Interactive Heritage MapWorld Heritage Sites South West


Chesil Beach – Jurassic Coast

Chesil Beach from Abbotsbury

Chesil Bank is one of the finest examples of a barrier beach in Europe. Its formation is a direct result of impact of the Ice ages on the geology and coastal processes of West Dorset.

Location: Chesil Bank (West Bay - Portland) Best viewed from Abbotsbury Hill.

Rock Type: Large shingle bank made largely of chert pebbles.

Age: approximately 20,000 years

Look out for: Chesil bank supports its own unique plant and animal communities. Some areas are protected and under restricted access to protect nesting birds.

For more information visit the Jurassic Coast website

Jurassic Coast

Bubleigh Saltaton cliffs

The Jurassic Coast was granted World Heritage Site status because the rocks record an extraordinary 185 million years of the Earth's history representing a walk through time showing the evolution of species including the rise and fall of the dinosaurs. This varied geology also provides a spectacular view of coastal change supporting rare and important plants and animals.

The coastline is beautiful, with an unparalleled range of natural features. The variety of landslides, beaches, bays and cliffs results in a constantly changing landscape with spectacular features such as the Hooken Landslide, Chesil Beach and Durdle Door. The varying landscape also lends itself to a diverse range of birds and wildlife – puffins and dolphins included!

Most of the Site lies within the Dorset and East Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). These two designated areas recognise nationally important landscapes, conserving both the Site and the wider countryside that surrounds it. The range of interests along this fascinating coastline offers something for everyone.

For more information visit