down to the beach.
If you don’t fancy the long walk back to the car after a day spent at the beach, there’s also a privately-owned car park further down the track. You can park here all day for around £5. Please note motorhomes are not permitted to use this car park.
Header image credit: Odd Wellies, Flickr
Follow signs to Wareham and then pick up signs for Weymouth
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The best campsite I've ever stayed at, usually large complexes lose a bit of what camping is about, but not... Colin, May 2023
Great stay, very clean excellent facilities. Bus into Poole 15 mins nice shops and great walk by the Quay. Definitely... Janet, Nov 2023
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