Accessible beaches in Dorset

There are many towns in Dorset which are working towards improving their accessibility for visitors and residents.

A day at the seaside wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a beach and there are nine wheelchair accessible beaches in Dorset. These beaches have matting to enable wheelchair users to access the beach or have beach wheelchairs for hire.

Beach matting is usually in place between May and September, but can vary from beach to beach, so it’s always recommended to contact the local beach office in advance of your visit to avoid any disappointment.

Two of the beaches have floating wheelchairs for access into the sea and at West Bay Beach, there is a bespoke wheelchair carrier. This allows a wheelchair user to remain in their own wheelchair but still access the beach.

There are two beaches with wheelchair accessible beach huts for hire and two beaches with accessible electric BBQ hotplates which are free to use. Four beaches currently have Changing Places toilets and all have accessible parking nearby and free, accessible public toilets.

Lyme Regis Beaches

There are 4 beaches at Lyme Regis, one of which is a sandy beach with a gentle slope into the sea. The other three beaches are a mixture of sand and shingle or pebble.

Wheelchair accessible beach matting is available at Front Beach (a sandy beach) which can be accessed from Marine Parade. Beach matting can also be found at Monmouth Beach (a pebble beach) which can be accessed from Monmouth Beach and Cabanya car parks.

Front Beach is backed by a long, flat promenade called Marine Parade, which connects The Cobb harbour with the main town centre shops. Along Marine Parade you'll find colourful beach huts, and numerous cafés and restaurants to stop and have something to eat or drink. 

Car parks close to Front Beach and Monmouth Beach are located at Monmouth Beach and Cabanya car parks. These car parks allow all day parking and have 13 accessible parking spaces.

The closest accessible toilets to Front Beach and Monmouth Beach are found at Monmouth Beach car park (DT7 3JY or What 3 Words sweeter.culminate.reforming) or Marine Parade (DT7 3JH or What 3 Words location: today.burying.necklaces).

For those visitors who are able to be moved out their own wheelchair and want to go onto the beaches or into the sea, there are 2 beach wheelchairs and 1 floating wheelchair available to hire for free. You can find more details on the Lyme Regis Town Council website.

The Cobb is Grade I listed with an uneven surface so care and caution will need to be taken, particularly for those with limited mobility.

West Bay Beaches

Both of the beaches at West Bay are shingle beaches. The most accessible is West Beach which has ramps to parts of the beach and wheelchair accessible beach matting in place during spring and summer.

Beach wheelchairs, a floating wheelchair and a beach accessible wheelchair carrier is available to hire for free during spring and summer. If you'd like to hire the floating wheelchair, a £15 fee applies to pay for for a trained swim instructor The beach accessible wheelchair carrier is the only type of its kind in Dorset. It allows a wheelchair user who is unable to be moved from their own wheelchair, to access the beach, as their whole wheelchair can be pushed onto the carrier.

The nearest car parks with accessible parking spaces to West Beach is at Esplanade car park (40 spaces including 2 for disabled visitors) and The Mound car park (25 spaces including 1 for disabled visitors). There are 3 other car parks at West Bay with accessible spaces, located at Quayside car park, Station Yard car park and West Bay Road car park.

There are accessible picnic benches on eastern Esplanade which allows a wheelchair user to sit at the table in a specially designated space.

Providing fun for all ages and abilities, there is an accessible picnic and play area next to West Bay Road car park. This play area includes swings and roundabouts for those who are wheelchairs users or need additional support, as well as sensory activities too.

There are two Changing Places toilets at West Bay (at West Bay Road car park and Parkdean Holiday Park). Accessible toilets are located at all 3 of the public toilet blocks, the closest to West Beach are at The Mound. Toilets at The Mound are located next to the Harbour Masters office – Postcode DT6 4GZ or What3Words location: stiffly.fruits.flaunting.

Weymouth Beach

Weymouth Beach is a wide sandy beach backed by a long, flat promenade called The Esplanade. The beach is accessed by ramps and the beach gently slopes into the sea.

Between May and September, wheelchair accessible beach matting is in place at 2 locations on the main sandy beach, and another at Greenhill Beach. On the sandy beach you can find beach matting in front of the Beach Office (Postcode DT4 7RN or What 3 Words location: monday.cooks.saving) and also at the dog friendly section of the beach next to the SandWorld sand sculptures (What 3 Words location: assets.today.assure).The third section of beach matting is located at Greenhill Beach which is a pebble beach - the matting is located at the end of the ramp which leads down from the promenade onto the beach (What 3 Words location: offer.bricks.forms).

The nearest car park to the Beach Office is Park Street car park which has a maximum stay of 3 hours and 10 accessible parking spaces. Alternatively, The Pavilion Theatre (which as 14 accessible parking spaces) and Swannery car parks (18 accessible parking spaces) are both long stay car parks for up to 10 hours maximum stay. If you are visiting Greenhill Beach, the nearest car park is Lodmoor car park which has 14 accessible parking spaces and accessible toilets.

There are 3 beach wheelchairs which can be hired for free between May and September. Call 01305 239832 or contact Weymouth Town Council for more information.

Accessible toilet facilities are available at all public toilets in Weymouth. If you are visiting the main sandy beach, there are accessible toilets and a Changing Places toilet at the Beach Office (Postcode DT4 7RN​ or What 3 Words location: monday.cooks.saving). For Greenhill Beach, there are accessible toilets at Lodmoor Car Park (Postcode DT4 7SX or What 3 Words location: stop.teeth.award) or behind the Bowling Club at Greenhill Gardens (Postcode DT4 7SL or What 3 Words location: duck.fired.flank).

Swanage Beach

Swanage Beach is a wide sandy beach with a gentle slope into the sea and a designated swimming zone during the summer.

