Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.
You’ve booked your holiday to Dorset. The cottage is waiting. Now to decide what you’re going to get up to during your trip to the Jurassic Coast.
Take a look through our list for some of the best places to visit and things to do while on a holiday in Charmouth.
A perennial favourite with families, Charmouth is an unspoilt seaside village at the mouth of the River Char on the Jurassic Coast, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has a fantastic beach which is world-renowned for its fossils as well as plenty of shops, pubs and cafés.
What will you do on your visit to Charmouth?
Read on to feel inspired.
A beautiful area of the Dorset coast with spectacular seascapes. Popular with fossil hunters, families and day-trippers, Charmouth Beach is made up of two beaches: the West Beach with both sand and shingle, and the East Beach, the more sandy end and is a good place to find small Ammonite and Belemnite fossils.
East Beach: No Dogs between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm during July and August. Unrestricted at all other times.
Central Beach: This covers the area from the River Char to the western end of the promenade. Dogs are not allowed here at any time between the 1st May and 30th Sept.
West Beach: Dogs are welcome on the beach from 1st May to 30th September but must be on leads. Unrestricted at all other times.
All of the above information was correct at time of writing. Please check out restrictions here before your visit.
Take a fossil hunting-walk along the coast at Charmouth. Options include a two-hour session with a Marine Warden from the Heritage Coast Centre or a guided walk with local geologist Chris Pamplin who has been guiding at Charmouth since 1997.
With free entry to the fabulous Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, you can see some amazing fossils, learn how to discover your very own fossils at the beach and get the chance to see the legendary Ichthyosaur – Attenborough’s Sea Dragon.
The highest point on the south coast, Golden Cap gets its name from the golden greensand rock ‘cap’ at the top of the cliff. Park up in the National Trust car park at the top of Stonebarrow Lane in Charmouth. This gives you the chance to explore the many footpaths and routes to the top, enjoying the spectacular views of the coast and countryside along the way.
The Tunnel Target Sports Centre is an indoor target shooting range with three ranges of 25m, 35m and 100m. The 25m and 35m ranges can be used with airguns, .22 or gallery rifles, and the 100m range is home to the UK’s only .50 calibre experience. Shooting experiences suitable for novice or experienced shooters are available for individuals or groups.
Charmouth Fish Bar and Pizzeria has a wide and varied menu using only the finest fish from certified sustainable waters. It does get very busy during peak season so to avoid delays it is best to pre-order before 5 pm for collection later. As they hold an alcohol license you can enjoy a local beer while your tea is cooking!
Take a trip to one of these two Charmouth pubs. Both are dog-friendly and cater for families - children are welcome with well-behaved adults - and they serve homecooked food made with fresh local produce. The Royal Oak is supplied by Palmers Ales which has its brewery in nearby Bridport, while The George is a free house serving a range of locally brewed beverages.
Take the footpath that follows the River Char to the uniquely named village of Whitchurch Canonicorum, about 2 miles from Charmouth. The footpath starts just over the A35 bypass bridge on the lane to Wootton Fitzpaine. On reaching Whitchurch take some time to visit the church of St. Candida and Holy Cross. ‘The Cathedral of the Vale’ contains the shrine of St. Whit (St. Candida), one of only two shrines in Britain to survive the Reformation.
If you need a place to lunch, drop by The Bank House for a meal or sample some of the fantastic cakes that are on offer for afternoon tea. They also have a stylish bar with a wine list, cocktail menu and an impressive array of gins, perfect for a drink in the evening.
Charmouth has great access to the South West Coastal Path. The X-53 Jurassic Coast bus service enables you to hop on and off at strategic points along the Jurassic Coast.
Need somewhere to stay in Charmouth?
If you haven’t booked yourself a holiday to the Jurassic Coast yet, what are you waiting for? Browse our excellent range of self-catering holiday homes and cottage throughout Charmouth and pick out the perfect retreat for you. Whether you are travelling to the area with your loved one for a romantic break or a break with friends and family, we have accommodation large and small to fit your chosen occasion.
What will you do on your holiday to Dorset? There are so many things to do in and around Charmouth. With so many places to visit in the area you will never be short of ideas, only time! Visit our guide hub for even more inspiration.