Sanbanks beach, Poole

Electrifying the coast: Charging from Sandbanks to Weymouth

We’ve joined forces with South West 660 to inspire Zapmap users to go on electric adventures
Nic Ryan

Route 1 of South West 660’s tour of the South West’s coastal regions of England covers the 40 miles between Sandbanks and Weymouth.

The South West 660 team encourages ‘slow travel’, which aims to be more sustainable as well as richer in exposure to the area's culture, heritage, and natural beauty.

Choose your own path along the way and stop regularly to soak it all in. Don't expect to see many large roads. Instead, prepare for winding country lanes and coastal paths with spectacular sea views between bustling villages and harbour towns.

There are a good number of charge points in this region now, many more than we’ve mentioned in this guide, so take a look on the Zapmap app and web map to find the best ones to suit your needs, as well as your electric car’s requirements.

Don’t forget, Zapmap users get £5 off the South West 660 membership. Use the code zapmap15 to redeem your discount.


Getting started

We highly recommend planning your route before you set off on your road trip, with either the Zapmap app or web map. Whether home is miles away or closer to the South West, Zapmap will help you plan your route with stops along the way to top up on charge.

Zapmap has three different routing modes to choose from, and you can customise your route by inputting your car’s level of charge prior to leaving. What’s more, you can also select the level of charge you’d like remaining when you reach your destination. pen the route planner menu to get started.


The route itself

South West 660 recommends taking the Sandbanks Ferry from Poole to Studland, which runs every 20 minutes during the day, and costs £4.75 per vehicle.

Choose either the B3351 which leads west to Corfe Castle or loop south via Swanage.
Then you can head inland to Wool for faster A-roads or wind through pretty country lanes to West Lulworth.

The main routes to Weymouth are via the A352 and A353. If you take the B3155 you’ll drive into town right along the historic promenade.


Charging in Poole

Whether you’ve just arrived in this lively seaside town, or you’re gearing up to move onwards with your South West 660 adventure, chances are you’ll need to top up the battery.

Combine your charging with a spot of lunch at the The Yachtsman pub (BH15 4LW), regardless of the time of year. Enjoy its sunny beer garden or stay cosy inside beside one of the roaring log fires while you make use of one of two InstaVolt rapid charge points that offer both CHAdeMO and CSS connectors. Parking is free, and you’ll be pleased to know that The Yachtsman is dog-friendly if your pup has joined you on your adventure.

Pool Quay

Explore the treasures of Poole's historic quayside, and delve deep into the heart of the Old Town where sea captains and pirates once stood.


Keen to get on your way? If you’re looking for a quick pit-stop and an ultra-rapid charge that will have you back on the road in minutes, head to Creekmoor Services (BH17 7FR), which is located just off the Holes Bay North roundabout on the A350.

24-hour charging is available with the usual service station amenities - toilets, café, shop etc. It’s an ideal charging stop for if you’re travelling during off-peak hours. And here you’ll find eight ultra-rapid MFG EV Power charge points with both CHAdeMO and CSS connectors. Most convenient of all, MFG charge points accept Zap-Pay, meaning you can search, plan and pay for your charge all within the Zapmap app.


Highly recommended: Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

Located at the deservedly popular tourist attraction, Corfe Castle (BH20 5EE), you’ll find six 22kWh Fuuse charge points - you’ll need the Fuuse app to use these - perfect for topping up your charge over a few hours while you take the time to explore and soak up the history at the ruins of this 1000-year old royal castle.

Remember to check the availability toggle in the Zapmap app to see if charge points are usable or in-use. The toggle will remove all charge point markers from the map that are in use, enabling you to divert to other charge points nearby that are available.

You’ll find the closest alternative charger a couple of roads away at West Street car park (BH20 5HH). Operated by Mer, it’s Zap-Pay compatible and has two 22kW Type 2 connectors.


Charging in Dorchester

Any South West road-trip or holiday wouldn’t be complete without at least one stop off at the pub to soak in the West Country atmosphere to recharge and top up the battery.

The Trumpet Major (DT1 2AB) is a family-friendly pub with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It's just a two-minute walk from famous author and poet Thomas Hardy’s house, and has a beautiful garden and patio area.

Osprey provides two rapid charge points here with both CHAdeMO and CSS connectors, at 50kW and 75kW respectively, so you can enjoy a delicious meal of locally sourced ingredients and return to your car fully charged and ready to go.

As a bonus, Osprey charge points are Zap-Pay compatible, meaning you can pay and track your charge, and find your stored receipts all within the Zapmap app.

Checked ahead of time and found the charge points in use by others? Not to worry, alternative charge points can be found if you head over to Poundbury on the west edge of Dorchester. You’ll see two lots of Osprey charging stations.The first is in Great Cranford Street car park (DT1 3HS), which holds four rapid 60kW charge points.

