Poole Harbour, Sandbanks and Brownsea Island
Europe's largest natural harbour
Europe's largest natural harbour
© Caroline Richards
Looking to visit Dorset by sea, bringing your boat on holiday or just wanting to enjoy some fun watersports? On this page you can find information and contact details for all the harbours found along our stunning coastline.
Many of our harbours have a rich maritime heritage and history but nowadays provide a wonderful location for leisure facilities and activities, not to mention some delightful places to eat and drink. Watch the world go by or enjoy some sundowners next to the water.
Christchurch Harbour extends from Mudeford Spit (Sandbank) in the east to the convergence of the rivers Avon and Stour in the west.
It is an important area for nature conservation and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Providing a home for rare wildlife it’s no surprise that Christchurch Harbour is a favourite with wildlife lovers, birdwatchers and photographers alike.
Tel: 01202 795070
Poole provides Europe’s largest natural harbour and offers a unique mixture, beaches, islands and an abundance of wildlife.
The harbour was formed in the last ice age and is the estuary to a number of rivers that meander their way through Dorset to the coast.
The harbour lends itself perfectly for leisure activities and watersports with plenty of luxury cruisers on display.
Tel: 01202 440200
Weymouth boasts one of the shortest passages across the channel and there is no better way to experience the wonders of the World Heritage Jurassic Coastline than by sea.
A relatively small but busy port it welcomes thousands of visitors each year and it is considered one of the most attractive harbours in Europe.
Still maintaining its original charm, the harbourside now provides the backdrop to a number of festivals and events throughout the year including the acclaimed seafood festival.
Tel: 0 1305 838423
Built by the admiralty for the Royal Navy the port continued to be home for the HM Naval Base (HMNB) Portland until its closure in 1995.
Portland Port offers a safe, sheltered and deep harbour which makes it a superb choice for all vessels, from small yachts to some of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Portland’s harbour also provides some of the very best sailing waters and was the host venue for the London 2012 Olympic Games sailing and is home to the National Sailing Academy.
Tel: 01305 824044
Bridport Harbour found at the western end of Chesil Beach has rich heritage for ship building and exporting rope throughout the 19th century. Today it is better known as the filming location for the ITV drama Broadchurch and being surrounded by an abundance of great places to eat and explore.
Over the years the harbour has changed greatly from its early days and now provides a great location for visitors to enjoy.
Tel: 01308 423222
Lyme Regis Harbour is located between Portland in the east and Brixham in the West and provides a perfect stop off location for boats sailing through Lyme Bay.
A bustling harbour in the summer months, it is also home to the iconic Cobb harbour wall; a grade 1 listed structure which has been featured many times in prestigious TV and film projects.
Home to a small fleet of commercial boats the harbour also provides a number of watersports activities in the peak visitor season.
Tel: 01297 442137