A gentle walk to the sea
OS Landranger 194 & Explorer OL15.
How to find:
Park up opposite the church in Swyre. Or take the X53 Jurassic Coast Bus to reach The Bull at Swyre. Just to the right of the War Memorial is a footpath sign to Chesil Beach and Coast Path.
Food and facilities are available at The Bull Inn, Swyre, The Manor Hotel, West Bexington, The Crown Inn, Puncknowle. There is a quaint cafe in West Bexington right by the beach car park where you can get ice cream and drinks. There are also public conveniences down by the car park.
Some rough terrain – can be muddy and slippery after rain, pebbles on the beach.
This walk will take you through some varying countryside and terrain which can be enjoyed by all the family. Having crossed the road take the footpath down to Chesil Beach and Coast Path this will take you across some open farmland alongside dense hedgerows with an abundance of flora and fauna. The pretty Hawthorn flowers at this time of year are beautiful. The petals fall to the ground like confetti in the sea breeze coming up from the coast.
The downhill slope makes this fairly easy going, the total descent for the walk is about 90 metres (nearly 300 feet) which means that this will need to be climbed back up again in the walk back to the starting point.
As you descend to the sea the view just inland from the famous Chesil Bank is just awe inspiring, you get the feeling that the sea is higher than the beach and the fields you are walking on. On passing through a gate you have a choice of heading to the right or the left we chose left for our “gentle” stroll. Following the path through the grassy fields it is very peaceful and not another sole in sight.
You then pass over a stile and a small bridge which seems to be the dividing line between lush grass and marsh land. Here the grass changes and you can see a “tide line” of debris where there has been water during the wetter winter months.
Take the path to the back of the beach where it is an ideal time to take a rest and enjoy the sound the beautiful blue sea washing over the pebbles. Turning left along the Southwest Coast Path which at this point is running along the back of Chesil Beach heading to West Bexington.
After a 200 yards or so there is a sign for a footpath that leads you into a Nature Reserve which is run by Dorset Wildlife Trust. Here the tall reeds are a have for a wide variety of bird and insect life.
Continue along the path to the car park where there are public conveniences and a cafe for some refreshment. Now the up hill walk back along the quiet road to Swyre. This gives you the opportunity to see where you have walked and admire the wonderful countryside along this section of the Jurassic Coast. This part of the walk is easy going however the hill running up from the beach to The Manor Hotel is quite steep and there is a very usable bench halfway up to give you a place to rest.