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 the chalk sea stack of Butter Rock and the narrow headland of Bat's Head. A sea-cave known as Bat's hole pierces this headland, and it's just a short swim to the mile-long and usually deserted Middle Bottom beach. The shingle deepens quickly at the eastern end of Durdle Door beach and you'd be out of your depth just a few yards from the shore.
Parking and toilets and drinking water 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 Man-o-war Cove. Steep steps descend to both beaches from here. A refreshment kiosk is usually available during summer.
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.