Equally famous for its unique geology as for its jaw-dropping beaches and scenery, we recommend eight holiday locations for a Dorset staycation along the stunningly beautiful Jurassic Coast.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, The Jurassic Coast showcases 185 million years of the Earth’s natural history. Here you can uncover ancient relics on guided fossil hunts, explore characterful seaside towns, enjoy a clifftop walk along the South West Coast Path, soak up some famous Dorset sunshine on one of the many family-friendly beaches or enjoy world class food and water sports on a luxury Dorset staycation.

However you choose to experience this fascinating coastline, you’ll find a huge choice of accommodation on offer, so we’ve handpicked some of the best options available, be that a glamorous clifftop villa in Bournemouth with room for extended family or friends, an immaculate waterside apartment in Lyme Regis with panoramic sea views or a pet-friendly thatched cottage in one of Dorset’s quintessential coastal villages.

Panorama House, Bournemouth

Living up to its name this impressive light-filled cliff-top property enjoys fabulous coastal views and direct access to seven miles of golden sandy beach via a private tree-lined chine (or pre-historic riverbed). Found in a leafy suburb of Bournemouth this is a great choice for families with teens who can dip in and out of the shops, bars and water sports.

Sleeps 12, dog-friendly.  Prices from £5,837 per week. thecollectiononline.co.uk

The Old Post Office, Morcombelake

A lovingly restored, immaculate thatched cottage in a sleepy Dorset village a few miles from the sea.  Wander down country lanes and footpaths to the beautiful National Trust land at Golden Cap or hop in the car and head to nearby Charmouth for beach days and the Charmouth Heritage Centre which organises guided fossil hunting and rock pooling walks along the coast.

Sleeps eight, dog-friendly. Prices from £874 per week. toadhallcottages.co.uk

Old Hill House, Portland

Thanks to its elevated position on a hillside on the Isle of Portland, this impressive property enjoys uninterrupted views of Chesil Beach, Lyme Bay and Portland Harbour. Exuding comfort, space and style for a Dorset staycation, Old Hill House is the perfect haven from which to enjoy beach days, boat trips and water sports and to explore the Jurassic Coast on foot, with the South West Coast Path running directly past the property.

Sleeps eight, dog-friendly.  Prices from £1,108 per week. thecollectiononline.co.uk

Things to do in Dorset

The Summer House, Sandbanks

The Summer House is a quiet oasis on Sandbanks, the ultra-exclusive enclave at the mouth of Poole Harbour famous for its long sandy beaches, luxurious properties and celebrity residents. With a large balcony that wraps around the house taking in the fabulous harbour views, this elegant property is set in a secluded location surrounded by lush gardens yet within easy reach of the world class watersports, shops and restaurants.

Sleeps six, dog-friendly. Prices from £1,718 per week. rumseyofsandbanks.co.uk

Lichen Cottage, Lulworth

Within walking distance of both Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, Lichen Cottage in the pretty village of West Lulworth is perfectly placed for families wanting to explore these iconic Jurassic Coast sites. Light, bright and very comfortable, this is the perfect base for holidays packed full of beach days, fossil hunts, coastal walks, and discovering more about this fascinating area at the Lulworth Visitor Centre.

Sleeps six, dog-friendly. Prices from £751 per week. toadhallcottages.co.uk

Alcove View, Lyme Regis

For traditional seaside charm, nothing beats the pretty beaches of Lyme Regis backed by a bustling promenade and historic pubs and restaurants. Drink in the stunning coastal views from Alcove View, a fabulous apartment in the heart of this famous Dorset town with everything you need on your doorstep. Buy fossils in the many specialist shops in town or find your own on an organised fossil walk, laze on the beach, enjoy fishing trips and watersports or the simple pleasure of a fresh crab sandwich sitting on the wall of The Cobb.

Sleeps six. Prices from £1,020 per week. toadhallcottages.co.uk

No. 7 Sandcastles, Sandbanks

Back on the Sandbanks peninsula, just a short stroll from the white sandy beaches and many excellent restaurants, No.7 is a penthouse apartment with a fresh stylish interior and a stunning roof terrace. Spend relaxing days on the beach or hop on a ferry to Brownsea Island or the Isle of Purbeck before heading back to your apartment for sundowners on the terrace.

Sleeps four, dog-friendly. Prices from £921 per week. rumseyofsandbanks.co.uk

Lyme Cordial, Lyme Regis

Fling back the huge bi-fold doors of this bright and breezy beach chalet at Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis and take in the uninterrupted views across Lyme Bay. With the beach on your doorstep, you can take peaceful morning swims, enjoy lazy beach days, sift through the pebbles for ammonites or wander into Lyme Regis for boat trips, shops and excellent restaurants.

Sleeps four. Prices from £547 per week. toadhallcottages.co.uk