Charmouth Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Dorset, England. Every summer, it attracts many tourists due to its beautiful white sands, cliffs, and rock pools. Charmouth is a great family summer destination, and many families have been heading to Charmouth every summer for years now. However, if this is one of your first times, you might want to read up on the best things to do on Charmouth Beach. In addition, you will want to know where to stay near Charmouth Beach and what restaurants and pubs to visit near Charmouth beach.
This guide will give you all of the information you need on what to do and where to eat so that your day at Charmouth Beach doesn’t waste!
Table of Contents
Where is Charmouth Beach?
Charmouth is located in the South of England. Charmouth Beach is part of the Jurassic Coast, a beautiful stretch of beaches and cliffs known for its great fossils. Charmouth Beach is located along Charmouth’s coastal cliffs. It can be found at the foot of Golden Cap, which is the highest cliff in Southern England. The coast path runs past Charmouth beach, which offers excellent opportunities for long coastal walks.
The River Char divides Charmouth Beach into West Beach and East Beach. Both sides are great for families and fossil hunters. The river that divides the beach is also a good spot for boating and fishing.
How to get to Charmouth Beach?
One of the many advantages of staying in Charmouth is that the beach is so close to the centre of town. So it will take you just a few minutes to walk to the beach. You just have to find Lower Sea Lane and follow it, but if you’re not feeling like walking, there are plenty of car parks available. Charmouth has three car parks: Foreshore Car Park, Long Stay Car Park, and Seafront Car Park – but more about these later!
Charmouth by train
The closest train station to Charmouth is Axminster. Therefore, if you are coming down to Charmouth by train, you simply buy a ticket to Axminster and then take the bus from the station to Charmouth. You can buy your train tickets simply via the website of Trainline.
Charmouth by car
Charmouth is located just off the A35. When coming from London, you can either take the route through Winchester, Southampton and The New Forest, all the way down to Charmouth. This trip takes just over 3 hours on a good day. You can also choose to turn off towards Andover once you pass Basingstoke and then follow the A303 all the way to Ilminster. From there, you can take the A358 down to Axminster before turning onto the A35 towards Charmouth. This does take a bit longer.
Is Charmouth Beach dog-friendly?
Both sides of Charmouth Beach are dog-friendly. However, Charmouth Beach is not entirely fenced in, so you need to be careful with your furry friends. Always pick up their litter and put it in a dog bin. Charmouth is also very popular with families. Unfortunately, many cafes along Charmouth’s clifftop refuse entry to dogs, so please bear this in mind when visiting Charmouth Beach with your dog. You can also take your dog on the Coast Path if you want to. Do make sure to take poop bags with you as you need to clean up after your dog on Charmouth Beach.
The central area of the beach between the river Char and the western end of the promenade (in front of the Sea Front Car Park) is the only area on the beach that doesn’t allow dogs from May 1st to September 30th. So for the rest of the year, you are good to take your dog on fossil walks.
Don’t forget some dog toys for on the beach such as:
Best things to do near Charmouth Beach
There’s a lot to do in Charmouth and at Charmouth beach! To help you plan the perfect Charmouth trip, we have compiled a list of the best things to do near Charmouth beach.
- Go beachcombing on Charmouth Beach.
Charmouth Beach is famous for its pebbles and fossil hunting. It is one of the few beaches in the United Kingdom to find fossils. Both Charmouth Beach and Charmouth themselves are underlain by the Jurassic age rocks. These rocks contain ammonites, crabs, fish teeth, belemnites, and sea urchins.
Charmouth Beach is also perfect for beautiful beachcomber walks because it’s located under the shadow of the Golden Cap. This makes for lovely walks and will in part protect you from the gales during a winter or autumn trip. You can also take the coast path next to the beach at high tide.
After a long day of beachcombing, you can head back to the holiday park or the beach shop for a hot cup of tea. Apart from Charmouth beach, there are also a lot of other great sandy beaches nearby, such as Chesil Beach and West Bay beach. Chesil Beach is a sandy beach with beach huts, while West Bay beach is a family friendly beach. So whatever type of beach you are looking for, there is one near Charmouth beach!
- Learn about fossils in the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre
The Charmouth Heritage Coast centre has a collection of fossils on display for visitors to see. They have beautiful white, fossilized shells and bones from prehistoric creatures on show.
The Charmouth Heritage coast centre also holds regular talks about fossils and Charmouth’s history in their auditorium. So why not go along one evening and learn something new.
The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre is located at the end of Lower Sea Lane, right after the Sea Front Car Park. You’ll see it on your way to Charmouth Beach.
