Chesil Beach Centre


This centre at the start of the bridge to Portland, is a great gateway to Chesil Beach. The pebble ridge is at its highest here – 15m compared to 7m at Abbotsbury. From the car park an energy-sapping hike up sliding pebbles leads to the constant surge and rattle of waves on stones and dazzling views of the sea, with the thin pebble line and the expanse of the Fleet Lagoon behind.

The centre details an ecosystem that includes ringed plovers, redshanks and oystercatchers, as well as drifts of thrift and sea campion.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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1. Portland Castle

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A particularly fine product of Henry VIII's castle-building spree, with expansive views over Portland Harbour.

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4. Jurassic Skyline

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5. Weymouth Beach


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6. Sea Life

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7. Portland Lighthouse

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For a real sense of Portland's remote nature, head to its southern tip, Portland Bill, to climb the 41m-high, candy-striped lighthouse. It offers…

8. Abbotsbury Swannery

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Every May some 600 free-flying swans choose to nest at this swannery, which shelters in the Fleet Lagoon, protected by the ridge of Chesil Beach…