The coastal walk from Weymouth to Abbotsbury on the SW coast path is around 14 miles one way but the scenery is beautiful!
A lot of walkers prefer to take the bus to picturesque Abbotsbury and do a bit of sightseeing and shopping before heading back to Weymouth.
The coast path starts at the side of the Post Office and takes you round St Catherine’s Chapel, but doesn’t actually go up to it, but it’s a worthwhile diversion if you can spare the time. Then you across a small stream and past the entrance to the Swannery.
Then it climbs up a hill and continues at a high-level for quite a while. From the top you get excellent views of the Fleet below and you can also easily see all the swans at the Swannery. After a while you cut through the edge of fields but keep an eye open as it’s poorly signed and quite overgrown in places.
At the end of this you’ll see paths to the left and right (near West Elworth), turn right here across the field, with trees on your right. At the bottom, turn left and the path comes to a minor road, which you need to cross. There are several gates opening onto the road, but the right one has a coast path sign on the edge of the road.
The path goes straight on for a while across the road, but turns right near Wyke Wood where it starts to descend back towards the fleet. Continue straight on across several fields (again, a bit overgrown in places). The coast path meets the fleet at Mixen Plantation / Rodden Hive and follows near to the edge of the fleet all the way to Ferry Bridge, although the height of the shingle means you can’t see much of the sea.
If you want to cross to Chesil Beach you need to take a boat as there are no bridges across the fleet. It’s a quiet part of the walk and you’ll often see some wildlife. From Rodden Hive, the path heads south to Langton Hive Point, where there is the first of several slipways and also a minor road into Langton Herring. Continue along the coast path and over the footbridge to the next small bay where the path then heads south again, towards Gore Cove and the Moonfleet Manor Hotel. Once past the Hotel the path is fairly straight towards East Fleet, where there is a large caravan park.
The path takes you past Chickerell Hive Point at a small bay where you go down onto the beach before you walk towards Tidmoor Point. Stick to the marked path. Once round the headland you’ll see another cove at Littlesea Holiday Park. Head past the caravan park and head inland past a military base. You’ll see a minor road – the path begins again at the end of the road. This part of the path seems quite popular for dog walking and is a bit busier with good views of Portland ahead.
Follow the path all the way round to the end of Chesil Beach, where there is a pub! From here you can bus back or continue through the town and take in the views across Portland.
To continue, cross the road and go past the houses on the harbour. It’s sign posted “The Rodwell Trail” and will take you up the route of the old Weymouth to Portland railway line It’s an easy walk with a footpath on grass with great views of the harbour and coast line.
You’ll pass the remains of Sandsfoot Castle dating from 1539. It’s fenced off, but still interesting to look around the outside. Stick to the path as far as Castle Coveand then you can take the coast path along the residential road or veer left on the path.
The residential road takes you into Belle Vue Road and at the end of the road you’ll be on a grassy patch at the edge of Portland Breakwater where you can go straight on to Weymouth Harbour. A few turns takes you to the Weymouth Café where you can rest your feet and enjoy a home made ploughman’s or a cream tea!