Parking in Dorset
Parking for cars, coaches, motorcycles 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 and motorhomes, as well as facilities including toilets and electric vehicle charging.
At Dorset Council car parks you can pay for parking using your phone by calling or texting JustPark (you'll need to register before using this service). You can also download the JustPark app to your phone 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 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 phone by calling or texting JustPark (you'll need to register before using this service). You can also download the JustPark app to your phone 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 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.
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 be careful to 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).
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.