Dorset’s Coast - The Best in the Country?
As part of the UK’s Jurassic Coastline, the Dorset coast has a reputation for offering some of the most beautiful and dramatic coastal formations in the world. Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, the cliffs at West Bay - all are iconic British landmarks and offer a unique insight into the natural evolution of our nation. Aside from amazing scenery, the Dorset coast is also home to plenty of sandy beaches, a wealth of wildlife and all your traditional seaside needs (bucket and spades, fish and chips etc…). Our local team in Dorset want to share with you their favourite spots and how you can stay there in one of our gorgeous Dorset Coastal Cottages.
Named after Knoll House, where Enid Blyton lived and wrote her Famous Five books, Knoll Beach is a National Trust site, with free parking for members. Recommended by Anne-Marie, who loves to spend the day here, the walk up to shell bay is a real treat. With views of Old Harry Rocks to the right, Studland Bay, Bournemouth and even the Isle of Wight on the horizon, Knoll Beach gives you a real essence of what the Dorset coast is all about. You also get all the perks of Knoll Beach being a National Trust site. With plenty of protected wildlife and staff on hand to tell you more, you can happily spend a whole day doing a spot of ‘nature sightseeing’. There is also a beach cafe serving hot, cold and alcoholic drinks if you fancy a beachside tipple and a lovely gift shop for you to pick up a Knoll souvenir. To get even closer to Knoll Beach, why not take a look at our bespoke collection of cottages in the Studland Bay area.
West Bay and Bridport
Home to some of our finest coastal cottages, West Bay and Bridport are firm family favourites. West Bay has been made famous by the TV show Broadchurch, which heavily featured the beach’s iconic steep white cliffs and was filmed in and around the local area. West Bay and Bridport beach are both approximately a half an hour walk from Bridport town centre and look onto each other. West Bay has two beaches: the East Bay which is home to a shingle shore and the cliffs; and West Beach, which is much sandier and very popular with families. The West Beach is also home to the Jurassic Pier, which is a popular walkway and viewing point constructed in 2005. The pier is wheelchair accessible and makes for a great spot to take in views of the sea.
Durdle Door is most certainly one of the UK’s most iconic natural landmarks, set in the charming parish of West Lulworth. A mighty structure, the Durdle Door takes its name from the distinctive circular opening in the rock surface through which you can see the amazing blue seas of the English Channel. You can access the pebble beach via a public footpath and steps over the hill from Lulworth Cove - although sensible footwear is advised as these can be slippery underfoot. Swimming in the sea is permitted in some areas, but again caution is advised as the sea sill is very steep. Making for some great holiday snaps, a trip to Durdle Door is a must on any trip to Dorset.
The Isle of Portland, resting just off the coast of Chesil Beach is one of England’s richest wildlife spots. The island itself is only a tiny four miles wide, yet it is a paradise for creatures great and small with more than half of the UK’s butterfly species calling the Isle of Portland home. While visiting the island be sure to also keep an out for its grazing goats and flocks of migratory birds. Budding bird-waters might want to keep an eye out for an elusive mega-tick!
The Bill lighthouse is the island’s most famous landmark and is open to tourists during high seasons when you can walk to the top and take in the amazing panoramic views of Portland and Dorset. Portland also boasts an eclectic range of curios that are just waiting for you to discover. These include Church Cope Cove - known locally as a former pirate meeting spot, Portland Castle and local watersports such as stand-up paddleboarding. Indeed, whatever your speed you’ll be sure to find something exciting to do while visiting Portland.
Chapman’s Pool Beach
The very definition of ‘blue lagoon’, Chapman’s Pool Beach in Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck (which - if we’re being truly honest - is not actually an island), is a stunning seaside destination. Our properties in Worth Matravers are closest to Chapman’s Pool, but any of our cottages in Studland make for an easy commute, as Purbeck is only around a half an hour drive away. Shaped like a horseshoe, Chapman’s Pool is just one of the many sites on Dorset’s Jurassic coast where you can see first-hand the effect of coastal erosion on this ancient coastline. As it is part of the Jurassic Coast, it can also be a great place to hunt for fossils, including ammonites. Chapman’s Pool is a dog-friendly beach, making it a great spot to take your canine companions for a good, long walk with the beaching being attached to the South West Coastal Path.