On this page you can find important information on travel restrictions, car parks, amenities and other facilities for key locations across the Jurassic Coast. We will do our best to bring you up to date information on travel. Please bear in mind that as the current situation is changing daily, at times we may not be able to bring you 100% accurate information.
As of 13th May 2020, the UK Government message for England changed to ‘Stay alert – Control the virus – Save lives’. From July 4th visitors have been able to return and stay overnight. In terms of gathering in outdoor spaces you should:
- only socialise indoors with members of up to 2 households ‒ this includes when dining out or going to the pub
- socialise outdoors in a group of up to 6 people from different households or up to 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household)
- not hold or attend celebrations of any size (such as parties or wedding receptions) where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing
Regardless of where you’re headed on the Jurassic Coast, remember to follow these three guiding principles:
- Expect it to be Different – These are extraordinary times, and as such the services, facilities, and amenities you normally associate with a visit to the coastline will be drastically different. Please take extra precaution around beach safety, and be sure to check Tide Times before heading to the beach.
- As a result, it is critical to Check Before You Travel. Please consider everything that might be relevant on a visit to the Jurassic Coast, and make provisions as such. For example – toilets and baby changing facilities are reduced, provision of food and drink (some food and drink outlets are still closed), and car parking. Please see below for site-specific information.
- Consider the Local Community – In Dorset and East Devon, we have been fortunate to have had a lower incidence of coronavirus compared to many other parts of the country. However, local communities are acutely aware of the potentially devastating impact the virus could have, and are continuing to take the lockdown restrictions very seriously. Please maintain social distancing, follow local regulations and road signs, and be considerate towards local residents when visiting the coast. Please be considerate when parking, and don’t block any gates or access roads.
The Jurassic Coast Trust Team
Our team are continuing to work from home, focusing on producing online content relating to the Jurassic Coast, which you can access here. We are also continuing to support our partner organisation across the coast, to ensure they can recover from the current situation and are still able to deliver their services to visitors.
Visiting the Coast with Dogs
Please note that restrictions relating to dogs on beaches werep back in force from Friday 22nd May. See our list of Dog Friendly Beaches for more info.
Staying Safe at the Coast & Countryside
If you’re planning a day trip to the Jurassic Coast, please refer to our Staying Safe page for important safety information. We also recommend reading Natural England’s updated Countryside Code for how to use outdoor spaces respectfully and safely during this period.
If you’re having a go at fossil collecting, please use caution and respect the natural environment.
Remember these golden rules:
· Stay away from the base of cliffs and the edge of the cliff top: rock falls can happen at any time.
· Check tide times before heading to the beach
· Be aware that no lifeguards will be on duty on the beaches
· The West Dorset Fossil Warden will not be on duty in the Charmouth and Lyme Regis area
· Follow our guidelines for responsible fossil collecting
Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove
These popular coastal sites in Purbeck, south east Dorset, are operated by the Lulworth Estate. Since the easing of lockdown these have been the most heavily used and congested beaches on the Jurassic Coast so please consider choosing another beach. There have been traffic and parking problems during days with hot weather.
At present, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove car parks are OPEN, operating with a signposted one way walk to help maintain social distancing. Durdle Door car park has to be booked in advance using Justpark.
The public toilet at Lulworth Cove is open and there is take away food available from a few outlets, as well as a small general store.
Studland Bay is a popular access point for Old Harry Rocks, the easternmost point of the Jurassic Coast. The major facilities and car parks here are operated by the National Trust.
The car parks and toilets at Shell Bay and Knoll Beach are OPEN but very busy.
There are limited spaces, so if the car park is full please come back another time. All other facilities at Studland Bay will remain closed until further notice.
The car park at Kimmeridge Bay is privately operated and is OPEN.
The Etches Collection reopened at the start of July with enhanced cleaning and visitor safety protocols.
Swanage & Durlston Country Park
Swanage is the Jurassic Coast’s easternmost town. At present, car parks are OPEN in the town for shopping.
Car parks on the beach and Broad Road (near Swanage Pier) are OPEN but likely to be busy. Please think carefully before heading here.
In addition, Durlston Country Park (which is at the top of the hill by Swanage) is open, with seated areas available in the cafe. For more information see Durlston Country Park‘s website.
Lyme Regis & Charmouth
These popular locations in west Dorset are usually famous for fossil hunting. Facilities and car parks here are operated by Dorset Council, the local town and parish councils, and some private operators.
As of 4th July there were public toilets open on Marine Parade and Monmouth Beach car park.
Four main car parks (Monmouth Beach, Charmouth Road, Woodmead and Holmbush) and two seafront toilet blocks will be OPEN, along with some other local services and facilities resuming, but with social distancing measures in place for the public’s protection.
Charmouth’s main beachside car park is now OPEN as well.
Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre reopens on Saturday 1st August from 11am-3pm. All their fossil walks for August are now fully booked, but you can still visit the centre for some tips on what to look for.
The beaches here are particularly sensitive to tides. Please check the daily Tide Times before heading out.
West Bay is a well-known coastal town in west Dorset, famous for its golden cliffs.
The major car parks in West Bay are operated by Dorset Council. The smaller car parks are open but the long stay carpark remains CLOSED as it is a temporary Coronavirus testing site- please think carefully before heading here as there is limited parking.
Please do not park on restricted areas outside of the car park or its entrance as this will result in tickets being issued. If travelling here, please refer to local signage for the latest information.
Golden Cap, Seatown & Langdon Hill Woods
Golden Cap in west Dorset is the highest point on England’s south coast. The car park at neighbouring Langdon Hill Woods is operated by the National Trust.
The car parks at Golden Cap will be open from Wednesday 13 May. Spaces are limited, so if the car park is full please come back another time.
The popular Anchor Inn pub in Seatown and its attendant car park is OPEN.
Hive Beach & Cogden Beach
Hive and Cogden Beaches in west Dorset are part of the National Trust’s Burton Bradstock site.
The car parks at both beaches will be open from Thursday 21 May. Spaces are limited, so if the car parks are full please come back another time.
Hive Beach Cafe is open for takeaways but the Seaside Boarding House remains closed.
If walking on the beach from Hive Beach towards West Bay, please take care and stay well away from the base of the cliffs, as rockfalls are known to happen along this stretch of coastline.
Seaton, Beer, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton & Exmouth
These five well-known towns and villages comprise the East Devon section of the Jurassic Coast.
The majority of car parks in these locations are operated by East Devon District Council. At present, all of these are OPEN, apart from the car park on Underfleet in Seaton (adjacent to Seaton Jurassic).
In addition, the council have decided to reopen 10 of the area’s public toilets by Friday 22 May. See their website for the full list.
Please note that visitor centres, attractions and museums in these locations remain closed.
If travelling to these areas, please observe social distancing and follow the guidelines outlined at the top of this page.