Abbotsbury is a pretty picture-postcard village set amongst rolling hills and only 1 mile inland from Chesil Beach. Abbotsbury is best known for its Swannery, home to the largest colony of mute swans in Europe. Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens is also a popular visitor destination and many will pass through the village on their way to these attractions.
The village itself is a great place to stop and explore with picturesque stone cottages, the remains of Abbotsbury Abbey https://www.english-heritage.org.uk (the ruins are not that impressive really apart from their history) and St Nicholas’ Church next door.
Roadside parking in the village can be difficult to find and only adds to congestion so please use the Visitor Car Park just off Rodden Row SAT NAV postcode DT3 4JL (Google map)
A great source of information about the village can be found at https://www.abbotsbury.co.uk
A helpful visitor information leaflet (pdf format) which includes a map of the village can be viewed at https://www.abbotsbury.co.uk
Things to Do in Abbotsbury
- Visit the Swannery, the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans.
- Wander round the Subtropical Gardens, a magnificent 20 acre garden filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world
- Explore the village including St Nicholas’ Church and the old Abbey Ruins
- Walk up to St Catherine’s Chapel. See route description further down the page.
- Browse the village art galleries. Recommended galleries include the Dansel Gallery selling contemporary, handmade interiors in wood https://www.danselgallery.co.uk (Google map),
- Relax on the beach. You can walk to the beach from the village or drive to the beach car park.
- (Google map)
- Have lunch at The Abbey House https://www.theabbeyhouse.co.uk (Google map)
St Catherine’s Chapel
Up on the hillside overlooking the village is St Catherine’s Chapel. Built by the monks of Abbotsbury Abbey as a place of pilgrimage and retreat, today the chapel still sits in splendid isolation. The path to the chapel can be reached via the corner of Chapel Lane (Google map showing start of walk) off Market Street in the centre of the village.