Is this the best coast road trip in the country?

by Jon

May 12, 2016 0

The winding B3157 follows Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coast road from Weymouth to Bridport. 

It pursues the world-famous Chesil Beach  – an iconic feature of the UN designated natural World Heritage Site. The whole heritage site stretches 95 miles from east Devon to Dorset’s Studland Bay taking in 185 million years of the earth’s geological history – and is the inspiration behind OCEANROCKS tops and T-shirts.

Rising, falling, twisting and turning – the road offers jaw-dropping views of the coast, snaking through picturesque villages and glorious countryside.

At about 15 miles long the road only takes about 30-45 minutes or so to actually drive.

Stopping at one of the hill top vantage points to take in the breath-taking views will add some time on. And it’ll definitely take longer if you get stuck behind a tractor, or a caravan struggling to conquer a summit.

In fact, there’s enough to do to spend the whole day exploring as you go along the road. Here’s just a few things to look out for travelling from Weymouth to Bridport.

Fleet Lagoon

This eight mile stretch of water behind Chesil Beach is fed by the sea at Ferrybridge, Portland . It’s a super sensitive environment with national, European and international wildlife and conservation designations. It is home rare plant and marine species, including seahorses, and is a haven for seabirds. Ferrybridge is home to a new Dorset Wildlife Trust-run visitor centre, where there’s also glass bottomed boat trips.

Chesil Beach

This stunning 18 mile beach runs from Portland to West Bay. The stones get smaller as you go, with fist sized lumps in the east at Portland to shingle at West Bay. So you can easily work out where you are depending on the stone size! But don’t take any pebbles home as it’s prohibited by the boss of Weymouth and Portland Council

Don't steal the stones

Please don’t steal Chesil Beach

Abbotsbury and Swannery

This beautiful thatched village lies at the heart of the coast road. It’s 600 year old Swannery is world famous and home to a colony 600 swans and open to visitors – cygnet hatching is a great time to visit. A great place to stop, explore and grab a little lunch, or classic cream tea or famous Dorset Apple Cake.

St Catherine’s Chapel

Standing high on the hill this 14th century chapel is an imposing landmark of the drive. It was built by monks from the old Abbotsbury Abbey as a place of pilgrimage. Walk to the Chapel from the village.

Golden Cap and beyond

From the tops of the coast road look out for Golden Cap. It’s the highest coastal point on the south coast of England –beating Beachy Head and the White Cliffs of Dover. On a clear day look beyond for the fossil-rich cliffs of Charmouth and Lyme Regis which slide their way into the sea.

Burton Bradstock and Hive Beach Café

This charming village is the gateway to Hive Beach and the award-winning Beach Café. It places great stock in locally sourced sustainable ingredients and has a strong emphasis on sea food. Just turn up, it doesn’t take bookings. Like OCEANROCKS, it’s a Jurassic Coast Trust business partner.

West Bay

After Burton Bradstock you’ll come to the Crown Pub roundabout and the end of the drive. Why not finish off by visiting nearby West Bay to discover the western end of Chesil Beach. There’s plenty of great views, seafood stalls, quirky shops, pubs and ice cream to try.

Stay safe

Always follow safety advice and signs on the coast. In particular stay away from the cliff edges and bottoms around Burton Bradstock and West Bay as they can be subject to rockfalls and landslides.

Getting here

Follow the B3157 from the Crown Pub roundabout, Bridport or head out of Weymouth through Chickerell. Research the route carefully if you intend to cycle it or tow a caravan.

Bus

Catching the Jurassic Coaster double decker is one of the best, and safest way, to take in the views.

The best coast road in country?

We think so. Tell us if you know different.

Celebrate your love affair with the coast

Posted by: Jon

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