Purbeck ranges from the creeks and flats of Poole Harbour to Studland's superb white sands, climbing to a spectacular series of chalk and limestone cliffs, including the beauty spot, Lulworth Cove.
West Dorset continues the contrast, with the Isle of Portland's limestone greys and the white, shingle curve of Chesil Beach. Running west, picturesque villages fringe Lyme Bay and the varied geology produces Golden Cap, the south coast's highest point.
West Dorset Heritage Coast was designated in February 1984. It is managed by Natural England.