Swanage, Wareham and Purbeck

Coastline and beaches

Purbeck’s coastline offers a mix of dramatic cliffs and rock formations, with calm sandy beaches and secluded coves.  The four mile stretch of Studland Beach encompasses  four  beaches – Shell Bay, Knoll, Middle and South are popular with families in the summer. Studland Beach has a popular designated nudist beach section. Knoll beach has a big car park, toilets, café and shop and water sports facilities.  Middle and South Beach are less commercialised but do have basic facilities.  The beaches are managed by the National Trust.

At Kimmeridge Bay, a little further west, the Fine Foundation  Marine Centre is a great source of information about the coast as well as a good base for surfing, snorkelling,  and rockpooling.  Vehicle access  to the shale beach and cliffs is via a toll road leading to Kimmeridge Bay car park (walkers and cyclists are free).  At the top of the cliff is Clavell Tower, where visitors can book to stay the night – and did you know that it was recently physically moved back from the cliff edge!

Remember that access to the coast path west of Kimmeridge beyond the bay is limited due to the Military Lulworth Ranges here, but both Tyneham Village (the ‘ghost’ village’) and Worbarrow Bay are worth visiting when the range walks and roads are open – this is most weekends and during August but for more information check here.

The world famous Lulworth Cove has an excellent visitor centre, shops and cafes.  From the main car park visitors can walk over the hill to Durdle Door – the famous arch carved out of the rock by the sea.