These are the Dorset beaches awarded Blue Flag status in 2022

Sandbanks Beach has golden sand and a blue sky above

Blue Flag have announced the best beaches for 2022 - Credit: Ron Bulovs, Flickr

These 14 Dorset beaches have been chosen for the highly coveted award.

As the summer approaches and people get ready to enjoy the good weather, Blue Flag have scoured the world's beaches and selected the cream of the crop for their highest award. Each of these pristine locations has to fulfil a variety of expectations before they can call themselves a Blue Flag Beach and this year Dorset has managed to collect 14 accolades. 

The Dorset selection were among 151 locations in the UK given the award for their outstanding beaches. They were chosen due to their dedication to environmental protection, education programmes, and ease of access to all visitors.

1. Alum Chine, Bournemouth

Alum Chine Beach is probably one of Bournemouth's favourite Blue Flag award winning beaches, particularly loved by the locals for its wide, exceptionally clean, sandy and shingle beaches away from the hubbub of Bournemouth. Families will love this spot as it has a great pirate-themed park, toilets, baby changing, and other amenities.

2. Avon Beach, Christchurch

Great for families with small children and people with disabilities or mobility problems because it has its own beach level car park, this is a designated bathing beach. The sea slopes gently away which makes this a great beach for the kids to paddle in.

Avon Beach stretches away with beach huts to the left and the sea to the right

Avon Beach - Credit: Michael Gaylard, Flickr

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3. Branksome Chine, Poole

This wide, sandy beach (with some shingle areas) has stunning views out to sea, and backs on to a promenade with a bar, restaurant, and shop. All the amenities you could need are just a short walk away.

4. Canford Cliffs, Poole

Canford Cliffs is a natural and tranquil area, situated between Shore Road Beach and Branksome Chine Beach. With sandy cliffs and picturesque wooden huts, it's a popular choice for locals and visitors alike. It is within walking distance of Canford Cliffs village, which offers a range of restaurants and local shops.       

5. Durley Chine, Bournemouth

Another excellent Bournemouth Beach, this one has stretches of glorious golden sand and often gets busy in the warmer months. Durley Chine Beach also has an abundance of colourful beach huts to rent all year round from the local beach office. On a clear day enjoy excellent views out over the Solent of the Isle of Wight and Old Harry's Rocks.

A view from above Durley Chine Beach looking out towards the sea

Durley Chine Beach - Credit: Alwyn Ladell, Flickr

6. Fisherman's Walk Beach, Southbourne

Somewhat quieter than the main Bournemouth beaches of East Cliff and West Cliff, Fisherman's Walk is still a bustling friendly beach with acres of sand. The beach is backed by a steep cliff, but that won't stop visitors with mobility issues from enjoying it, as the site has a dedicated lift down. You can also take a gentle stroll through the Fisherman's zigzag to access the sand.

7. Friars Cliff Beach, Christchurch

A mix of sand and shingle, this next beach offers excellent views towards the Isle of Wight. This is an ideal spot of you would also like to enjoy a stroll as it's just a short walk from the cliff top nature reserve at Steamer Point.

8. Highcliffe Beach, Christchurch

The last of the Blue Flag beaches in the Christchurch area, Highcliffe is ideal for bodyboarding and bathing. You can also enjoy walks along the promenade and up the winding paths of the surrounding cliffs. 

Highcliffe Beach

Highcliffe Beach - Credit: Fenners1984, Flickr

9. Manor Steps Beach, Bournemouth

The sandy Manor Steps beach, to the east of Boscombe Pier, is one of the quieter beaches in the Bournemouth area. The beach is backed by low-rise, wooded cliffs, and from the beach there are views of the white cliffs of Hengistbury Head. A promenade leads away from the pier, past an RNLI lookout, and is a good place to come for bracing walks along the seafront.

10. Sandbanks Beach

Sandbanks is a spit of golden sand that crosses the mouth of Poole harbour and continues all the way to Bournemouth, a distance of around five kilometres. Dubbed Britain’s Palm Beach (because of astronomical land prices) Sandbanks is a paradise of golden sands and perfect blue waters. The Sandbanks Chain Ferry connects Sandbanks with Studland for an added element of fun.

11. Shore Road, Poole

Fine, golden sand, a gently sloping beach, and clean, safe water make Shore Road an ideal place to visit. This Blue Flag beach is also known for wind and kite surfing.

Southbourne Beach at sunset

Southbourne Beach - Credit: Yusaini Usulludin, Flickr

12. Southbourne Beach

Just along from Fisherman's walk is another popular seaside spot that is perfect for the whole family. On the cliffs above the beach is the Fisherman’s Walk, a lovely stroll along between Fisherman's Avenue and Portman Crescent in Southbourne. It includes a narrow strip of woodland with a nature trail and plenty of wildlife

13. Swanage Beach

Swanage combines a Victorian-style seaside resort with a sheltered, gently sloping sandy beach that runs the entire length of the town. Behind the beach is a promenade, which is partly pedestrianised in summer. Beach huts, boats, deck chairs, loungers, and pedalos are available for hire.

14. Weymouth Beach

Last, but by no means least, we arrive at Weymouth Beach. Loved by King George III, this location remains a favourite, with visitors returning year after year.  Family-friendly, the safe, shallow waters are ideal for swimming, and a range of other activities are on offer during summer, from donkey rides to Punch and Judy shows.