Charmouth on the coast of West Dorset offers a pair of picturesque coarse sand and shingle beaches with good facilities including parking, toilets and a café.
Charmouth East Beach is usually the busier of the two, largely due to the pebbles being smaller and there are more patches of sand. It is also an excellent place to explore for fossils, including ammonites and belemnites.
West Beach consists of larger pebbles than its neighbour and lies below 'Black Ven', one of the most active landslip areas in Europe. Fossils may be found along the foreshore. At low water some coarse sand is exposed between the rocks.
The nearby Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre is well worth a visit, with a wealth of information as well as offering regular guided walks.
To the southeast of Charmouth lies the spectacular and imposing Golden Cap, at 627 feet (191m), the highest point on the south coast of England dominating the shingle beach at Seatown.
Please follow the Fossil Code: Hammering at the cliff is NOT permitted. You don't actually need to break rocks, the fossils are to be found amongst the loose pebbles. Usually the best place to start looking is about 200 metres from the mouth of the river. Please remember to keep your distance from the cliffs as they are very soft and geologically weak. Landslides can happen at anytime.
Dogs are not allowed on Charmouth's West Beach between 1st May and 30th September, at any time. Dogs are not allowed on East Beach between 1st July and 31st August from 10am to 6pm.
✔ Flora and Fauna
✔ Sandy beach
✔ Cafe, shop or pub
✘ Seasonal dog ban
✔ Easily accessible
✔ Interesting geology
OS Explorer Map 116: Lyme Regis and Bridport
This map is part of the Ordnance Survey's Explorer series designed to replace the old Pathfinder map series. At 1:25,000 scale this detailed map shows a host of attractions including gardens which are open to the public, nature reserves and country parks as well as all official footpaths, bridleways, roads and lanes. Other facilities covered include: camping and caravan sites, picnic areas and viewpoints, selected places of interest, rights of way information for England and Wales, National Trail and Recreational Path routes, and selected tourist information. The series is aimed mainly at the experienced map user but can be used by tourists and locals alike.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: