A ranking of Dorset seaside towns based on the quality of their beaches, attractions and value for money has been put together. Earlier this year, consumer champion Which? surveyed over 3,000 visitors, asking them to rate their experiences of visiting seaside towns in the last year.
Criteria included the quality of the beaches, food and drink offerings, tourist attractions and value for money. An overall customer score was then calculated as well as the average hotel rate in each town.
Their findings saw Bamburg in Northumberland named the best seaside destination in the UK. However, Dorset Live has picked out the five seaside towns from Dorset which made the list and ratings they received from holidaymakers.
Not early seaside town is on the list, with West Bay (Bridport), Mudeford, Charmouth, Lulworth, Seatown, and Studland not featuring at all.
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “Few countries can be home to such a diversity of brilliant seaside breaks as Britain. Whether you want world-class beaches and utter wilderness or the bright lights and bucket and spade atmosphere of a resort, the UK has a seaside break made for you.”
“What our survey shows is that it’s rarely the most famous destinations that visitors enjoy most. Try somewhere new this year and our survey shows you should find fewer crowds and better value.”
1. Lyme Regis
The top ranked Dorset seaside town is Lyme Regis – and it’s no surprise why.
Lyme Regis managed to secure four stars for its beaches, seafront, scenery, tourist attractions and peace and quiet but lost points on value for money. Surprisingly Lyme Regis only achieved three stars for food, despite being hailed as a “foodie” destination.
Overall, Lyme Regis had a customer score of 77%, with the average hotel rate being £129.
Swanage is a proper historic seaside town. Visitors can walk along the Victorian pier or seafront, ride a steam train through the countryside and gaze out over Swanage Bay from Durlston Castle.
It is no wonder Swanage has become a destination for tourists to explore and people love to visit every year. The town scored four stars for beaches, but only three for the seafront. However, it scored highly for peace and quiet, scenery and tourist attractions scoring an identical overall score to Lyme Regis of 77 percent.
Swanage has an average hotel rate of £123.
Weymouth found itself the third-best seaside town in Dorset. The town is home to the golden Weymouth Beach which has a Blue Flag award and is regularly recognised as among the best beach destinations in Europe. The town is also home to the iconic Nothe Fort which is steeped in history and a go to attraction whilst in the town.
It’s no wonder its beach and tourist attractions were given a four-star rating, while its food and drink, accommodation, value for money, scenery and shopping, all achieved three stars. Some visitors were disappointed with the peace and quiet and gave Weymouth only two stars overall.
To add to this, Weymouth only managed a customer score of 71% and has an average hotel rate of £104.
Poole is a vast seaside town with various suburbs, stunning beaches and of course the millionaire’s haven of Sandbanks. The village received four-star ratings for its beaches, tourist attractions, and accommodation.
There are three-star ratings across the board for scenery, seafront, food and drink. This resulted in a customer score of only 70%.
The final Dorset seaside town on the list is Bournemouth. Arguably the most popular and widely known seaside town in the county, Bournemouth has become renowned for its seaside attractions, its long beach and pier.
Sadly, this was dampened slightly by two-star ratings for its shopping options and peace and quiet. With an average hotel rate of £113, Bournemouth managed a customer score of 69%.
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