Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon

18 miles and 180 billion pebbles

Access and Activities

Access to Chesil Beach

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

  • 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 National Trust own a significant part of the beach beyond Abbotsbury towards West Bay. Access is allowed all through the year. However, please observe advisory signs at the major access points.
Beach access
Access to the Beach at Abbotsbury car park

Beyond Ferrybridge

If you leave the Fleet and enter Portland Harbour you should consult the Portland Port website for latest safety advice and permit requirements. Click here to go to the leisure users pages.



The Fleet is divided into three areas with different restrictions on boat activity.

  • ¬†All forms of boating are banned in the West Fleet beyond the Langton parish boundary.
  • In the mid Fleet from the Portland boundary stone at The Narrows up to the Langton parish boundary rowing boats and canoes can be used. The use of motor boats and sailing craft is actively discouraged.
  • From the Narrows down to Ferrybridge the use of rowing boats, canoes and motorboats is permitted. The use of sailing craft is discouraged because of the restricted water making it difficult to safely control such craft. Please note there is a speed limit of 4 knots in the lower Fleet.
  • Boats beached on Chesil Beach are usually associated with permitted fishing activities. Similarly, boats on the Fleet landshore have traditionally been involved in fishing activities. Permission should be sought from the appropriate landowner before leaving a craft on either shoreline. All users of pole moorings should register with the Fleet Warden.

The fishing for salt-water fish from Chesil Beach does not currently require a licence. Fishing is only permitted in the Fleet from the Narrows down to Ferrybridge and even then it is only permitted from the shore and by rod and line only. Fishing from boats is not allowed in any part of the Fleet.

The only permitted freshwater fishing activity is for eels using special fixed nets in the mid-Fleet. This activity is carried out under a licence from the Environment Agency and a permit issued by the Fleet Warden.

Off-road vehicles and mountain bikes
There is no bridleway access along any part of Chesil Beach or any part of the Chesil Beach and Fleet Nature Reserve. The use of any type of off-road vehicle and the riding of bikes is not permitted on any part of Chesil Beach or around the Visitors Centre at Ferrybridge or on Hamm Beach other than on the designated car parks.

Walking Chesil Beach

If you are planning to walk along Chesil Beach between Ferrybridge and Abbotsbury there are two important documents you should read. The first provides general information on the beach itself and also sets out who to contact before and during your walk and procedures to follow if an emergency should arise. This document can be downloaded by clicking here. The second document provides specific information on environmental considerfations to be oberved during your walk. This document can be downloaded by clicking here. Please download and read these documents before setting out on your walk.


We hope you enjoy your visit to Chesil Beach

Please take your litter home





Last updated 9/9/2013

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