How to choose a holiday rental in Dorset that offers access to private beaches?

Planning your dream holiday in the beautiful region of Dorset? Undeniably, one of the most significant decisions you'll need to make is where to stay. Thankfully, Dorset is home to an array of stunning coastal cottages, with some even offering access to private beaches. This article is designed to make your choice an easy one, guiding you on how to pick the perfect Dorset cottage with unparalleled beach access.

1. Consider the Size and Availability of the Cottage

When choosing a holiday rental in Dorset that provides access to a private beach, the first factor you should consider is the size of the cottage. This is dependent on the number of people you’re travelling with. Dorset is renowned for its diverse cottages, ranging from cozy one-bedroom options to larger houses with multiple bedrooms that can comfortably sleep larger groups.

Start by establishing how many bedrooms you require, keeping in mind that everyone in your party deserves a comfortable and relaxing space. Remember, your holiday should be a time to unwind and rejuvenate, and that starts with a good night's sleep.

Next, you’ll want to ensure that the cottage of your choice has availability for your preferred holiday dates. This might seem obvious, but it is a crucial step that should not be overlooked. Many cottages in Dorset, especially those with access to private beaches, are often booked months in advance. So, don't wait! Once you've found a cottage that ticks all your boxes, secure your booking.

2. Evaluate the Location and Proximity to the Beach

The location of your holiday cottage is integral to your overall experience. Dorset is well-known for its Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site that boasts 95 miles of stunning coastline, so you are spoilt for options. However, finding a cottage that offers access to a private beach could take your holiday experience to a whole new level.

Consider cottages situated in towns like Weymouth, famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and sea views, or those close to the more rugged coastline near Jurassic Coast. Ensure your chosen cottage offers a direct or very close access to the beach, to maximize your beach time and minimize commuting.

Having a beach at your doorstep means early morning swims, sunset walks, and uninterrupted ocean views right from your cottage. It's not just about the convenience, it's about capturing those priceless holiday moments.

3. Check for On-Site Parking and Accessibility

Holiday cottages in Dorset vary greatly in terms of parking facilities and overall accessibility. As such, make sure to check what each property offers. On-site parking is a considerable convenience, especially if you are planning to explore other parts of the county.

Remember, Dorset isn't just about the beaches – there's an abundance of attractions and landmarks to visit. From the historic Corfe Castle to the iconic Durdle Door, a vehicle can provide much-needed flexibility, and having safe and secure parking at your cottage is essential.

Evaluating the cottage's accessibility is also key, particularly for those travelling with elderly family members or those with mobility challenges. Check if the cottage is wheelchair-friendly if needed, or if it has ground-floor bedrooms for easy access.

4. Take into Account the Cottage's Amenities

When choosing your holiday cottage, pay close attention to its amenities. It’s not just about having a roof over your head, it's about creating a home away from home.

A cottage with a well-equipped kitchen allows you to whip up meals with local Dorset produce purchased from nearby markets. A garden offers the perfect setting for alfresco dinners and a chance for children to play freely.

Some cottages even come with their own games rooms and other leisure facilities, ensuring that there's something to keep everyone entertained, regardless of the weather.

Remember, even though you are on a beach holiday, having indoor amenities can significantly enhance your overall experience.

5. Look for Pet-Friendly Options

Lastly, if you plan to bring your furry friend along for the holiday, make sure to check if the cottage is pet-friendly. Many Dorset cottages welcome pets, but it's still important to confirm this before booking.

Having a private beach can be a bonus for your pet too, offering them plenty of space to run around and enjoy the great outdoors. Plus, many parts of the Dorset coast are dog-friendly, so your pet can join in on the beach fun.

Choosing a pet-friendly cottage ensures that your entire family, including your beloved pet, enjoys a wonderful and memorable holiday in Dorset.

6. Find Out Specific Details and Ask for Recommendations

There are other factors that you might consider important when choosing your ideal holiday cottage. For instance, the number of bathrooms in the cottage can be just as vital as the number of bedrooms, especially if you're travelling with a sizable group. Be sure to enquire about these details when you're on the hunt for suitable options in Dorset.

Also, don't forget that personal recommendations can be incredibly useful. If you have friends or relatives who have previously stayed in a Dorset holiday cottage with beach access, ask them for their suggestions. They can provide firsthand insight into the quality, comfort, and location of various options. Plus, they might be able to highlight aspects you hadn't considered, like the friendliness of the cottage owners or the view from the main bedroom.

Inquire about the presence of luxuries that could make your stay extra special, such as a hot tub, a wine cooler, or perhaps a wood-burning stove for those cozy nights in. Remember, it's these little things that could transform your holiday from good to great.

7. Make the Most of Your Stay

Once you've finally chosen your dream cottage with beach access in Dorset, it's time to make the most of your stay! Whether your cottage is located in Lyme Regis, Swanage, or along the Jurassic Coast, the picturesque landscapes and sea views will be more than enough to make your holiday memorable.

Take full advantage of your private beach. Imagine waking up to the sound of crashing waves, heading for a refreshing morning swim or a stroll on the beach with your dog. There's no denying the joy that comes from having a beach right outside your doorstep.

Explore the region's attractions, like the iconic Durdle Door or Lulworth Cove. Venture out to local markets and bring back fresh Dorset produce to prepare in your holiday cottage kitchen. And at the end of each day, retire to your comfortable cottage, perhaps enjoying an alfresco dinner in your garden or a restful evening in a hot tub.


Choosing the perfect holiday rental in Dorset that offers access to private beaches can seem daunting initially, but by taking these factors into account, you're sure to find a place that ticks all your boxes. Consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the proximity to the beach, the available amenities, and whether or not it's pet-friendly.

Don't forget to ask for recommendations and enquire about the finer details that could make your stay extra special. Lastly, once you've found your ideal cottage, make sure to soak up all the beauty and tranquillity that Dorset's coast offers. Here's to an unforgettable holiday in the United Kingdom's most scenic county!