Blue Flag beaches in Dorset

Weymouth beach curves away into the distance as people relax on the sand and play in the sea.

Weymouth is just one of many Blue Flag beaches in Dorset - Credit: T. P. Holland, Flickr

In 2021, Dorset has been awarded Blue Flag status for an astonishing 11 beaches.

The Blue Flag Award is more than just a sign that a beach is clean and pretty. The accolade takes into many factors and was introduced to encourage environmentally friendly practices across the globe's coasts and marine areas. Water quality, environmental education and management, and safety are all considered before Blue Flag status is awarded to any stretch of sand or pebbles. 

This year, Dorset has a fantastic selection of Blue Flag beaches, all with disabled access, lifeguards, and toilets on site. We've listed them below so you can plan the perfect beach day this summer.

Alum Chine & Durley Chine, Bournemouth

Just out of Boscombe lie two beautiful stretches of sand and shingle that are extremely popular with both locals and tourists. This is a particularly good spot for families as there are changing facilities as well as lost children centres. Sections of Durley Chine Beach are dog friendly and you can even book a beach hut for a truly memorable visit.

Before your go why not have a look at the Bournemouth Beach Check so you can find a spot that isn't busy. Alternatively, you can download the app to get regular updates on the move. 

Fisherman's Walk & Manor Steps

Another long stretch of sand near Bournemouth, these two beaches tend to be less busy than those closer to the town and have unspoilt views. If that wasn't enough, you can use the Fisherman's cliff lift to get a fantastic view of Poole Harbour entrance round to Hengistbury Head and the Isle of Wight. This can also be used to access the beach if you may struggle with the zig-zag path down the cliffside. 

There are several food outlets and other amenities all along the front. During the summer, Fisherman's Walk has a dog ban but the rest of the year can be walked with your pooch.

Poole, Various

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There are an incredible four Blue Flag beaches along Poole's coast, they are: Sandbanks, Shore Road, Canford Cliffs Chine, and Branksome Chine. Sandbanks in particular is a spectacular place to visit, having had Blue Flag status for a whopping 30 years and is considered one of the best beaches in Britain. Both Sandbanks and Shore Road are within walking distance of water sports hire too if you fancy learning a new hobby. 

Swanage Central 

Swanage is an old Victorian seaside resort and, as such, is still a great place to visit if you want the sand between your toes and blue waves in front of you. The beach has facilities where you can hire out anything you could want from deckchairs to pedalos. When you've had enough of the beach, there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and amusement arcades just a short walk away. 

Southbourne 

Away from the hustle and bustle of Bournemouth pier and the surrounding beaches, lies a gorgeous stretch of sand and shingle with vibrant beach huts to rent. This is another popular family beach thanks to the nearby amenities and gentle slope into the water which makes it safe for a paddle. There is also a lifeguard stationed throughout the summer.

If you fancy a walk, Hengistbury Head is a short walk up from the beach and makes for stunning views.

Weymouth Central

The heart of the Jurassic Coast, Weymouth has plenty of fun things to enjoy on your visit from good food to fossil hunting. Would you believe the beach was popular with King George III in the 17th century?! Now, it continues to delight with lots going on from water sport hire to donkey rides to Punch and Judy shows. The sheltered and shallow nature of this beach make it great for swimming and for children to play in. Dogs are allowed in certain areas of the beach, it's best to check the Visit Dorset website before your trip to see where you can take them.

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