I’m lucky enough to live on the beautiful south coast of England, with places like the Jurassic Coast right on my doorstep.

The British countryside never ceases to amaze me, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to stunning coastlines and varied landscapes.

And for this reason, I decided to go and take a Dorset Coast camping trip.

I’ll be testing out my brand-new camping gear from Go Outdoors, and bringing along my trusty camping companion, Balou (my dog).

Dorset Coast Camping: Introduction

Before going through the main details, let’s discuss some essentials that you should know before visiting.

What is the Jurassic Coast?

The Jurassic Coast stretches nearly 100 miles from Exmouth to Swanage and was rightly added to the World Heritage List in 2001.

The rock formations and fossil findings here are fascinating and attract geologists, palaeontologists and archaeologists from all over the world.

How to Get to the Dorset Coast?

If you’re traveling by car, the Dorset Coast is well-connected via major motorways and A roads. From London, you can take the M3, then the M27 west, and finally follow the A31 into Dorset.

The journey typically takes around 2 to 3 hours.

For those preferring public transport, regular train services run from London Waterloo to various Dorset coastal towns like Weymouth, Poole, and Bournemouth, with the journey taking approximately 2 to 3 hours.

Once in Dorset, local bus services, like the Jurassic Coast bus service, provide an excellent way to explore the coastline.

Best Time to Go Dorset Coast Camping

The best time for camping on the Dorset Coast is between late spring and early autumn, particularly from May to September. During these months, you’ll enjoy milder weather and longer daylight hours, ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the coast.

The summer months of July and August are especially popular, offering the warmest weather, perfect for beach activities and coastal walks. However, these are also the busiest months, so booking your campsite in advance is advisable.

Late spring (May to June) and early autumn (September) are great for those seeking a quieter camping experience. The weather is still pleasant, and you’ll find fewer crowds, which is an added bonus.

Camping in Dorset

First things first, find yourself a good campsite. Although it is sometimes tolerated, wild camping in England is illegal and permission must be gained from the land owner.

There are many good campsites in Dorset with hot showers, clean toilets and plenty of space if you avoid hot bank holiday weekends!

Many campsites will require a membership to Freedom Camping during the week or to simply turn up and pitch. Membership is free, and you can also search campsites on their website.

I wanted somewhere dog friendly with a view, and so chose Acton Fields Campsite, close by to everything I wanted to see.

When I arrived I instantly knew I’d made the right decision, I could see as far as the Needles on the Isle of Wight, and there was a spot overlooking the campsite that had my name all over it. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, and the toilets and showers were clean. Perfect.

My Camping Gear

I’ve been keen to test out my new Go Outdoors camping gear and this was the perfect place to do it. It was the first time using the Hi Gear Voyager Elite 6.

Yes, this tent sleeps 6 people, and I am here alone with a dog. I wanted to see if I can set it up by myself, and guess what? It was tough, but I did it!

It has so much space but it’s also very practical, with compartments for your belongings and that much needed full standing height outside the bedrooms. I also found it very easy to air, with two doors and numerous vents, which with our summer heatwave was much appreciated. 

I tried a new Hi Gear “Snooz” sleeping bag, and the Outwell Dreamcatcher self-inflating mattress. The sleeping bag was perfect and gave me room to move which I really appreciate, and the mattress is a game changer!

It’s lightweight and uses a combination of air and foam, meaning the foam naturally expands. That alone was soft enough, and you can then top it up with more air if you like. It was so easy to use and much better than any airbed I’ve used in the past.

Places to Visit on the Dorset Coast

I’ve listed my favourite spots so far on the Jurassic Coast, but this is not an extensive list! I am still finding new spots to explore and will update this article as I go.

All of these spots are nearby to the camping site mentioned above, but I’d love any recommendations you have and welcome suggestions in the comments section below.

Durdle Door

This is one of my favourites, and it’s a must visit on the Jurassic Coast. The large car park is just a 10-minute walk away and has a few useful facilities like toilets and food vans.

However, be warned it is also one of the most popular spots! People flock here when the sun is out, and there’s often a few school groups learning about erosion of the cliffs. I suggest getting here for early morning if you’re not here to sun bath.

Be warned that it can be dangerous if you don’t stick to marked paths, and always keep your dog on a lead anywhere near the cliffs. Be sure to wander down to Man of War Bay too, crystal clear waters and sheltered from the wind.

Old Harry Rocks

I wanted to take Balou here first, but the heat was too much and I (rather sensibly) turned back as despite carrying water, Balou was too hot.

Old Harry Rocks is a bit of a walk from Swanage or Studland, and there’s a lot of uphill with little shelter from the wind, rain or sun. I find them fascinating, they used to connect to the Isle of Wight and over millions of years have eroded away.

I’ve been a couple of times, but desperately want to get that drone shot, like this one below.

Lulworth Cove

Just along the road from Durdle Door you find Lulworth Cove. In fact, there’s a nice walk connecting them both which I recommend.

The village of Lulworth itself is gorgeous, with little tea houses and picturesque buildings. But to really get a view of the cove, you’ll need to hike up the west side or fly a drone!

Chapman’s Pool

One of the lesser known spots and my hidden gem, it’s not the easiest to find and you can only reach it by foot or boat, but it’s worth it. There’s a beautiful walk overlooking the bay, where I watched the sunset below.

You’ll pass Emmett’s Hill and the Royal Marine’s war memorial if you walk far enough, and if you’re fit enough head down to the beach.

There are typically less visitors than other spots, and if you go head for the Renscombe car park nearby, it’s completely free and there’s a public footpath through the farmland straight to the cove.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my favourite spots on the Jurassic Coast, what are yours? Did you go to any of the above? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

My camping trip was supported and sponsored by Go Outdoors, however as always, all the photos, views and reviews are my own, and the trip planning and video ideas were all mine 🙂

Conclusion – Jurassic Coast & Dorset Coast Camping

In conclusion, camping along the Jurassic and Dorset Coast offers an unforgettable experience, and I certainly loved my time here.

The accessibility of the Dorset Coast, with straightforward routes by car or public transport, makes this an ideal destination for both weekend getaways and longer trips.

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17 thoughts on “Jurassic Coast & Dorset Coast Camping: 2024 Guide

  1. Tim says:

    Love the video! You and your dog look like you’re having a blast! Your camping gear looks cool and I’m in the market for some so definitely will check out that Go Outdoors.

  2. Scott Summers says:

    I love the the way you presented your stuff. I am not a fan of camping outdoors but with these views I would not mind doing it.

  3. Feddy says:

    I tell myself all the time that life is beautiful and I’m always looking out for fun things to do which camping is one of it.camping on Jurassic coast will sure be delightful with all these beautiful places to explore. This is a very informative post.

  4. odimdavid says:

    The Jurassic coast camping was great. I wouldn’t have gone on my own but with friends if I was in your shoes. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  5. David Mureithi says:

    It’s fun camping on such a beautiful coast. I even love how you do your camping; you and your dog alone. That’s amazing.

  6. Rae says:

    The video was just amazing! I hope that I can go there someday and just camp with the lovely night sky. I would love to go and see Old Harry Rocks since it looks lovely. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

  7. Psyche Atinen says:

    I could lie on the grass in these marvelous fields all day and, still, I wouldn’t get enough of it. The plains are like carved out land blocks on their edges. The views and the breeze are like no other.

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