The second Osprey site is at The Buttermarket car park (DT1 3AZ), which houses two charge points. Both sites provide CHAdeMO and CSS connectors and require payment to park.


Charging in Weymouth

Whether Weymouth is your final destination or just a pit-stop on a longer adventure, you’ll find plenty of things to do here as well as ample places to charge.

Need to grab road trip supplies? Weymouth Morrisons is an ideal spot for a quick top up of range at their GeniePoint charge point. Located just off Weymouth Way (DT3 5AX), CHAdeMO and CSS connectors are available, as well as super-easy contactless and Zap-Pay payment.

Alternatively, a rapid Mer charge point can be found in Governor’s Lane car park (DT4 8DD), just a short stroll from Weymouth pier and pavilion, and two more Mer chargers can be found in Nothe Fort car park (DT4 8UD). At 22kW these destination charge points offer slower charging to give you a little more time to enjoy what Weymouth has to offer. The fort and Nothe Gardens are both well worth a visit for the live cannon demonstrations and lovely scenery filled with history.

Weymouth harbour

Weymouth Harbour: The harbour walls are a perfect spot to sit and tuck in to paper-wrapped fish and chips.


Highly recommended: Athelhampton House

Situated between the adorably named Puddletown and Tolpuddle is Athelhampton House (DT2 7LG), a historic Tudor Manor House, set in award-winning architectural gardens, which is open to the public to visit throughout the year. There are 20 historic rooms with fabulous architectural features, furnishings and antiques and five acres of formal gardens and a working kitchen garden. 

The Athelhampton House team have embarked on 'Athelhampton Zero’, a project started in 2020 to pave the way for a sustainable future where 400 solar panels, four ground source heat pumps, 15 air source heat pumps and a 12 Tesla Batteries have been installed to reduce Athelhampton’s Co2 emissions.

Athelhampton gardens

Athelhampton House (DT2 7LG), a historic Tudor Manor House, set in award-winning architectural gardens, which is open to the public to visit throughout the year. 


Athelhampton chargers


Now five brand new charge points have been installed which allow up to ten EVs to charge simultaneously, and public access to the chargers is available 24/7. So even if you don’t want to explore the historic house and gardens while you charge, you can still make great use of the restaurant and picnic area (during opening hours) in the most beautiful of surroundings. 

Don't forget to bring your charger cables for these untethered, Type 2 22kW chargers, and download the Monta app prior to your visit to make paying for charging quick and easy.




Did someone say “FREE charging”?

Whilst free EV charging is becoming less common, there are still over 2,500 free charge points available across the UK, and a handful can be found on this very stretch of the South West 660 route.

To filter for free charge points head to the filter menu within the Zapmap app, and select ‘Payment’, followed by ‘Free to use’ and hit the ‘Apply’ button.

If you have a preference for a more rustic accommodation experience over the standard hotel offering you might like to book a stay at the scenic Wareham Forest Lodge Retreat, (BH16 6LA), where you’ll find a free charger available for guests. Two Type 2 connectors that provide up to 22kW are available, remember to bring your own charger cable for this one though!

Both Tesla and non-Tesla drivers can access free charge points at The Green House in nearby Bournemouth (BH1 3AX), via two Type 2 7kW charge points, one Tesla Destination style, one open access, delivering ideal speeds for overnight charging. Non-guests are able to access these charge points too, but at cost. The Green House is the perfect spot to the environmentally conscious and sustainability focused traveller thanks to its core principles designed to ensure the hotel minimises its impact on the environment in every faucet of its operation.

Visitors of The Club House restaurant and hotel, situated right next to Chesil Beach in  Weymouth (DT2 9DF), can take advantage of a free charge while they dine or stay thanks to a 7kW Type 2 charge point nestled in its car park. Just bring along your own charging cable and ask for a charging token at the bar.


Chesil Beach

Chesil Beach is an 18-mile long shingle barrier beach stretching from West Bay to Portland and is one of Dorset’s most iconic landmarks.


Helpful tips for your EV adventure

  • You can use Zapmap to bookmark charge points ahead of time at places close to your chosen destinations, taking the hassle out of finding them en route
  • Charging locations are usually busier at lunchtime – try to charge early or late to avoid the busiest times during the peak summer months
  • Find charge points quickly and easily, as well as view live status information on the move, with Zapmap Premium. This means you can access Zapmap in your car dashboard via Apple Car Play or Android Auto
  • As with any long car journey, be prepared for the worst but expect the best; take plenty of water and other essentials in case of the unexpected.

Head to South West 660’s route 1 for more info on this route, plus highlights for the rest of this journey and the other South West 660 routes.

Loved this and want more? Check out our sustainable charging adventure suggestions for South West 660’s route 7, St. Austell to Penzance

With that, we wish you the best of luck on your road trip – and safe driving!