Dorset's top-ten beaches

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With 100 miles of glorious coastline, Dorset is home to some of the UK's best beaches

Soft sand and clear blue seas, here we come! Here's the Boundless top ten Dorset beach round-up

1. Man O' War beach, near Lulworth

Surrounded by steep, grassy cliffs, Man O' War Beach is a quiet, sheltered sand and shingle beach which lies to the east of Durdle Door, West Dorset's famous limestone arch. While there is little in terms of seaside amenities, its shallow, clear waters offer safe swimming in summer, and quiet solitude in the cooler months.

2. Lulworth Cove, West Dorset

Shaped like a horseshoe, pebbly Lulworth Cove is simply dazzling on a blisteringly hot day, but equally as enticing in winter. Eat fine fish and chips in The Castle Inn, or take a boat trip to the famous arch of Durdle Door in the next cove.

3. East Cliff beach, Bournemouth

Teeming with Blue Flags, Bournemouth's famous golden beaches run for seven miles, but East Cliff, the sandy stretch between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers, is easily the nicest. There's a funicular railway and an ice-cream kiosk, as well as a fancy café in the Russell-Cotes art gallery, which overlooks the bay.

4. Boscombe beach, Bournemouth

Once a traditional 1950s seaside spot, this mile-long sandy beach has been rebranded a Coastal Activity Park. It features an outdoor gym trail, bouldering rocks and a watersports centre, however, the real draw is Europe's first artificial surf reef, which attracts surfers and bodyboarders from all across the south coast.

5. Charmouth beach, West Dorset

Split in two by the River Char, Charmouth's sand and shingle beach is home to the Heritage Centre, where the remains of Charmouth dinosaur lie. The slightly sandier East Beach attracts sunbathers and families, while fossil-hunters search for ammonite and belemnite fossils on the more rugged West Beach.

6. Studland beach, Purbeck

This four-mile stretch of golden sands along the Purbeck coast is bouldered by sand dunes and blessed with panoramic views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. Studland is renowned as a popular spot for naturists – it offers about half a mile of dedicated sheltered beach where clothing is optional.

7. Sandbanks beach, Poole

Famous for its oligarch-style beachfront mansions, Sandbanks, a sandy peninsular piercing Poole Harbour, is known as the Palm Beach of England. With clear, shallow waters ideal for swimming, and a three-mile run of soft, butter-yellow sands, as well as beachfront cafés and crazy golf, it's a popular spot for young families.

8. Burton Bradstock beach, West Dorset

Tucked under toffee-coloured cliffs and with sweeping views of Dorset's rugged coastline, Burton Bradstock's dog-friendly, shingle beach is known as the gateway to the Jurassic Coast. Visit the Hive Beach Café, a sprawling beachfront shack that knocks out brilliant seafood dishes overlooking the waves.

9. Swanage beach, Purbeck

Flanked by a pair of chalky headlands, the tiny seaside resort of Swanage has a gentle, timeless appeal. A popular Victorian resort, it boasts a mile-long stretch of custard-coloured sands, the perfect consistency for sandcastles, and is lined with all the typical seaside emporiums, beachfront pubs and quaint tea rooms.

10 Seatown beach, West Dorset

Located just east of Golden Cap, the highest point on England's south coast, Seatown is a quiet, privately-owned shingle beach (with public access) with extensive views of the Jurassic coast. On the route of the South West Coast Path, stop for a breather at the excellent Anchor Inn.

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