Parking in Dorset
Parking for cars, coaches, motorcycles, campervans and motorhomes in Dorset can be easily located by following roads signs with a white letter P on a blue background.
Parking is plentiful and are located in all the major towns and villages across Dorset including Beaminster, Blandford Forum, Bridport, Charmouth, Christchurch, Corfe Castle, Dorchester, Gillingham, Lyme Regis, Portland, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Stalbridge, Sturminster Newton, Swanage, Wareham, West Bay, West Bexington, Weymouth and Wimborne Minster.
Off-street parking (car parks)
Dorset Council operates parking for cars, coaches, motorcycles and motorhomes covering the whole county, with the exception of Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and Swanage. Parking charges apply in most car parks 7 days a week between 8am and 6pm (please check individual car park information). When visiting the council website, you can search for parking for a variety of different vehicle types, i.e. motorbikes or motorhomes, as well as facilities including toilets and electric vehicle charging.
At Dorset Council car parks you can pay for parking using your mobile phone by calling or texting JustPark (you'll need to register before using this service). You can also download the JustPark app to your smartphone for quick, online parking payments.
If you are parking in Bournemouth, Poole or Christchurch you can use PayByPhone, JustPark or RingGo to pay for parking. You'll be able to pay by mobile phone by calling or texting and you can also download the appropriate Apps to your phone. Further information is available about Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch car parks.
In Swanage you can pay for parking using your mobile phone by calling or texting JustPark (you'll need to register before using this service). You can also download the JustPark app to your smartphone for quick, online parking payments. Further information is available about Swanage car parks.
Please note that there are a lot more car parks in Dorset, that are run by town and parish councils or private businesses. The majority of the car parks are pay and display, but some are free of charge; please check on arrival.
Most car park ticket machines across the county will accept cash. Some machines will also accept payment by card (chip and pin or contactless payment) and some will also accept payment by phone, text or smartphone App.
Roadside parking may at times be free, but there could be time restrictions on how long or when you can park in that location. Wherever you choose to park, please look out for signs and parking meters before leaving your vehicle - some parking meters will also tell you what type of vehicle can only be parked in that location (for example, cars only).
Parking for Motorhomes
Dorset Council, BCP Council and Swanage Town Council provide a number of car parks within the county suitable for motorhomes to park in.
Over 25 car parks in the Dorset Council area (which does not include Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Swanage) welcome motorhomes measuring under 6 metres as well as over 6 metres. On the Dorset Council website you can view a map of all council operated car parks which can be filtered to show just the ones which accept motorhomes. You can also filter the map to show short or long stay parking, as well as other facilities such as car parks with public toilets. When you click on one of the car parks, it will provide more information about which sized motorhomes are accepted as well as how long you can stay for and what are the charges. For additional information about Dorset Council operated car parks, you can contact Parking Services.
There are an additional 6 car parks in the towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, operated by BCP Council, which accept motorhomes. In Bournemouth, Kings Park and Queens Road car parks welcome large vehicles including motorhomes. In Christchurch, the car parks at Highcliffe Castle and Steamer Point accept motorhomes - please note there is a height restriction barrier at Steamer Point. In Poole, parking for motorhomes is available in Harbourside and Seldown car parks. For additional information about BCP Council operated car parks, you can contact BCP Council directly.
In Swanage, motorhomes are welcome at the Main Beach car park on Victoria Avenue. This car park is operated by Swanage Town Council and is close to the beach, town centre and Swanage Railway Station. There are public toilets including wheelchair accessible toilets at this car park.
Park and Ride
There are 4 places where you can park your car and then ride a bus or train onto another destination.
Weymouth Park & Ride for Weymouth Town Centre and Beach. Free parking and charge applies for the bus.
Lyme Regis Park and Ride for Lyme Regis town centre and beach, as well as Charmouth. Free parking and charge applies for the bus.
Kings Park at Bournemouth for Boscombe Beach. Charge for parking applies with a free bus.
Poole Civic Centre for Sandbanks Beach. Free parking and charge applies for the bus.
Purbeck Park for Corfe Castle and Swanage. Charges apply for parking as well as onwards travel by bus or train.
Electric car charging points
There are numerous EV charging points in council operated car parks and towns across Dorset. Some supermarkets offer electric charging points too, so you can charge your car while picking up some groceries.
Use the Zap Map website to locate all the chargepoints available in Dorset.
Blue Badge holders
Information can be found about parking with the use of a disability blue badge in the Dorset Council area.
Information is also available for parking for blue badge holders in Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch.
Charges do not apply to blue badge holders in any National Trust car park.