Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon

18 miles and 180 billion pebbles

Chesil Beach is located on the South coast of England in the county of Dorset. It is a pebble beach 18 miles long and stretches north-west from Portland to West Bay. For much of its length it is separated from the mainland by an area of saline water called the Fleet Lagoon.

The Fleet Lagoon is a shallow area of saline water between Chesil Beach and the mainland. It is 13 km long. Its width varies from 900 metres at Littlesea down to just 65 metres in the Narrows. The deepest part is 4-5 metres deep, but all of the mid and upper Fleet is less than 2 metres deep.

Hamm Beach is on the eastern side of Chesil Beach facing into Portland Harbour. It is formed from material from the east side of Portland moving north to form the Mere barrier and then Hamm Beach. It is an area of shallow sand dunes overlaying shingle.

This website provides information on Chesil and Hamm Beachs and the Fleet Lagoon.

Chesil Beach
Chesil beach and the Fleet looking north from Portland

The underwater camera is operational and pictures are displayed in the Visitors Centre.

Both of the beachs and the lagoon are important areas for wildlife with a number of national and international designations to help protect this important area. The area lies at the centre of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

The picture gallery contains many pictures of Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon from its southern limit at Portland to its northern limit at West Bay. It also includes a selection of old postcards to illustrate the changes that have taken place over the last 120 years.

Live weather data from Chesil Beach is not currently available following a failure of the weather sensors

Walking Chesil
If you are planning to walk along Chesil Beach there are two important documents you must read. Please go to the Access page to download them

Details of access arrangements to Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon can be found by clicking here.

There are a number of organisations concerned with the conservation and interpretation of Chesil Beach and the Fleet. Click any of the links below to find out about them.

The Fleet Observer has now finished operating for the 2014 season. It will be operating again in Spring 2015.

Beach Safety
Click here for safety information regarding Chesil Beach

There are a number of other organisations and websites that can provide useful information on Chesil Beach, the Fleet Lagoon, and the surrounding area. Go to the Links page to see what is available.
On Chesil Beach
Information on Ian McEwan's novel can be found here
Site provided by:
Chickerell BioAcoustics logo
Fleet water temperatures
The Chesil Multi-Media Project (CMMP) pages now have plots of water temperature in the Lower Fleet for recent years and a plot of temperatures in Lyme Bay and Weymouth Bay for 2009.


Last updated 9/9/2014

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