Arish Mell lies about a mile due south of Lulworth Castle and East Lulworth, both of which were established at the head of the valley that runs down to the area of the bay and may have been the original direct route to the coast for the estate.
Arish Mell is relatively inaccessible because it is within the Lulworth Ranges, an Army tank firing range, and although the Range Walks are open at most weekends and public holidays, there is no public access to the beach and cliffs. The South West Coast Path runs past the bay just to the north.
Arish Mell forms a break in the line of chalk hills that form the Purbeck Ridge.
Arish Mell was the site of a series discharges pipes carrying effluent from the Winfrith Nuclear Power Station into the sea.