Chesil Cove

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Chesil Cove at Chiswell with Chesil Beach stretching off into the distance.
Chesil Cove from West Cliff.

Chesil Cove is a beach which is the most southerly part of the 29-kilometre (18 mi) long Chesil Beach in Dorset, England.

The beach protects the low lying village of Chiswell in Underhill on the Isle of Portland from flooding. In the area is The Cove House Inn.


Chesil Cove is also a haven for scuba divers, who flock from around Britain to dive it. The cove being a reasonably shallow (10 to 15 metres, 33 to 50 feet) shore dive, which suffers little from tidal current, is an ideal site for increasing the experience of trainee divers. The cove has an interesting selection of south coast marine life such as nudibranch, dogfish, spider crab, lobster, cuttle fish, pipefish and John Dory.

In the age of sail Portland was a barrier preventing the escape of sailing ships from the lee shore; the prevailing wind is from the south west and the cove is deep in the eastern end of the Lyme Bay so many trapped ships came ashore there. Although there have been many shipwrecks in the cove, few significant divable remains exist close to the beach due to its exposure to strong waves.


Through fishing, the beach provided the main occupation for the villagers of Chiswell and the rest of the islanders. The beach is still used by sea anglers and the British shore-captured rockling record was set there in 1992.[1]


The Jurassic Coast stretches over a distance of 155 kilometres (96 mi), from Orcombe Point near Exmouth, in the west, to Old Harry Rocks on the Isle of Purbeck, in the east .[2] The coastal exposures along the coastline provide a continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations spanning approximately 185 million years of the Earths history. The localities along the Jurassic Coast includes a large range of important fossil zones.

See also[edit]

Media related to Chesil Cove at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ "Portland Fishing – Chesil Cove". Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  2. ^ "Dorset and East Devon Coast". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 2001. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 

Coordinates: 50°33′34″N 2°26′54″W / 50.5595°N 2.4482°W / 50.5595; -2.4482