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Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

new york
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Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

Hello

Planning a summer holiday in early July - with our 3 young kids (<5). Based on a success in another country last year, we're looking for:

1. A nice sandy beach within walking distance where we can "plug in" our kids for a morning or so. A pebble beach or shingle is not acceptable

2. A shop within walking distance

3. Nice sea views - preferably from our accomadation

4. Relaxation, relaxation....no busy stuff. slooooww pace of life. Mammy + Daddy want to just crash. No big cities need apply. And definitely don't want to meet lager louts. Retirees seem to make great neighbours...

5. interesting stuff within an hour's drive for an occasional jaunt for the kids or if its raining.

Anyway, we're pretty sold on Coastal Dorset - and was wondering about these 3.

Do Lyme and Swanage get busy? Some of the forum posts talk of parking being tight. How good are the beaches there? (basically, I was shocked at how rare sand appears to be in Dorsetshire).

Burton Bradstock seems to have a beautiful coastline but might be too rural unless you're in the Village. Also seem to be a lot of caravan parks around.

dorset
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1. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

Burton Bradstock is out straight away as it sits on an 18 mile long pebble ridge!

Swanage has a good safe sandy beach but is a typical run down British Seaside resort firmly stuck in the past !

Lyme Regis has a small but safe sandy beach and a larger pebble beach-also safe with reasonable parking and some of the letting properties have views to die for.The Hix Oyster Bar probably has one of the finest terrace views in the world.Shops are varied,ineresting and all in mainly one street - only drawback is it is a hilly town-you have to go uphill from any where to get out!!!Lyme gets very busy during the school holidays but never seems to be overcrowded unlike Swanage .Plenty to see and do within 25 miles-Free visit to the Donkey Sanctuary is a real treat and Beer Caves are good value and very seldom crowded.

Basingstoke, United...
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2. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

Weymouth has a long and mostly sandy beach with lots to do - even in wet weather.

Unless you find accomodation near the beach in Lyme Regis (which is unlikely) parking is a nightmare. The sandy part of the beach gets very crowded in the summer months.

Have you thought about Exmouth? A little further along the coast and in East Devon, but a lovely long sandy beach with lots for kids to do (and mostly retired people living there!) Plenty of space on this beach for privacy, and the views are wonderful.

Edited: 11:30 am, January 02, 2012
Somerset, UK
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3. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

I would agree With Ropeseller. Lyme is one of my favourite places. It does get busy with difficult parking in high season but in early July you'll just miss that. The beach is small but it is beautiful little town. If you can get parking with your accommodation, then you should be fine.

If you are thinking about the Dorset coast, what about Weymouth? It has a nice beach, plenty to do and is not as run down as Swanage. However you will be there just before the Olympic sailing events which start on 29 July and I am not sure how this would affect things.

Southampton
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4. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

My favourite of those places is Lyme, but 95% of the beach is rocky (where you find all those fossils, which is great fun). As mentioned above, the sandy section gets very buy in school holidays, and the entire place is steep.

Swanage is even busier than Lyme, but has a sandy beach. It also has a steam railway to Corfe Castle. This is a very impressive ruin (and I have to say I nearly crashed the car the first time I saw the castle from the road! It;s very impressive, and I was getting slower and slower just looking...)

If you like small, flat, sandy and full of pensioners, have you thought about the Isle of Wight? Sandown on the south-side has a HUGE sandy beach where you can walk for miles, and no-where on the island is more than half an hour away. It's easy to think you're in the 1950s. There are lots of kids activities, like fossil hunting, the zoo, Amazon World, etc.

islandbreaks.co.uk/site/about-the-isle-of-wi…

Hampshire
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5. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

Reading your criteria I couldn't recommend any of the three places listed.

Lyme, does have a small sandy beach but it gets dirty and crowded very quickly and the other beaches are pebbles. It's very hilly, and not a lot to occupy kids if it rains.

Burton Bradstock is situated the west side of the Chesil Bank and the entire beach is shingle. A nice enough village but if it rains there's nothing to occupy kids.

Swanage is a little run down it does however have a sandy beach but little else to recommend it.

If it's a sandy beach in Dorset you want then the best is Weymouth, miles of sand and a safe beach with plenty to do in Weymouth if it rains. Whats more it is right in the middle of everywhere else you suggest. About twenty miles to the west is Lyme and twenty miles to the east is Swanage, so both are easily visited.

One thing to bear in mind though is that all the yachting events for the Olympics are being held in Weymouth so make sure your visit does not clash.

new york
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6. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

Hello all,

Many thanks indeed for all of your helpful replies!!! I think you may have saved us some disappointments and given us a good steer.

We'll take a good hard look at the Isle of Wight, Weymouth and Exmouth. Unfortunately, it looks like a "seculded sandy" beach is hard to find in Dorset.

On Exmouth, I realise this is the Dorset forum, but any other suggestions in this area. Teignmouth was mentioned to me .....

Cheers again.....

Basingstoke, United...
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7. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

Exmouth beach is much better than Teignmouth.

It is several miles of nice sand and you can walk all along it.

What sort of accomodation are you looking for? There are nice appartments for rental within the marina - you can then walk to the beach very easily.

Lots of play parks and other things for young kids, and you can take the train to Exeter and see the cathedral should it rain.

When the tide is out you can collect shells in the estuary.

new york
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8. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

Thanks for nice comments on Exmouth. Basically, we're looking for self-catering.....

We'll check out Exmouth

Cambs
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9. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

"Next door" to Lyme Regis is Charmouth which has fulfills your beach requirement and has parking within easy reach of the beach. Also. a small range of shops (more shopping in Bridport a few miles further east).

Basingstoke, United...
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10. Re: Lyme Regis vs Swanage vs Burton Bradstock

But Charmouth is a stoney beach!

Can recommend Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays for Exmouth.

Also Sidmouth has lots of sand when the tide is out.