A short walk from Abbotsbury, and a scenic hike downhill from St Catherine’s chapel, is the stunning shingle banks of Chesil beach.
Believed to have been born out of the last ice age, this 18 mile stretch of smooth pebbles is actually pretty amazing. Having been brought up by the sea, the tang in the air and the crashing of waves is an evocative experience, but to walk along a beach without a single grain of sand is also bizarre.
The stones are graduated from one end of the beach to the other, from apple sized pebbles to pea sized gravel, all smooth, all a multitude of golds. It is rumoured that smugglers and fishermen alike would navigate the shores by the size of the stones, although, to be fair, I think the chapel is landmark enough.
The sea here varies from turquoise to pastel blue to deep hues of bluish grey depending on the light, but one thing is certain, it is clean. When we walked there were a number of people fishing from the shore, walking dogs and generally enjoying the fresh sea air.
I would like to go back in the summer and enjoy a day on that beach in the sun and the surf, but with such a pretty beach, backing onto such a pretty village, I imagine come the hoards and I for one would find that particularly frustrating, there may be a quiet cove if you walked for a while, I need to go back and find out.