Dorset Coast


Durdle Door on the Dorset coast, England  (Terry Yarrow/Shutterstock)

Durdle Door on the Dorset coast, England (Terry Yarrow/Shutterstock)

Looking for some Great British adventure inspiration? You're in the right place. Here you'll get an independent, ad-free lowdown on Britain's top 50 adventure locations - the online yin to the paper yang of our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map.

Why Go To The Dorset Coast?

Dorset is not just home to famous knobs of various types - it's got a classy coastline too. Just some of the things you can do on the Dorset coast that you can't do anywhere else...    

  • Enjoy stunning beaches, cliffs and coastal features like Old Harry Rocks, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove
  • Hike a good chunk of the South West Coast Path, England's longest national trail
  • Head a few miles inland to see a hill carving of a giant with an enormous penis 

Want to find out more? Read on for great photos, articles, videos, top tips and other content to fire up your adventure appetite. Got a question? Ask away.

Tell Me More

Yes, yes, Broadchurch and The Jurassic Coast... The view of 18-mile Chesil Beach and Portland from Abbotsbury could be as satisfying as victory in the annual Dorset Knob Throwing contest. Spectacular coastal features like Lulworth Cove, Old Harry Rocks and Durdle Door add to the already impressive array of sandy beaches and swimming spots, strung together on the South West Coast Path. The Dorset coast's highest point is also the highest on the entire south coast: Golden Cap (191m). Lording it proudly over a valley a few miles inland is the Cerne Abbas Giant.

Lulworth Cove, Dorset  (Chris Button/Shutterstock)

Lulworth Cove, Dorset (Chris Button/Shutterstock)

The essential journey in these parts is the South West Coast Path, which begins or ends in Dorset. As well as bits of Devon and all of Cornwall's coast, the SWCP includes all the iconic parts of the Dorset coast, such as Old Harry Rocks...

A bit of Jurassic Coast timelapse

Everyone’s favourite ruin, other than Princess Margaret.
— Bill Bryson on Corfe Castle, Dorset

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Dorset hut life (as featured across the pond by Outside Online)...

Getting To The Dorset Coast, Maps & Guides

Getting there: 2.5 hours by car from London, same by train.

Travel times from where you are: See the Dorset Coast on Google Maps.

Maps: Find the right Ordnance Survey maps and / or get a month's free subscription to their excellent OS Maps app.

Guidebooks: Rough Guides cover Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in one guidebook. Charles Tait does a guidebook specifically on Dorset.

Walking route guidance: South West Coast Path or the Dorset AONB walking guide.

Tourist board: Visit Dorset.

Even More Dorset Coast Adventure Inspiration

Professional adventurers Dave Cornthwaite and Alastair Humphreys do Dorset in a way that Ernest Shackleton might not have.

A couple of intriguing reads / listens...

And if that hasn't quite inspired you... 


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What Next?

Click here to see 49 other Great British adventure locations and tell us about your adventures, plans and suggestions for these pages.

Britain's Best Outdoorsy Bits... Mapped!

Liking what you see, but fancy keeping it old school with an actual paper map? Our Joyously Busy Great British Adventure Map features all of Britain's best outdoorsy bits (including the Top 50), plus some enjoyably random and vaguely useful stuff too. Available either as a 2-sided fold-out map or a framed wall map (office furniture and fake plants not included).