St Catherines Chapel
St Catherines Chapel is a small 14th-century chapel set high on a hilltop overlooking Abbotsbury Abbey. Built by the monks as a place of pilgrimage and retreat.
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In this 'you may also like' section we attempt to answer what else can I do? Here you have a list by order of being the closest some more beaches, things to see and do, places to eat and upcoming events.
- Abbotsbury Children’s Farm has lots of animals for the children to meet, greet and feed. Children can hold the guinea pigs, ride the ponies, race the tractors, play in the large undercover play area and bottle feed the baby goats. The cafe offers local Dorset produce cooked on site and the gift shop has a charming range of quality gifts.
- Abbotsbury Swannery is unique, the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. The Swannery was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040’s. The monks farmed the swans to produce food for their lavish banquets. St Peter’s monastery was destroyed in 1539 during the dissolution. Some of the ruins are still visible around St Nicholas’ Church in the village. Since that time the Swannery has been under the stewardship of the Ilchester Estates.
- Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens was established in 1765 as a kitchen garden for the nearby castle. Today the 20 acre garden is filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world. The garden has stunning views of the Dorset Jurassic coastline, a gift shop, the Old Colonial tea-house and a specialist plant nursery.
- Chesil Bank is not a beach to laze around playing in the sand, it is around 18 miles long, shingle and pebbles separated from the mainland by the Fleet, a shallow tidal lagoon. This marks the southerly point of the Jurassic Coast and the pebbles get larger from west to east as a result of tides. This area of coast was notorious for shipwrecks but now you will see beach fisherman, rare plants and nesting birds. The semi-salty fleet lagoon is warmer in summer and colder in winter than the surrounding area and supports a wide selection of bird species and aquatic plants. Towards the west you have the 16th century village of Abbotsbury and on the east end you have Portland, famed for its naval base and quarries. Parking at Abbotsbury and Chesil beach visitor centre with Abbotsbury to the West being the place for cream teas. Between March and end of August walking is not permitted between Abbotsbury and the visitor centre due to the protection of nesting birds. Due to the location the sea has a very strong undertows and swimming is NOT recommended.
- Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park & Marine Sanctuary is unique among the network of SEA LIFE attractions in that its numerous marine life exhibitions are housed – not under one roof – but in separate pods within a landscape that also hosts a number of other outdoor features. The latter includes otter and seal sanctuaries, and the Park’s resident colony of Humboldt penguins. Indoor displays include the Tropical Shark Nursery, teeming with black-tip, bonnet head and other species of sharks; the spectacular Turtle Sanctuary with its amazing OceanTank; and one of the first National Seahorse Breeding and Conservation Centres.
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