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West Bexington & Abbotsbury Circular

Coastal Walk + Downs + Beautiful Village

Region - Jurassic Coast

County/Area - Dorset

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.7 miles / 12.5 km    Ascent - 900 feet / 273 metres

Time - 4 hours 50 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Ordnance Survey Explorer OL15Sheet Map1:25kBUY
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - West Bexington & Abbotsbury Circular
Click image to see photo description.

Excellent walk from West Bexington that combines the Jurassic Coast and downs. The route follows the South West Coast Path along the northwestern part of Chesil Beach before turning inland to visit St Catherine's Chapel perched on Chapel Hill. The walk then descends into the charming village of Abbotsbury where there is a full range of amenities including pubs and cafés. The route then climbs onto the downs north of the village and follows a ridge offering expansive views before descending back to the start.

The walk starts from Bexington pay and display car park behind the beach (grid ref. SY531865). After parking head southwest along the back of the beach with the sea on your right to follow the South West Coast Path. After an initial section across pebbles the route soon becomes a track. After 3.5 kilometres you reach a car park and café The route continues to follow the South West Coast path which runs along the back of the beach before veering inland. Ahead you can see Chapel Hill which is the next objective.

In just under a kilometre from the car park you reach a junction (grid ref. SY568847). Keep right here and follow the path along the base of Chapel Hill for 400 metres before turning left to follow a clear path up to St Catherine's Chapel on the top of the hill with an excellent view along the coast, over Abbotsbury and inland to the downs. Descend northeast off the hill to join Chapel Street which leads to Market Street in Abbotsbury. Turn right and then fork left in from the Old School House into Back Street. If you want to explore the village then return to this point to proceed.

Back Street is lined with attractive thatched cottages. Continue to reach a detached thatched garage on the left. Turn left before the garage to join the onward path, part of the Hardy Way. The clear path soon bends left and shortly after right to climb onto the downs. Nearing the top of the climb, pass through a gate (grid ref. SY574860) and fork left. After a short climb you reach the ridge path where you bear left. Keep ahead to reach a lane. Cross the lane to the path opposite. A short distance on your right are the earthworks of Abbotsbury Castle a former hillfort. The OS trig column marks the highest point of the walk.

Continue along the main path and descend to cross the B3157. Cross the road to the path opposite (signed West Bexington) After a short steeper descent, the path steadily loses height to reach Limekiln Hill. The remains of the kiln are off to your left. Shortly after you reach the B3157 where you fork left down a steep path (still the Hardy Way) which descends to Beach Road in West Bexington. Bear left and return to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2565 Littlebredy from Abbotsburymoderate8.5 miles
Walk 2827 Rodden & Langton Herring from Abbotsbury easy/mod9.2 miles
Walk 2289 Abbotsbury Castle and Chesil Beacheasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 3523 Abbotsbury & Portesham Circulareasy5.2 miles
Walk 2391 West Bay & Burton Cliffeasy4.5 miles
Walk 3629 Eggardon Hill from Lodersmoderate8.4 miles
Walk 2370 The Fleet from Langton Herringeasy/mod7.0 miles
Walk 3265 Eggardon Hill from Powerstockeasy/mod6.3 miles
Walk 1549 Golden Cap from Seatowneasy/mod4.0 miles
Walk 2580 Golden Cap & Charmoutheasy/mod5.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking the Jurassic Coast

Walking the Jurassic CoastThis guidebook includes 30 walks on the Jurassic Coast of Devon and Dorset. Covering the coast between Exmouth and Bournemouth, these delightful routes range from 3 to 16 miles (5 to 24km), exploring and explaining the spectacular geology of this World Heritage area with clear, easily understood descriptions, cross-sections and timelines.
More information

The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast PathGuidebook to walking the entire South West Coast Path National Trail. The route runs for 630 miles from Minehead to Poole along the north Devon, Cornish, south Devon and Dorset coastline. Divided into 45 stages, this long-distance coastal trek could be completed within 4 weeks, or walked in sections. Guide includes maps and essential information.
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