Beaches in and around West Dorset

Along the West Dorset Heritage Coastline there are a variety of beaches, where you can bathe, fish, dive, sail, walk – or simply admire the stunning views. There are two harbours near to Bridport which are West Bay and Lyme Regis.

West Bay Beach

Burton Bradstock Beach

Cogden Beach

Seatown Beach

Charmouth Beach

Beer Beach

West Bexington Beach

Chesil Beach

Lyme Regis

West Bay

West Bay has two beaches. East Beach consists of a very fine shingle ridged beach with sand at the water’s edge and extends as far as the eye can see along the Chesil Beach to Portland Bill. West Beach consists of a fine, smooth, pebbly beach, with shingle and sand at the water’s edge. West Beach is ideal for younger children due to a protective cove being formed between the harbour’s Jurassic Pier and the esplanade’s rock armour groynes.

Burton Bradstock DT6 4RF

Ideal for families, Burton Bradstock has ample parking and is easily accessible from Bridport. Wonderful cliff top walks can be taken from both ends of the beach. The very popular Hive Beach Cafe is right on the beach and has a large outdoor eating area meaning that parents can keep an eye on exploring children.

Cogden Beach DT6 4RL

Nobody in their right mind would install a pay and display meter in the middle of nowhere. Unless, of course, lots of people want to park there. That pretty much sums up Cogden. On the face of it, it’s a pay and display meter in a fairly small pull-in in the middle of nowhere to the East of Burton Bradstock, just off the B3157. But don’t be fooled. It’s true there’s nothing there. Nothing in the sense of human habitation, cafés, public toilets or shops. But it is probably for all the things that aren’t there that people like to visit! What’s more, the limited size of the car park puts a natural brake on the number of people who can get there at any one time by car. What Cogden has, is a pleasant and fairly short walk down to the Chesil Beach across land owned by the National Trust. Please note: this beautiful nothing in the middle of nowhere is a big draw to dog owners, so if you don’t like dogs you may not like Cogdon. However, if you have a dog it is perfect for a long walk.


Seatown DT6 6JU

A pebbly beach with views of Golden Cap, the south coast’s loftiest cliff, and good fossil-hunting potential. Lunch at the Anchor Inn, Seatown, Chideock, DT6 6JU, 01297 489215, – a chocolate- box pub right on the beach under Golden Cap. Ideal for children who want to explore under the watchful eyes of their parents – it has a large outdoor dining



Charmouth DT6 6LL

Charmouth beach is one of the best places along the 152-mile Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site to find fossils. Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre organises guided walks led by experts throughout the year. The walks help bring to life the area’s185 million years of geological history. Located to the East of Lyme Regis. Follow the signs for Charmouth from the A35.



The beautiful and unspoilt village of Beer is well worth a visit. There is an excellent selection of local shops in Beer (village store, newsagents, Post Office, off-licence, bakery, deli, several eateries, 3 local inns, art galleries, antique shops) and the beautiful horseshoe shaped beach – a real sun-trap with clean waters, rock pools at low tide and beach cafes. See the local fishermen bring in their catch or hire a boat. Limited parking on street. Large car park in village centre.

West Bexington

A long shingle beach shelving steeply, popular with walkers West Bexington Beach offers far reaching view from east to west. The beach is backed by the West Bexington nature reserve operated by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. Find the beach by taking the turning opposite the Bull Inn in the village of Swyre (DT2 9BZ).

Chesil Beach DT3 4LA

An 18 mile shingle spit reaching from Portland Bill to Abbotsbury, wonderful for walking and bird watching, and a popular centre for Interestingly, the stones on this beach are larger to the east than to the west.

Lyme Regis

There are four main beaches in Lyme Regis:

  1. Back Beach: This extends northwest of the town towards Charmouth. The cliffs surrounding the beach are very unstable with extensive mudflows in places, and should be admired from a distance. The beach can be accessed from the north end of the promenade. Follow the asphalt road from Cobb Gate car park to the end and drop down onto the sands. Enquire about tides before you set out because the beach can be cut off at high tide. The cliffs above this beach are called the Spittles and are part of the biggest landslip in Europe. The Coast Path slid down the slopes in the last decade and there is now no right of way on this path between Lyme and Charmouth, because the land at the cliff edge belongs to the golf club.
  2. Church Beach: This is in front of the rock armor that protects the promenade. It is sandy in places and at low tide there is an extensive rock ledge with hundreds of rock pools where you can catch shrimps. The river Lyme flows into the bay on this part of the beach so you will have to paddle if you want to walk along the sands. The beach is covered at high tide.
  3. Town Beach: At the northern end of Town Beach, thousands of tons of pebbles were imported, as part of the recently completed coastal protection scheme, and placed on top of the pebbles originally there. The beach was built up by some three meters to be level with the Cart Road and to extend 20 to 30 meters out to sea. It seems to be very effective in protecting the Marine Parade and the buildings along it. At the Cobb end, the beach was also enhanced, this time with sand imported from France. The beach no longer gets covered at high tide and provides an extensive beach area for both young and old. There are kiosks, takeaways, cafes, restaurants and public houses bordering this section of the beach.
  4. Monmouth Beach: This beach is so named because the Duke of Monmouth landed here in 1685 in an attempt to wrest the crown from King James II. In the aftermath of Monmouth’s defeat, twelve locals were hanged on this beach on the order of the notorious “Hanging Judge” Jeffreys. Monmouth beach extends over a kilometer southwest from the Cobb wall. Bordering this beach are holiday chalets, beach huts, the bowling green and the council run car parks.

Eype Beach DT6 6AL

Eype has been described as one of West Dorset’s most beautiful villages, a bold claim in a county that is full of very beautiful villages! However, when you walk around viewing its pretty thatched cottages and delightful country gardens, you can soon understand why such a statement was made. Eype means “steep place” and its buildings can be traced back to the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries. Situated westwards along the coast from Bridport, Eype also boasts a stunningly attractive beach at Eype’s Mouth Beach. This beautiful sand and gravel beach is backed by magnificent cliffs the most notable of which is the Golden Cap, the highest cliff on the south coast at 191m above sea level.

Dogs on Beaches.

  • Abbotsbury – Chesil Bank & Fleet Lagoon Nature Reserve: Dogs welcome at all times
  • Burton Bradstock: No dogs between 1st May – 30th September (except on East Beach)
  • Charmouth – East Beach: No dogs between the hours of 10am and 6pm during July & August
  • Charmouth – West Beach: No dogs between 1st May – 30th September
  • Cogden: Dogs welcome at all times
  • Eype: Dogs welcome at all times
  • Lyme Regis: No dogs on the area of beach from Cobb Gate Car Park west to the Lifeboat slipway between 1st April – 31st October. N.B. Dogs are allowed on East Cliff Beach and Monmouth Beach all year round. Dogs are allowed on Back Beach, Church Beach and Monmouth Beach all year round. Dogs are only allowed on Town Beach from November to March inclusive but must be kept on the lead at all times. Dogs must also be kept on the lead at all times when using Marine Parade and the Cart Road.
  • Ringstead: Dogs welcome at all times
  • Seatown: No dogs at any time
  • West Bay: No dogs between 1st May – 1st October within the East Pier to East Cliffs and West Pier to West Cliffs areas. Dogs are on a lead are welcomed in the port area.
  • West Bexington: Dogs allowed at all times within a restricted area