Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon

18 miles and 180 billion pebbles


Access
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Chesil Beach, the Fleet Lagoon and Hamm Beach are owned by multiple owners, each with their own access arrangements.

Chesil Beach

The southern end of Chesil Beach from Portland to the boundary stone at Wyke Regis is owned by the Crown Estate and is Crown Common land. It is generally open for all permitted activities at all times of the year. However, some areas may be closed during sensitive periods to protect wildlife e.g. the little tern colony at Ferrybridge.

The central section from the Wyke boundary stone to the Abbotsbury car park is owned by the Ilchester Estates and environmentally it is the most sensitive part of the beach. Because of this the slope of the beach facing into the Fleet is closed throughout the year to all access. The seaward slope is also closed every year from the 1st April to the 31st August to protect nesting birds.

The beach beyond Abbotsbury towards West Bay is owned by the National Trust and Crown Estate. Access is allowed all through the year. However, please observe advisory signs at the major access points.

Fleet Lagoon

The Fleet lagoon is owned by the Ilchester Estates and access to the water is limited to protect the special nature of the area. Visit the Reserve website for current access information.


Accessing Chesil Beach

Chesil beach is separated from the mainland for much of its length either by the Fleet Lagoon or by privately-owned land. The points at which it can be accessed are:

Portland

There is a small car park at Chiswell for access to the southern end of the beach. There is another small car park off Victoria Square which provides access to the beach at the northern end of Chiswell. There is a further very small car park opposite the entrance to the RYA Sailing Centre near the end of the flood-relief channel which provides access to Hamm Beach and Chesil Beach. Please do not park in the access road to the sailing centre.

Ferrybridge

There is a large car park adjacent to the Chesil Beach Visitors Centre at Ferrybridge. This is a pay-and-display car park. There is a walkway across to Chesil Beach and several walkways on the other side of the main road to access Hamm Beach.

Camp Road, Weymouth

There is on-road parking at the end of Camp Road opposite the Royal Engineers Bridging Camp which gives good views of Chesil Beach and access to the South-West Coast Path that runs along the Fleet foreshore.

Abbotsbury

There is a large car park adjacent to Chesil Beach at the end of the road to the tropical gardens. This is a paid car park during the summer. There is a wooden walkway to the top of the beach but this can get very slippery in the winter. Please do not park in the road beyond the mini-roundabout by the car park.

West Bexington

There is a car park right on the beach with footpaths running both ways along the beach. The car park is at the end of the road leaving the B3157 at Swyre opposite the pub.

Cogden Beach

There is a National Trust car park alongside the B3157 coast road with excellent views along the beach. There is then a 0.5km walk from there down to Chesil Beach.

Burton Hive Beach

There is a National Trust car park alongside the beach with cafe and toilets. Access is by a well-signed turning as you enter Burton Bradstock from the Weymouth direction.

West Bay

There are a number of car parks in West Bay giving access to the northern end of Chesil Beach.

Fleet Lagoon

The only vehicular access to the Fleet Lagoon is at Ferrybridge at the point where it joins Portland Harbour. The South-West Coast Path runs along its shoreline from Ferrybridge to Langton Herring where it then turns inland to run along the ridge with good views across the lagoon and Chesil Beach. The path is diverted here to protect the sensitive environment of the upper Fleet and Abbotsbury Swannery. The coast path can also be accessed on foot from Charlestown, Fleet village and Langton Herring.

Hamm Beach

Hamm Beach is Crown Estate land and accessible right through the year. However, observe the signs on the beach which set out any restrictions that may apply.

Walking on Chesil Beach

If you want to walk Chesil between Abbotsbury and Ferrybridge please consult the guidance on the Chesil and Fleet reserve website. Also, bear in mind the following:

The walk is very challenging and entirely over loose pebbles. There is no escape route if you have to give up.

The Fleet side of the beach is closed to walkers right through the year. This is a very delicate environment and should not be disturbed

The seaward side of the beach from Wyke to Abbotsbury is also closed from 1st May to 31st August every year to protect ground-nesting birds. Therefore do no attempt this walk during this period.