With our beautiful stretch of coastline, gorgeous rolling hills and enchanting woodlands, Dorset offers up some dramatic spots to watch the sunrise at dawn and some tranquil places to enjoy sunset at dusk. We have rounded up some of our favourites. If you are a local you may make a new discovery, and if you are planning a visit be sure to add these to your Dorset to-do list!
When the conditions are calm and the sea is flat, Sandbanks is one of the greatest places to head at dusk. Sit on the beach and gaze out towards Old Harry Rocks, or cross over Bank’s Road and look out over Pool Harbour’s Whitley Lake. If you are feeling sporty then hop on a paddleboard for a sunset cruise, or simply kick back on the beach and watch nature do its thing.
If you are a ‘get up and go’ type, then one of Dorset’s best spots to watch the sunrise is West Hill, Corfe Castle. Sit back with your morning cuppa and watch as the light cascades over the ancient ruins. It’s hard not to feel captivated by this magical place as you imagine the secrets and stories it surely must hold!
Lake Pier, Hamworthy
This is one to google… have you done it yet? See what we mean?! It’s a lovely little shingle beach on the northern shore of Poole Harbour. There is an old wooden pier jutting out to sea so if you are wanting to take a few snaps you’re likely to find other landscape photographers waiting for the golden hour. From here you can look out across the harbour and over to Arne Peninsula.
Although busy during the day in the height of the summer, as the sun starts to dip the crowds slowly disperse (many catching the last ferry and land train) you will be able to sit back in peace and watch the sunset. There are loads of great spots – relax on the beach and look back across to Christchurch Harbour and the Priory. Or, look out on mile after mile of sea and up to the headland itself. Local award-winning photographer Emily Endean captured this gorgeous spot from the beach (this was a sunrise shot)! Or, head round the corner and look out towards Avon beach and the Isle of Wight!
Bramble Bush Bay
Nestled in the inner reaches of Poole Harbour you’ll find a secluded little spot called Bramble Bush Bay. Despite it being just a stone’s throw from Studland, Bramble Bush Bay has remained a bit of a local secret and it’s not uncommon to have the whole place to yourself (sshhh). It’s a favourite of Emily Endean’s too. “I absolutely love Bramble Bush Bay in the warmer months. The sun sets right out at tea. The perfect spot to take a flask of tea and enjoy the show”.
Eye Bridge, Wimborne
This charming narrow wooden bridge looks out over the Stour River and if you do a quick google you’ll be greeted with some stunning misty dawn shots. It’s a lovely spot to watch the sunrise and whether you are a keen photographer wanting to capture a magical moment, or a bird-watching enthusiast hoping to spot an egret or tow you won’t be disappointed.
With a large area of heathland and forest to explore, this is a lovely place to be as the sun comes up and shines through the trees. While the trails are quiet you’re also likely to spot Sika Deer and the birdsong first thing is magical. With trails and tracks suitable for walking, biking, horse riding and some of which are wheelchair accessible, it’s up to you how you start your day here!