On Chesil Beach
Filmed in Dorset
On Chesil Beach is a film adaptation of novel by Ian McEwan, released in the UK in May 2018.
This powerful drama stars Oscar nominated Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle as they confront the fears and conflicts of newlyweds in 1960s England. Whilst the themes of the film are certainly sombre, the cinematic views across Chesil Beach will undoubtedly inspire many visitors to explore this incredible area of Dorset's coastline.
Apart from the scenes shot on Chesil Beach, did you also spot Lulworth Cove in the trailer?
We are introduced to Florence and Edward as they embark on their honeymoon in Dorset and quickly begin to see the tension and conflicts arising as a consequence of their vastly different family backgrounds. The story then follows their journey of confronting repression and liberation and how this shapes their seemingly hopeless desire for intimacy.
Arriving in-love and ready to begin their life together, an overcast and moody Chesil Beach is the striking setting where the pair’s fears unfold. The unique spit of shingle which runs between the Fleet Lagoon and the sea plays a symbolic role in the upcoming movie, but within everyday life it is a haven for visitors and wildlife alike.
There is a staggering variety of wildlife to discover in this area, which is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site and the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A great place to start is at the Chesil Beach Centre, situated on the causeway road between Weymouth and Portland. The centre is managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust and offers both information and visitor events throughout the year, plus there is a great café on location so you can enjoy refreshments after a walk in the area.
There are stunning walks to be found walk behind the immense shingle beach following the South West Coast Path, which meanders behind the Fleet nature reserve before following the straight line of shingle from Abbotsbury. There are also many circular walks to enjoy and explore in and around this area.
Be sure to make time to explore the magnificent Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens and take in the largest colony of free-flying mute swans at the Abbotsbury Swannery, with the chance to see hatching cygnets from mid-May until late June. Abbotsbury village is a quintessential Dorset chocolate-box location with some lovely walks to be had in the surrounding countryside. The Abbotsbury hill is a challenging climb and affords phenomenal views across the rolling hills and St Catherine's Chapel to the coastline and beyond to the Isle of Portland.
Scores of people also enjoy a spot of fishing on Chesil Beach, with the summer months proving to be an incredibly popular time to have a go at Mackerel bashing. Large shoals of Mackerel aggregate relatively close to the beach, proving a tempting bounty for scores of anglers to attempt to catch. Abbotsbury, West Bexington and Burton Bradstock are popular locations to cast a line, with tackle shops in Weymouth, Abbotsbury and West Bay providing gear to buy and helpful advice.
Further west at Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock, the Chesil pebbles are notiecably smaller in size and the looming sandstone cliffs more familiar with the Broadchurch TV series signal the end of Chesil Beach at West Bay. Enjoy a delicious lunch featuring locally sourced produce together with a spectacular views over Lyme Bay at the Hive Beach Café or the Seaside Boarding House.
There are many comfortable accommodation options within easy reach of Chesil Beach, catering for all types of stay and budget. For a luxurious treat, Moonfleet Manor offers a warm welcome together with commanding views over the Fleet nature reserve and out to Lyme Bay. The impressive Georgian manor - first converted to a hotel in 1945 - is both family and dog friendly, also offering spa treatments and a well-regarded restaurant that is open to non-guests.
Chesil Beach and its surrounding area is a truly captivating part of Dorset with 18 miles of coastline offering numerous experiences for visitors. For more options of places to stay, things to do, places to eat and drink and forthcoming events; use our helpful search bar below.
Weymouth boasts a beautiful beach, shallow waters and pretty harbour
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Dorset's stunning coast is waiting to be explored.
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