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Chesil Beach and the Fleet

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Last updated 30 November 2022

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Macmillan Way

A long-distance footpath from Boston in Lincolnshire to Chesil Beach at Abbotsbury set up to raise money for the Macmillan Cancer Support. More information available here. A guidebook, booklet and leaflet are available from the Macmillan Way Association.


The best map of the area is the Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL15. This is a 1:25,000 map and includes a lot of additional information for outdoor activities. However, one problem is that the Chesil Beach area is on the back of the sheet, so be prepared to re-fold the map the other way round! These maps are also available as an app to use on your phone or pad.


A large body of water at the southern end of Chesil Beach. It used to lie between Chesil Beach and the second tombolo linking Portland to the mainland. The area was developed by the MoD initially as an oil storage area, but later it became the Portland Heliport. After the Navy left Portland the area was re-developed as the sailing academy and an industrial estate. See the old postcard section of this website for pictures of the Mere as it used to be 100 years ago.


The part of the Fleet north of the Narrows and south of Rodden Hive

Minesweeping Range

The Royal Navy operated a minesweeping trials range off West Bexington for some years following WWII. It was abandoned in the mid-1980's. The cables come ashore under Chesil Beach at the West Bexington car park. The range control building can be seen behind the car park and one of the theodolite stations can still be seen near the entrance to the Cogden Beach car park alongside the B3157


A book about smuggling by J. Meade Faulkner written in 1898. It is set in the area around Fleet village. The full text can be downloaded here.

Moonfleet Hotel


Originally this was Fleet House but after WWII it was converted to a hotel and named after the house in the book of the same name.


The grey mullet is a common fish of the Fleet occurring in large numbers along its entire length

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The narrow channel between Chesil Beach and the end of the Wyke ridge linking the Mid-Fleet to the Lower Fleet

Moonfleet Hotel

The Narrows looking north with the Bridging Camp on the right-hand side.