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Chesil Beach and the Fleet

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Last updated 30 November 2022

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Deep indentations in the back of Chesil Beach caused by seawater flowing through the beach during storms. This pushes the pebbles out into the Fleet and leaves the hollows. The spelling has appeared as 'can' or 'cann'.

Car parking

Car parks adjacent to the beach can be found at Chiswell, Ferrybridge, Abbotsbury, West Bexington, Cogden, Burton Hive and West Bay. The only car park adjacent to the Fleet is at Ferrybridge.

St Catherines Chapel


a 14th century pilgrimage chapel located on Chapel Hill. Also used as a seamark because of its prominent position. This use was enhanced by placing a light in the turret. The chapel  is dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the patron saint of virgins, and also of wheelwrights and mechanics. The chapel is now looked after by English Heritage and more information is available by clicking here.

Chapel Hill


Located south of Abbotsbury near the Upper Fleet. St Catherines Chapel is located on top of Chapel Hill. There are excellent views of  the Fleet and surrounding area. Access is via a footpath from the centre of Abbotsbury near the Post Office.

Chesil Cove

The area of Lyme Bay adjacent  to Chiswell at the southern end of Chesil Beach.

Chesters Hill


A 55 metre high hill south-west of Abbotsbury and alongside the Upper Fleet.



A small town along the B3157. Originally a farming and fishing village it has grown considerably in recent times and has a large industrial estate. More information from the town's website or the the town council website.

Chickerell Hive Point


The promontory between Tidmoor Point and Butterstreet Cove in the mid-Fleet. A footpath runs to the point from the old coastguard cottages in Fleet Lane.


The community at the southern end of Chesil Beach on north Portland. Originally called Chesilton. For more information and a good selection of pictures look at Geoff Kirby's website.

Clay Hard Point


A promontory in the upper Fleet located north of Langton Hive.

Coastal footpath

The South-West Coast Path runs along the northern end of Chesil Beach then along the Fleet landshore for most of the Fleet. It diverts inland around the Swannery and the upper Fleet to protect sensitive habitats. If walking in this area please respect this sensitivity and stay on the footpath. The main path turns eastward at Ferrybridge but a spur continues southward along the beach to Portland.


During the days of sailing ships there was a strong coastguard presence along Chesil Beach with lookouts and cottages at Chiswell, Wyke Regis, Chickerell Hive, Langton Hive, Abbotsbury, East Bexington, Burton Bradstock and West Bay.

Cogden Beach


Located between Burton Mere and Burton Bradstock in the northern part of Chesil Beach. There is a car park on National Trust land nearby, but it is a steep walk over rough ground to the beach. The beach is much used by anglers.

Court Leet

Portland has one of the few remaining Court Leets. It was a judicial system set up as part of the manorial and Hundreds system to administer local justice. Their powers waned with time but were not formally removed until 1977. The few remaining Court Leets were mostly ceremonial but also looked after Crown Commons on behalf of the Crown Estate. The Portland Court Leet looks after the common land on Hamm Beach and Chesil Beach. For a fuller explanation look here.

Crook Hill


A 60 metre high hill to the south of Chickerell. The east side has been dug away to form a clay pit for the nearby brick works. There is a footpath across the top of the hill with excellent views of the Fleet and Weymouth Bay.

Crown Estate

A major property management company that owns Hamm Beach and the southern end of Chesil Beach.

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Canns on the Fleet side of Chesil Beach