Ramps down onto the beach are located at the northern end of the beach (What 3 Words location: gambles.villager.spearing) and next to the Banjo Pier and Clocktower (What 3 Words location: wisdom.soaks.flask. Wheelchair accessible beach matting is place during the summer next to the Banjo Pier.

There is a long stay car park with a Changing Places toilet and accessible toilets a 5 minute walk away from North Beach – this car park has 165 spaces including 4 accessible spaces, but involves a downhill walk to the beach. There is also pay & display roadside parking for cars adjacent to the beach along Shore Road and a large beach car park off Victoria Avenue with 265 parking spaces, including 7 accessible spaces.

The nearest accessible toilets are located next to the beach huts on Shore Road (What 3 Words location: breached.jacket.dress).

If you’d like to hire a beach hut during your visit, there are more than 40 beach huts accessible at ground level on Shore Road (opposite the beach). This includes 5 huts (numbers 15 to 19) which have wider doors and a lower countertop for increased accessibility, as well as 6 'Premium' Huts which are larger and have double doors.

You can read more about accessibility at Swanage or contact Swanage Information Centre.

Knoll Beach at Studland Bay

The 4 beaches at Studland are all owned by the National Trust. The most accessible is Knoll Beach, which is a wide sandy beach backed by sand dunes with a gentle slope into the sea.

There is accessible parking at Knoll Beach car park (postcode BH19 3AQ) which is free for Blue Badge Holders. There is a flat, surfaced path connecting the car park to the café, shop and toilets and a stone path from the car park to the beach.

Knoll Beach has accessible toilets, as well as a Changing Places toilet. There are also a number of beach wheelchairs for hire - call 01929 450500 for more information and to book.

Sandbanks Beach

Sandbanks Beach is a wide sandy beach with a gentle slope into the sea.

There is a large car park next to the beach with 11 accessible parking spaces. There is level access from the car park onto the promenade and then there are ramps down onto the beach.

From May to September there is wheelchair accessible beach matting in place. There is also 1 beach wheelchair available for loan from Sandbanks Beach Office between 9:30am and 4:30pm, from May to September - these are loaned on a first come, first served basis in return for a refundable cash deposit.

Accessible toilets are located near the beach office (What 3 Words location: translated.stay.lined).

Branksome Chine Beach

Branksome Chine Beach is a wide sandy beach with a gentle slope into the sea.

There is a car park next to the beach with 4 accessible parking spaces and accessible toilets. There is level access from the car park onto the promenade and then ramps down onto the beach. The wide, flat promenade connects the Poole and Bournemouth beaches along a 10 mile stretch of coastline between Hengistbury Head and Shore Road Beach.

There is 1 beach wheelchair available for loan from Branksome Chine Beach Office between 9:30am and 4:30pm, from May to September - these are loaned on a first come, first served basis in return for a refundable cash deposit.

For visitors who enjoy a BBQ at the beach, there are 2 free-to-use accessible electric BBQ hotplates at this beach. They are available between Easter and October from 10am to 10pm, on a first come, first served basis.

Bournemouth Beach

Bournemouth Beach is currently England’s number 1 beach and 20th in Europe for TripAdvisors 2024 Travellers Choice Awards.

The beach is very popular with visitors and is a wide sandy beach with a pier and amusement arcades. The sand has a gentle slope into the sea.

The closest car park is at Bath Road South car park which has 163 spaces, including 11 accessible spaces. To access the beach from the car park involves a downhill walk to Pier Approach and then there are ramps onto the beach.

The beach is backed by a wide, flat promenade which connects with Boscombe Beach to the east and Durley Chine to the west.

There is 1 beach wheelchair available for loan from Bournemouth Beach Office between 9:30am and 4:30pm, from May to September - these are loaned on a first come, first served basis in return for a refundable cash deposit.

Accessible toilets are located at The Pier, next to Harry Ramsden’s Fish & Chip shop (What 3 Words location: knots.badly.loving) and between Happyland Amusements and West Beach restaurant (What 3 Words location: decreased.spring.decks).

Boscombe Beach

Boscombe Beach is a wide sandy beach with a pier, backed by a wide, flat promenade. The promenade connects Bournemouth Pier to the west and Southbourne Beach to the east.

There is a car park adjacent to the beach which has 23 accessible parking spaces. Accessible toilets are located at the car park entrance. From the car park there is level access onto the promenade and then ramps down onto the beach.

From May to September there is wheelchair accessible beach matting in place. There is also 1 beach wheelchair available for loan from Boscombe Beach Office between 9:30am and 4:30pm, from May to September - these are loaned on a first come, first served basis in return for a refundable cash deposit.

Accessible toilets are located at The Prom Diner, at the entrance to Boscombe Undercliff car park and next to Urban Reef restaurant (What 3 Words location: grin.wings.arena). There is also a Changing Places toilet at Boscombe Pier.

There are 5 free-to-use accessible electric BBQ hotplates on the seafront, as well as 3 accessible beach chalets for hire. The beach chalets were designed in consultation with disabled beach users and include 4 chairs, table, work surface, gas stove, lockable cupboards and partition wall that can be taken down to connect 2 chalets together. They also have access to an electric scooter charging point, parking bays and a Changing Places toilet and shower.

More easy access beaches

There are many other Dorset beaches which offer accessible parking, step free access onto the beach and accessible toilets. Take a look at our beach guide which provides detailed information for each beach.

You may also like...

Reconnect With Nature

Visit Dorset's nature reserves which are accessible and have Tramper all-terrain mobilty scooters...

Autism Friendly Days Out

Visit Dorset's attractions which provide quiet zones, sensory backpacks, ear defenders or quiet...

What's on

There's never a shortage of events and festivals taking place.

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.