Alum Chine beach and promenade, Bournemouth, part of 7 magnificent miles of beaches
Poole's huge natural harbour, Dorset's port and nursery to a legion of board sailors. To the right one of seven islands, Brownsea. To the left the most expensive land in Britain and fourth most expensive in the world, Sandbanks.
south coast of England, especially Dorset is much favoured by beach goers and walkers enjoying a (relatively) fine micro-climate
(arguably the best in the UK), some ancient sights/sites such as Maiden Castle, the Cerne Giant and Corfe Castle, sea views from chalk cliff-tops, some excellent beaches and rolling, undeveloped rural countryside.
Cerne Giant, near Dorchester, Dorset
Castle, near Studland, Dorset
Castle's 1,000 year-old ruins lie in Dorset's rolling, rural Purbeck Hills, just beside
the charming little village of Corfe and not far from the start
of the 630 mile (1014 kms) South West Coast Path, Studland Nature
Reserve, superb beaches at Bournemouth and Studland and pretty good in Weymouth.
The start of the South West Coast Path, South Haven Point, Shell Bay, Dorset
stunning South West Coast Path (630 miles, 1014 kms), the United Kingdom's longest footpath, stretches from South Haven Point, Poole Harbour, Dorset (just across the ferry) through
the fossil-loaded 'Jurassic Coast',
along cliffs and valleys, past fishing villages and resorts
to Quay Street Green, Minehead, Somerset. It is only partially
useable by mountain bikers or horse riders. Most hikers don't
walk the whole stretch in one go, needless to say.
Southwest Dorset Map with coast path | Lyme Regis | UK Counties Map
Other British beaches | Swanage | Kimmeridge | Weymouth
Stair Hole in Lulworth and the South West Coast Path over the hill to Durdle
ranging from charming to glum, on the Coast Path include:
Swanage, Weymouth, Exmouth, Torquay,
Plymouth (the port from which the Pilgrim Fathers sailed to
America aboard the Mayflower), Penzance, Newquay (known for
surfing and crazed teen nightlife), Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.
of the more scenically interesting areas en route are Lyme Regis, Chesil Beach, Portland Bill,
Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Kimmeridge Bay, Dancing Ledge and
the Old Harry Rocks near the start of the walk at Studland beach, Poole.
One of six ancient tree trunks and part of
of the Fossil Forest on
Dorset's 'Jurassic Coast'. A popular walk along this coast with superb views is called Golden Cap, about 4 miles (6kms) long and will take 2-3 hours, including one steep climb. Start from Seatown beach car park.
Jurassic Coast spanning Devon and
Dorset is a World Natural Heritage Site
described as 'an outstanding example, representing a major stage
of earth's history and the record of life'.
One of the oldest coastlines in the world, the coast is stuffed
with 185 million years of fossils and extends 95 miles from
Orcombe Point in Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. Lyme Regis town is the core of the fossil hunting and buying business.
Pictures and guides: Stonehenge | Bournemouth | Devon | London
Information: Tourist Map | England
Guide | UK Walks | Beaches