One of Britain’s natural wonders, a unique shingle ridge.
Where is it? Stretches for 17 miles from Portland to West Bay. Access at various points along its route.
Best features: The natural beauty plus watersports facilities – the beach overlooks Portland Harbour, a centre for wind and kitesurfing.
Local facilities & shops: Chesil can be a lonely place, but there are facilities at West Weares, Portland; Ferrybridge; Moonfleet; Abbotsbury and Burton Bradstock.
Great for the kids? Beware steeply shelving shingle, strong currents and treacherous seas.
How far are the loos? At access points.
Parking: At access points.
Public transport: Buses run from Weymouth and Portland along the coast road with stops at all main access points.
How about pets? Dogs are allowed.
Other points of interest: The inland strip of water, the Fleet, was used as a testing place for Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bomb for the Dambusters’ Raid during World War II.
Fancy that! Pebbles are graded from east to west, biggest at the Portland end. Shipwreck survivors are said to have been able to tell where they were from the size of the pebbles.
Wet weather options:
Abbotsbury Smugglers’ Barn All-weather fun for the under-11s. Soft play area plus pets. Open daily until the end of October, 10am-6pm. Nearby: Abbotsbury Swannery & Sub-Tropical Gardens. 01305 871817.
Hardy’s Cottage, Higher Bockhampton near Dorchester Small cob and thatch cottage where novelist and poet Thomas Hardy was born in 1840. Open daily 11am-5pm (except Tues/Wed). 01305 262366.
For more information on this beautiful coastline
visit our local newspaper websites for