Dorset Coast and Countryside

Dorset is well provided with places to explore for those who enjoy getting out and about.

Walking Trails
The South West Coast Path follows the entire coastline of Dorset on its way to Devon and Cornwall.

Coastal Attractions
  • Jurassic Coast - the Dorset coast from Studland to Devon has been awarded World Heritage status for its geologic importance. Visitors can try their hand at hunting for fossils or join a guided fossil walk.
  • Chesil Bank and The Fleet - A striking shingle beach stretching 8 miles from Portland to Abbotsbury, Chesil Bank protects a shallow lagoon called The Fleet from the ravages of the sea. The Bank and Fleet provide habitat for a variety of bird and plant life, as well as a large colony of mute swans at the Abbotsbury Swannery.
  • Durdle Door - A natural stone arch which allows the sea to pass through. Located just to the west of Lulworth Cove.
  • Lulworth Cove - Lulworth Cove is a horseshoe-shaped harbour within the grounds of the Lulworth Estate. The region is a geologist's dream, featuring some of the finest geomorphology and folding strata in Europe.
  • Purbeck Heritage Coast
    The heritage coast runs from Arne, in Poole Harbour, along the southern shore of the Isle of Purbeck to Weymouth Bay.
  • West Dorset Heritage Coast
    The heritage coast extends from Seaton in the west almost to the Bill of Portland in the east. This is excellent walking country. The South West Coast Path runs along the clifftops, but there are also numerous waymarked trails looping inland from the coast.

Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
This AONB takes in the heritage coasts of Purbeck and West Dorset (see above), and stretches inland to cover the broad chalk valleys and ridges of central Dorset. For information, visit the Dorset AONB Partnership website at or telephone them on 01305 224279.

Also partly in Dorset is the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB. More information at

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