Chesil Beach is a Natural Wonder
A bank of 180 billion pebbles stretching for 18 miles along the Dorset Coast. Trapped behind this pebble bank is the Fleet one of the most wildlife-rich lagoons in the country. So if you are visiting the area and are looking for things to do, this page will guide you through all of the activities that this unique area has to offer.
The Chesil Beach Centre
Visit the Chesil Beach Centre to discover all about Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon. Our family-friendly visitor Centre is managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust and has interactive displays about the formation of the beach, local wildlife and history. Glimpse under the lagoon with our underwater camera, try a spot of bird watching, explore our marine touch table and listen to stories of fishermen who worked on the beach.
It is a modern, accessible building with an integrated learning space, picnic area, gift shop and toilets. There is ample parking in a pay and display car park and a boardwalk next to the Centre allowing easy access to the beach.
The Chesil Centre and the Dorset Wildlife Trust promotes a range of walks led by knowledgeable specialists throughout the year. Bespoke tours can be arranged with the Warden or at the Chesil Beach Centre itself.
The Fleet Explorer
The Reserve operates a boat, the Fleet Explorer, (managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust), which runs hourly trips around the mouth of the Fleet and into Portland harbour. Skippers point out the local wildlife above and below the water and tell fascinating stories about the beach, its shipwrecks and smuggling. The Chesil Centre takes bookings for the Observer.
Apart from the unique experience of seeing breeding swans and their cygnets at close proximity, the Swannery has a range of excellent information on the Fleet and Chesil which being based on the West Fleet compliments the Chesil Centre’s interpretation focused on the East Fleet. The Swannery is open from April to October. There is an entrance fee.
Chesil and the Fleet are popular venues for many parties of students. Visiting from the car parks does not require permission but please consider contacting the Reserve Warden or the Chesil beach Centre for advice. The Centre has a range of educational material and offers guided tours by arrangement.
To carry out any research on the Reserve you are advised to contact the Warden who may be able to help you with study advice, and will be able to provide you with detailed advice on nature conservation sensitivities and health and safety. Please visit the Fleet Study Group. We are pleased to receive any wildlife observations and copies of completed studies.