Chesil Beach

Chesil Beach is a shingle bank that runs for a length of 18 miles from the Isle of Portland near Weymouth to West Bay near Bridport. In places it is up to 15m high and 200m wide. The beach forms part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The wild and rugged section between the Isle of Portland and Abbotsbury is backed by the Fleet, a shallow tidal lagoon.

Chesil Beach as viewed from the Isle of Portland
Chesil Beach as viewed from the Isle of Portland.

Fleet Lagoon is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is an important habitat for many species. You can find out more about the wildlife at the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre, SAT NAV postcode DT4 9XE (Google map) run by the Dorset Wildlife Trust The centre is open 7 days a week all year round 10am-4pm. There is a large car park, toilets, shop and a really excellent cafe, the Taste Cafe

Abbotsbury, at the western end of the lagoon, is home to the only colony of nesting mute swans that can be visited anywhere in the world. This swannery is a popular attraction particularly from mid-May until the end of June when you can see the baby cygnets hatching. For more info see our webpage Abbotsbury Swannery. Nearby is the picturesque Abbotsbury village and the Abbotsbury Sub-tropical Gardens.

Chesil Beach Centre and car park.
Wooden footbridge across the Fleet Lagoon to the beach. This can be found just behind the visitors centre.
Fleet Lagoon just behind the Visitors Centre
Fleet Lagoon just behind the Visitors Centre
The bridge from the visitors centre leading across the Fleet Lagoon to Chesil Beach
This photo was taken from Abbotsbury Hill on the main road west out of the village B3157. There is a little lay-by (Google map) that offers spectacular views of Chesil Beach, Fleet Lagoon and all the way to Portland. You can also see St Catherine’s Chapel overlooking Abbotsbury Village

Related Pages: Weymouth / Abbotsbury Village / Abbotsbury Swannery / Charmouth Beach / West Bay Bridport