Pretty stone cottages line Abbotsbury’s streets making it a picturesque and popular stop for refreshments or browsing artsy crafty shops. Village highlights include visiting the Swannery for the unique sensation of wandering through the middle of a colony of 600 swans, who are all looking back at you. A little more relaxing is exploring acres of exotic vegetation at the Subtropical Gardens.
Climbing steep paths to the distinctive landmark of St Catherine’s Chapel rewards you with long views across the Fleet and Chesil Beach.
During your trip
Other Route Detours
Another immaculate chocolate-box village, Burton Bradstock’s teashops and gift shops stand behind sandstone cliffs that mark the start of the Chesil Beach. It’s a good spot to park up for a leisurely stroll. Find the National Trust’s Hive Beach for an award-winning seafood beach café or explore the crumbling rocks for frequently exposed fossils.
Bridport & West Bay
The scenic coast road meets the faster A35 trunk road at Bridport, a bustling and bohemian market town full of interesting independent traders and quirky historic buildings, including a thatched brewery and central town hall clock tower. Wednesday and Saturday markets can slow traffic but offer distractingly varied stalls lining the streets.
Pastel painted cottages lead back up a sheltered valley from the beaches, harbours and seafood restaurants at Lyme Regis. The narrow winding main street is a traffic bottleneck but at least it’s lined by grandly attractive buildings. Stop to find Lyme’s excellent range of shops, bars, cafes and pubs.