The iconic limestone arch of Durdle Door lies at the eastern end of the beach of that name, and is easily Dorset's most spectacular beach. The shore is mostly flint shingle, becoming sandier towards the western end. It's backed by high cliffs of chalk with nodules of marcasite. The beach is about a ⅔ mile long, bounded at the western end by Bat's Head. A sea-cave known as Bat's hole pierces this headland, and a short swim takes you to the mile-long Middle Bottom beach.
Parking and toilets are available at the nearby campsite, and beach access is thence down a steep track which leads to the isthmus between this beach (to the right) and neighbouring St Oswald's Bay. Steep steps descend to the eastern end of the beach. A refreshment kiosk is usually situated just above the beach during summer. Some roadside parking can be found near the entrance to the campsite.
At the beach's eastern end the sea deepens quickly - about 4 yards out you'd be out of your depth. The arch is popular for diving and jumping, making good spectator sport. About 200 yards to the west and inline with Durdle Door is a rock known as The Bull. Should you want to swim to it (many people do), it's just over 100 yards. If you want to see how deep you can free-dive, the depth half-way across is about 30 feet. Dogs are allowed at all times.
The beach has been used extensively for filming, including the 'Tears for Fears' video 'Shout' and the kite-flying scene from Nanny McPhee.