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5 Best Beaches in Dorset for Kids

26 November 2022

Dorset’s Jurassic Coast was where Mary Anning’s famous discoveries - the stony remains of ancient animals - changed our view of the world’s past. Your kids can follow in her footsteps today, with many beaches brimming with fossils waiting to be discovered.

But if palaeontology isn’t their thing, they can still have a rocking time on one of Dorset’s many outstanding beaches. They have plenty more to offer.

Bournemouth Central Beach

With around ten miles of golden sands, Bournemouth’s famous beach offers endless possibilities for your family day out. Let’s start things off right in the middle of the action. 

The Central beach, around the two piers, has everything your kids need for an adrenaline-fuelled day at the beach. Its location close to the town centre means it’s packed with amusements and places to get food and ice cream. 

When they’re done roaming the vast, silky sands and splashing in the crystal waters, visit the pier. There they can try climbing, caving and even zip-lining! There’s also the newly refurbished Ferris wheel close to the beach. 

Alum Chine Beach, Bournemouth

Just a mile to the east of Bournemouth Pier, you’ll find Alum Chine beach. Part of the same beach as Bournemouth Central, it has equally velvety sands and sapphire waters. It’s also got all the essentials for an unforgettable day at the seaside - amusements, cafes, ice cream, watersports and more. 

However, it doesn’t get as crowded as Bournemouth Central, so if you enjoy a bit more peace and quiet, this one’s for you.

Weymouth Central Beach

Wondering where you’ll find a magnificent beach experience outside of Bournemouth? Look no further than Weymouth Central Beach. 

This beautiful curving beach is known for its shallow and gentle waters, perfect for paddling. And your kids won’t run out of things to do. There are rides, amusements and even a Punch and Judy show. 

When you’re done, the picturesque town of Weymouth has plenty of other attractions to explore. 

Canford Cliffs

This little stretch of beach between Sandbanks and Bournemouth Pier is something of a hidden gem. Canford Cliffs is a great place to come to avoid the crowds and let your kids relax and unwind. 

Parking is only available on the residential streets, but with most people flocking to the more popular beaches, you shouldn’t struggle to find a space. The only facilities are toilets and an ice cream stall, so bring a picnic and you’ve got all you need for a gorgeously relaxing day in the sun. 

Charmouth beach, Bridport

No trip to Dorset would be complete without a bit of fossil hunting. Not far from the busier Lyme Regis beach, Charmouth’s rocky beach is the perfect place for budding palaeontologists. There are guided fossil tours from the nearby Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, or you can head out on your own. Don’t forget your hammer and chisel! 

After finding some fossils, your kids can search for some live critters in the many rockpools. And at low tide, the shallow, sandy waters are great for paddling. 

Whether your kids are after an action-packed adventure or a laid-back lounge in the sun, Dorset has the beach for them.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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