- Climb Golden Cap
Golden Cap is the highest point of Charmouth, and it’s a great place to walk for those who like hikes. At 191 meters (627 ft) above sea level, Golden Cap has magnificent views over Charmouth and Lyme Regis. You can climb Golden Cap on foot or follow a path that is accessible by bicycle too. What better way to spend the day at Charmouth Beach than by learning something new and exercising at the same time. Keep an eye on the weather conditions because climbing Golden Cap is not necessarily a good idea in bad weather.
In summer you should always take some sunscreen with you. The route to Golden Cap can be quite windy and you won’t notice the sunburn until it is too late!
- Walk through the meadows and fields of flowers at Hogchester Hill
Charmouth is surrounded by fields of wildflowers. When the wildflowers are in season, Charmouth looks like a meadow. The Charmouth Heritage coast centre holds talks about the different types of flowers in Charmouth’s surroundings during early summer. Charmouth has lots of footpaths that wander through the flowering meadows. At Hogchester hill, you can see Charmouth from above. This is the perfect activity for those looking to enjoy a relaxing holiday. If you are into Wildflowers, why not take this Wildflower Guide with you?
Where to eat near Charmouth Beach
Charmouth is home to many great restaurants and pubs. All pubs and restaurants are within walking distance of Charmouth beach. To help you decide what restaurants or pubs to book during your trip to Charmouth beach, we have compiled a list of the best Charmouth Beach pubs and restaurants. But, of course, if you want to know more, you can always head to our article on the best Charmouth pubs and restaurants.
- Charmouth Fish Bar
When it comes to fast food in the UK, nothing beats a trip to the chippy. One of the best fish and chips restaurants in Charmouth is the Charmouth fish bar. This Charmouth restaurant has an extensive menu which includes all your favourites.
This Charmouth restaurant prides itself on using sustainable fish. They also offer pizzas, local pies and delicious pastries. The Charmouth fish bar also has gourmet burgers on its menu. You can choose to eat in or take out. This means you can easily take your fish and chips home or decide to have a lovely gourmet burger on a bench near the beach. Whatever you choose, this Charmouth restaurant near Charmouth Beach is perfect for the whole family!
- The George
The George restaurant in Charmouth offers fantastic food to Charmouth locals and visitors alike. The George is one of the best places to eat in Charmouth. They provide exceptional food and excellent service. The chefs at The George restaurant and pub in Charmouth use local ingredients, and the menu is seasonal. The George is family friendly and offers an excellent selection of ales and ciders. There is also a play area where your kids can play while enjoying their meal.
- The Royal Oak Inn Charmouth
The Royal Oak Inn pub in Charmouth is a family friendly restaurant offering traditional pub food. Food includes a range of freshly prepared meals, including vegetarian and vegan dishes. The Royal Oak Inn pub in Charmouth provides beautiful views of Charmouth. Check out the Royal Oak Inn after a long day on Charmouth Beach.
Where to stay near Charmouth (hotels)
Charmouth is a great area to visit in summer. If you would like to stay overnight or book a trip to Charmouth, there are quite a few great hotels and holiday homes that you can visit. These are the best hotels near Charmouth! Want to read more? Head to our article on the best hotels in Charmouth!
Where to stay near Charmouth (holiday homes)
Want to travel with family or friends? Why not rent a holiday home? Not only will you have more freedom to cook your own meals or to sit down in front of the TV after a long day on Charmouth beach, but they are often also cheaper for big groups!
Where to park near Charmouth Beach
If you are heading down to Charmouth Beach by car, you will want to know where to park. Here are three great car parks near Charmouth Beach where you can park your vehicle.
1. Foreshore Car Park
This is the smallest but closest Charmouth beach car park. It is next to the Charmouth Heritage Coast Center, and it’s open 24/7.
2. Seafront Car Park
This car park is the biggest one close to Charmouth Beach. It is next to the Charmouth Heritage Coast Center, and it’s open every day from 6:00 to 21:00.
3. Lower Sea Lane Car Park
This car park is located on Lower Sea Lane, a bit further away from Charmouth Beach, but it only takes a 5-minute walk to get there. It opens from 8:00 to 18:00, even on weekends.
Lieze Neven is a globetrotting travel writer and expat currently based in Nepal. With a passion for exploration, she has lived in Dubai, the UK, and Belgium, alongside her international teacher husband. Her parents live in France and she tries to visit Paris at least once a year. Together, they travel the world looking for the best hotels, experiences and food locations have to offer!