West Bay Storm rockfall

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Beach Safety

We pride ourselves on the stunning Jurassic Coastline that towers along the West Dorset coast. It’s a beautiful place to walk and enjoy a day out, however it must be understood that these historical cliffs are prone to cracking, which can lead to rock falls.

In many respects, the rock falls have made the coastline the attractive feature that is admired by so many tourists to this day, but they do pose significant risk. Cliff falls can occur at any time of year, day or night, but are especially likely after periods of heavy rain and storms with large waves.

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Please take care when walking under or near the cliffs and read the various warning signs which are situated at key locations. Keep away from recent falls and if your children are looking for fossils, please remember the danger of further falls, soft ground and the tide. When walking along the cliff top please stay on the designated footpaths and stay clear of the edges and any cracks. On beaches such as Burton Bradstock, Charmouth, Eype, Seatown and West Bay,  we recommend enjoying your days in the sections that aren’t beneath large cliff faces. It is often suggested that a safe walking distance from cliffs is to stay roughly the height of the cliff away from the base. Sometimes the tide doesn’t allow this, so it’s safer to stick to other sections of the beach. At times, it has been necessary to close certain sections of the South West Coast Path after rock falls, so please follow any diversions and do not attempt to follow the usual path route in this instance.

We would like to also make our guests aware that the sea can have a very strong current. There can be steep drops especially near the shoreline, so water depth can increase suddenly at certain beaches. Tides can change very quickly along with the weather conditions. Inflatables should be used with care, and wearing bouyancy aids is strongly advised. Children must be supervised at all times when near or in the water. Please treat all the beaches with respect and you will have a very enjoyable time.

Many of the beaches along the Jurassic coast are not supervised by lifeguards and if an incident should occur please call 999 and ask for the emergency services, which includes the coastguard and ambulance.

We’ve signed up to become Beach Safety Ambassadors for the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea and are proud to be helping promote their beach safety information. The Jurassic Coast Trust also has helpful information on how to stay safe on the Jurassic Coast.