Chesil Beach - First Glimpse

After visiting West Bay (see previous post) we drove along the Jurassic coast that reveals views of Chesil Beach. We stopped off near Abbotsbury to briefly step out onto the pebble beach before continuing along the coastal route to the Isle of Portland where we viewed Chesil Beach from just outside The Heights Hotel.

Chesil Beach is 18 miles (28 kilometres) long and on average is 160 metres wide and rises to 12 metres in height.

It is a pebble and shingle tombolo connecting Portland to Abbotsbury and then continuing north-westwards to West Bay near Bridport.

It is the largest tombolo in the UK.

The pebbles are graded in size from fist-sized near Portland to pea-sized at Bridport.

The pebbles are mainly a mix of flint and chert, with some quartzite pebbles from Buddleigh Salterton.

The origin of the beach continues to be argued over with some proposing it is actually two beaches.

The stretch from West Bay to Abbotsbury appears to have different characteristics to the stretch from Abbotsbury to Portland.

Chesil Beach shelters Weymouth from the prevailing wind and waves and prevents the area being eroded by wave action.

Evidence suggests that Chesil Beach is no longer being replenished by natural means.

The beach forms part of the Dorset and East Devon World Heritage Site, known as the Jurassic Coast.

Chesil Beach

Fishing on Chesil Beach

Chesil Beach

Chesil Beach from The Heights

Chesil Beach from The Heights

15 Comments CherryPie on Aug 8th 2019

15 Responses to “Chesil Beach”

  1. Hels says:

    When I read Chesil Beach, I assumed it was a fictional site. But the last two photos are real and impressive. Can it be protected better?

    • CherryPie says:

      It is a pebble beach that has been formed naturally over time.

      Nature changes and reclaims some thing but gives us other delights to wonder about. Should man interfere with this process?

  2. Andrew says:

    Interesting. I wonder how long it will survive (sea level rise etc). It is all happening, although some deny it. As for why? We can debate that.

    • CherryPie says:

      I discussed this point recently…

      A quote from the post and my reply:

      “if the climate is changing and it always has, we – homo sapiens – are in just a very small window of the evolution of the Earth. It will do as it has always done: change. If we are adding to it there is one problem that will not be solved by throwing money at it: the population explosion wipes out any gains made every minute of every day, so how about spending what we have on things that don’t impoverish the nation, just for once spend it on something that makes a difference to everyday lives and boosts trade at the same time: infrastructure!”

      I agree!

      We are nearer to the next ‘ice age’ that we are to the previous one.

      ***My comment was challenged***

      I replied:

      Warming and cooling of the earth is cyclical (although not evenly spaced). I saw a really good graph in a book that I picked up at the Natural History museum. The book accompanied their exhibition that showcased a baby woolly mammoth.

      We are currently experiencing an interglacial period.

      • Andrew says:

        Don’t want the glaciers back scouring my land anytime soon, that’s for sure. I’d say we may influence but we will never be in control. Another few years will see me out of it anyway. Heat and floods increasing around me though, as often predicted.

        • Andrew says:

          But perhaps the threat of the eventual next tip toward glaciation is actually an even stronger argument for leaving the fossil fuels unused right now, so that they remain available to be burned when actually needed to reduce a problem rather than burning them now to fuel what does seem to be an immediate and current opposite problem. I suppose a few hundred years of runaway greenhouse feedbacks leading to intolerable heat, flood and famine may make the eventual return to glaciation seem less of a nightmare though.

          • CherryPie says:

            We humans are not good caretakers of our environment but ultimately Nature is in control. Nature always claims back over time. For example ruins, industrial wasteland, slagheaps etc. Nature always grows over them in time returning them to nature with its abundant wildlife.

  3. Ayush says:

    i had to look up tombolo, CP. thank you for the education. to my eyes from this part of the world, pebble beaches are unusual.

  4. Wonderful photos of this supberb geological feature :)

  5. What beautiful scenery and such blue seas! :)

  6. Lucky you!
    The weather was terrible when I was there.
    Just gloomy dark sky – that’s the actual look of British summer, right? ;)