Places To Go - Gateway Towns
As well as being ideal points of access to the Jurassic Coast, Gateway Towns provide a whole range of services for visitors. Each town is also a destination in its own right.
The official Gateway Towns to the Jurassic Coast have road signs which you will clearly see as you enter the towns concerned.
All the towns featured in the following list - not just the Gateway Towns - will help make your visit special.
Old and new lie side by side to make Exeter a rich and vibrant city.
Exmouth, at the estuary's mouth, marks the World Heritage Coastline's western gateway and despite being one of England's oldest resorts, remains untouched by commercialism.
This tranquil and historic seaside town nestles on the edge of a pebble beach beneath spectacular red cliffs, made famous by literary giants such as Noel Coward, P.G. Woodhouse and Anthony Trollope.
Sidmouth still has a unique charm, which has captivated thousands. Beautiful gardens, leisurely walks, Regency history, fine hotels, clean beaches and friendly shops - it's all here in this lovely seaside town.
The picturesque village of Branscombe is said to be the longest in the country, sweeping down a spectacular valley, past colourful thatched cottages with hanging baskets and climbing roses, down to the sea and a shingle beach.
Ottery St Mary
Ottery St Mary is a little town with a long history. Ottery's roots run deeper than Doomsday Book. In 1061, Edward the Confessor ceded the already established wealthy manor of Oterie to the Cathedral Chapter of Rouen.
Honiton is famous for lace making and is also a major centre for antiques, with shops devoted to furniture, art and second-hand books.
Nestling in a small valley, lies the delightful, 'picture postcard', fishing village of Beer.
Tucked away in the south eastern corner of Devon, is the beautiful, unspoilt Axe Valley. At the mouth of the River Axe is the friendly, coastal resort of Seaton.
A ten minute walk along the coast from Seaton is the ancient harbour of Axmouth, home to the Sea Discovery Centre.
Axminster, is a pleasant market town with charm and character. Its famous carpet industry was started in 1755, by Thomas Whitty whose factory produced high quality, custom made carpets for stately homes and mansions.
The seaside town of Lyme Regis nestles in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the point where the rugged West Dorset and East Devon coastlines meet - the heart of the Jurassic Coast.
Charmouth is a quiet seaside hamlet where time has stood still - the perfect location for a relaxing holiday. It is the best place along the Jurassic Coast to look for fossils.
Bridport is a small market town with a warm welcome and a world renowned rope and net making industry.
Just south of Bridport is the pretty harbour village of West Bay, once known as Bridport Harbour.
This very old village, settled amongst the hills behind the great Chesil Bank, is world famous for its swannery.
Portland is an explorer's island with beautiful scenery and a mysterious quality of isolation, joined only to the mainland by Chesil Beach.
Weymouth has so much to offer every visitor. Its fame as a seaside resort dates back over 200 years when King George III holidayed here.
Dorchester is a historic market town with its roots in Roman times; however it is most famously associated with Thomas Hardy. With its elegant 18th century houses, broad Walks and bustling shopping streets, Dorchester has much to offer the visitor.
Lulworth Cove is a stunning, textbook perfect, cove and the landscape surrounding it is some of the most outstanding in Britain.
Long rock ledges, a pebbled beach line and rocky outcrops all make this bay stunning.
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The gentle shelving beach at Swanage, with its Victorian pier and fabulous views across to the Needles on the Isle of Wight, is hugely popular with families.
The lovely village of Studland is famous for its National Nature Reserve and beautiful natural bay. The village has an interesting Norman church with breathtaking views across the bay.
This section is being developed.
Wareham is a fascinating and picturesque market town which dates back over 2000 years.
Poole Harbour is the second largest harbour in the world after Sydney, Australia. The Quay is a hive of activity all year round with a huge array of fishing boats, yachts, powerboats and pleasure cruisers.
Bournemouth is a superb resort and offers something for everyone.