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Charmouth - Perfect for an autumn break

13th September 2012 Print
Charmouth Beach

For couples and families considering an autumn break or looking to book a holiday for 2013, the pretty, unspoilt Dorset coastal village of Charmouth is the perfect choice.

At the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast with one of the most beautiful coastlines of Britain, Charmouth retains a graceful, old fashioned charm, perfect for a traditional holiday.

The beach is ideal for families with clean sea, safe swimming, sand at mid/low tides and occasional surf. There really are not many better places to be on an autumn day, when summer crowds have departed, and you can take in the view past soaring cliffs to Portland Bill in the East and, on a clear day, westwards to Devon's English Riviera. The beach is easy to access, with parking, toilets and refreshments.

The Jurassic Coast (the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site) is England's first natural World Heritage Site, unique for the geological 'walk through time' spanning the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods clearly visible in its cliffs. The area's fascinating geology and the excitement of fossil hunting draw people of all ages. The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre runs guided fossil hunting walks throughout the year offering an excellent introduction to the many types of fossils to be found along the shore, and the Centre, housed in a converted cement factory at the beach, also hosts a permanent fossil exhibition. In case of an unsuccessful search, there are two fossil shops in the village - one under the Centre and another at the top end of the main street - where you can buy local fossils and admire some of the rarer finds of recent years.

Charmouth is surrounded by great walking country with an abundance of public footpaths and National Trust land. Whether you prefer gentle strolls or more demanding hikes you will find walks with fabulous scenery through unspoiled countryside. A favourite one is from Charmouth to Seatown via Golden Cap. This 4 mile coast walk has several steep ascents and descents but the view from Golden Cap - the highest point on the South Coast - is absolutely stunning. From Golden Cap to Seatown is all downhill. The Anchor Inn at Seatown is an excellent place to rest awhile and refuel, and a further ¾ mile walk inland leads to the bus route back to Charmouth. The X53 bus runs along the coast from Poole to Seaton then across to Exeter and is a good way to explore the area. Visit for more details of walking this spectacular coastline.

Other local activities include a state of the art fitness centre at Manor Farm Holiday Park, and the Tunnel Target Sports Centre, built in an old road tunnel just outside the village, has 25m and 50m firing ranges with a new 100m range under construction. There are swimming pools open to the public at three of the holiday parks. Further afield are plenty of attractions for all tastes, including the Abbotsbury Swannery, Seaton Tramway, Beer Quarry Caves, Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary and Lyme Regis, with its quaint streets and famous Cobb harbour, and the larger towns of Weymouth, Dorchester, Exeter and Sidmouth are all within 25 miles. For those who fancy taking to the water, there is also a choice of fishing trips and wildlife cruises.

The village has accommodation options for all budgets. There are several bed & breakfasts and three small hotels, including the award winning White House hotel, the restaurant of which achieved a Taste of The West Gold Award last year. Four holiday parks cater for camping and caravanning and self-catering options include a selection of holiday cottages and lodges.

Shops in the village include a butcher, a baker and a well-stocked grocery store offering just about all you need on holiday, so there's no need to load up with supplies before you leave home. Many enjoy soaking up the village atmosphere in the other local shops and eating at one of the village pubs or cafes. There is an excellent fish and chip shop and the holiday parks also serve food to non-residents. Charmouth's excellent website - - gives a wealth of information on accommodation, events, walks, shops and the food and drink options in the village.

Why not visit, browse the gallery of photographs and find all the information you need to plan your break.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Charmouth Beach