Chesil Beach:It can hold back the Atlantic

Chesil Beach is a wonder to behold.

Over 17 miles long it is 15 metres high at the

chesil beach

Portland end and 7 at Abbotsbury. The pebbles also vary in size from pea size at West Bay to potato size at the Portland end.There are many theories as to how the beach came to be here.It is thought ,through changes in sea level, debris was washed down to the sea in East Dorset and Devon.This debris was then washed along the shore to where it is now.

Today the beach is still moving onshore as evidenced by ancient peat, laid down on the floor of the Fleet Lagoon, is exposed at the front of the beach.But is still does a great job of protecting the lagoon.This body of water supports a wide variety of wildlife, as well as huge forests of eelgrass.Most of it is out of bounds to the public.

Birdlife is also well supported not least the oldest managed swan population in the world at Abbotsbury

The easiest way to access the beach is through the visitor centre at Ferrybridge.You will see this on the right as you approach Portland from Weymouth.

There is ample parking here though as usual charges apply starting at £1.60 for up to two hours.If you want to go by bus the 501 leaves at 10 minutes past the hour from Weymouth King's Statue.You will be at the beach in 20 minutes.

The centre provides information about the beach including the rare visits by the Little Tern & Ringed Plover which breed on Chesil.

Fishing is not permitted on the Fleet without licence.You can however fish on the ocean side.This is much more popular than swimming as it is considered dangerous here.With all the fishing lines I observed I would not want to go in anyway.

Don't light fires, don't pick up pebbles, and don't camp here.The beach is fragile and needs all the help it can get in holding back the Atlantic swells.Keep your dog away from the Fleet shore also.

Kite surfing is permitted in Portland Harbour which is across the road from the vsitor centre.However you must have a valid kite surfing permit issued by the Portland Harbour Authority.

To get this you must be a member of the Portland Kite Surfing Club or be undergoing training at the

chesil beach 5

Paracademy Portland Square,Portland DT5 1AL.

They do a taster day course or a three day intensive,so give it a go.

After leaving the centre you can access Chesil beach directly, and walk up the gently inclined lee side to the top.From here you can appreciate the size of the beach as it drops down to sea level.There are two distinct tiers before the beach reaches the shore.You will get tired as your feet sink into the pebbles so don't go too far.

The beach is OK for sunbathing but if you want pure sand stick with Bournemouth or Sandbanks Stay awhile and drink in the beach as it stretches to infinity in the west.To the east the beach slams into the imposing Portland and it is from here that you will get the best view of Chesil beach as a whole.So go there now!

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