10 of the Best Sandy Beaches in Dorset

5 Reasons to Visit the Dorset with Kids www.minitravellers.co.uk

Dorset is home to some of the best beaches in the world but not all of them are sandy. So we’ve put together a list of some of the best sandy beaches in Dorset for you!

NB: This post has been created in collaboration with Stay in Dorset

If you’re thinking of visiting those gorgeous Dorset beaches then why not take a look at the Stay in Dorset website for all your accommodation needs, you could also check out the Blackmore Vale Magazine.

AD | I have been or could be if you click on a link in this post compensated via a cash payment, gift or something else of value for writing this post. See our full disclosure policy and privacy policy for more details.

Durdle Door

You’ll have to check out Mr Mini Travellers image below for the famous image of Durdle Door, it’s one of Dorset’s most photographed and iconic landmarks.  I was too busy making sure the kids didn’t get too close to the cliff edge to get a proper shot myself.  You can also see the magnificent natural limestone arch in our video towards the bottom of the post.

Durdle Door was formed when the waves eroded the rock and forged a hole through the middle.  Durdle Door is part of the Lulworth Estate and you can access it on foot via a path and steps over the hill from Lulworth Cove or down from the Car Park (charges apply). It takes about ten minutes to wander down.

The car park closes at 10pm in the summer months (between 1st March to 31st October) and 4pm the rest of the year.

Brownsea Island – Dorset Beaches

Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour is well worth a visit to explore this unique habitat with red squirrels, deserted cast away type beaches and island walks.

Best Sandy Beaches in Dorset

Shell Beach

If it’s a sandy beach in Dorset you’re after, take a trip to Shell Bay, with the car park directly after the ferry from Poole. We tend to avoid the better-known (and therefore busier) neighbouring Knoll Beach. The huge expanse of white flat sandy beach runs down to shallow water, perfect for kids to play in. The beach is wide and flat enough for family cricket & volleyball, and there are also designated barbecue rocks to protect the surrounding reserve. Do walk around to the right once you get on to the beach – a 15 minute stroll will bring you to a sand dune bowl which is a family favourite. The low dunes behind the beach are fun for exploring, playing in and also invaluable for sheltering from a chilly breeze! There are even nearby toilets located in the National Trust car-park.

Best Sandy Beaches in Dorset

Swanage Beach

Whether it’s the height of summer or the depths of winter, Mummy in a Tutu loves visiting the beach at Swanage. Sand perfect for castles, shells to collect, 2p machines to play, chips to munch and ice creams to lick. What more could you ask for.

Facilities at the Swanage Dorset beach are very good. Deck chairs, pedalos and kayaks can be hired. As well as toilets/ disabled toilets, there is a first aid point and even a lost child centre.

Best Sandy Beaches in Dorset

Weymouth Beach

Surrey Mama loves the beach at Weymouth, as she thinks that on a sunny day you could be in Europe. With a long and large sandy beach, amusements and a town with everything you need nearby it’s one of our favourites.

Best Sandy Beaches in Dorset

My Travel Monkey also recommends Weymouth as her favourite Dorset Beach- it’s a huge stretch flanked by Georgian architecture and has a really lively atmosphere. With fish and chip shops, play areas, a helter-skelter, donkey rides and plenty of ice cream, this quintessential British beach is fun for the whole family and it’s pretty, too.

 We love Weymouth - it's a huge stretch flanked by Georgian architecture and has a really lively atmosphere. With fish and chip shops, play areas, a helter-skelter, donkey rides and plenty of ice cream, this quintessential British beach is fun for the whole family and it's pretty, too.

Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis is a favourite of Surrey Mama on either Summer or Winter days. The sandy stretch in a calm cove overlooking the harbour is perfect for little ones.


New Young Mum says you could be anywhere in the world when at Sandbanks. As you drive down the peninsular you are in with some of the most expensive houses and land in the UK.  Dubbed Britain’s Palm Beach, because of astronomical land prices.  This Dorset beach does not disappoint!

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Bedtime out the window for time at the beach. Paddling otherwise known as wading waist deep whilst fully clothed if your Amelia and hot chocolate with friends 🌊💕 • • • #curiouslittleexplorers #littlefierceones #raisingthoseragamuffins #wildandfreechildren #lovelifeoutside #letthembelittle #littlefamiliesofig #lemonadeandlenses #simplychildren #pixel_kids #cameramama #lifewellcaptured #wildlittleadventurers #childofig #momswithcameras #umh_kids #thismamaloves #tinybeansmoment #letthemexplore #beyondthewanderlust #magicofchildhood #adventuresofchildren #freespiritedchildren #myfamilyadventures #developinglife #wildandbravelittles #mumswithcameras #explorerkids #ourplayfulstyle

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Flaghead Chine

Flaghead Chine is Everything Mummy’s favourite, one beach down from Sandbanks with all the beauty but less of the crowds. Beautiful golden sandy beaches stretch for miles you just can’t beat it.

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Best beach day today ☀️ Could it be that summer is having a second innings??? Fingers crossed 🤞🏼

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Hengistbury Head

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Love this little poser ❤️

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West Bay

Claire from Suitcases & Sandcastles tells us there’s a lot to love about West Bay on Dorset’s beautiful Jurassic Coast. The beach there is stunning – a gorgeous stretch of sand that goes all the way along to Chesil Beach and Portland Bill. It’s all the more beautiful for being backed by dramatic golden sandstone cliffs that rise vertically up towards the sky.
These same cliffs are the ones featured in the television series of Broadchurch which was filmed there. There are some good walks at the top of the cliffs, with fantastic views of the coast – but keep well away from the edge as there are regular landslips here.
And the Watch House Café right on the beach is the perfect spot for fish and chips or wood-fired pizza.

Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth remains one of Britain’s favourite beaches. It is easy to see the attraction; a huge swathe of fine golden sand set on the doorstep of this vibrant coastal resort town.

It might get a little too popular for some, but there is the pier and who doesn’t love a pier!

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10 Of The Best Sandy Beaches In Dorset
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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

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