Abbotsbury

Abbotsbury Tourism
Abbotsbury Swannery  

This very old village, settled amongst the hills behind the great Chesil Bank, is world famous for its swannery.

The bird sanctuary is 600 years old, home to over 600 flying swans and is the only place in the world where you can literally walk among the breeding, nesting and hatching swans.

The picturesque medieval village of stone and thatch is steeped in history going back some 6,000 years.  It has been influenced by early man from the Neolithic Age and is overlooked by an Iron Age hill fort.  High above the village on a hill is the 14th century St Catherine's Chapel, with fantastic views over Dorset and the English Channel.  Abbotsbury also has the world's largest thatched Tithe Barn, which is now home to a host of friendly farm animals and the smuggler's barn, an interactive adventure for children. 

The village also offers interesting shops, cafes, various accommodation and the famous sub-tropical gardens.  Abbotsbury is most definitely a village to explore. 

Getting There

By Bus:  The Jurassic Coast Bus Service, CoastlinX53, stops at Abbotsbury.
Find out more about the Jurassic Coast Bus Service

By Train: The nearest station is Weymouth, which is 9 miles away. tel 08457 484950 or visit National Rail Enquiries

By Road: Abbotsbury is located on the B3157 coastal road, off the A35 in Dorset, halfway between Weymouth and Bridport

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Map Key

  • Gateway Town

  • Abbotsbury

    This very old village, settled amongst the hills behind the great Chesil Bank, is world famous for its swannery.

  • Axminster

    Axminster, is a pleasant market town with charm and character. Its famous carpet industry was started in 1755, by Thomas Whitty whose factory produced high quality, custom made carpets for stately homes and mansions.

  • Axmouth

    A ten minute walk along the coast from Seaton is the ancient harbour of Axmouth, home to the Sea Discovery Centre.

  • Beer

    Gateway Town road sign

    Nestling in a small valley, lies the delightful, 'picture postcard', fishing village of Beer.

  • Bournemouth

    Bournemouth is a superb resort and offers something for everyone.

  • Branscombe

    The picturesque village of Branscombe is said to be the longest in the country, sweeping down a spectacular valley, past colourful thatched cottages with hanging baskets and climbing roses, down to the sea and a shingle beach.

  • Bridport

    Bridport is a small market town with a warm welcome and a world renowned rope and net making industry.

  • Budleigh Salterton

    Gateway Town road sign

    This tranquil and historic seaside town nestles on the edge of a pebble beach beneath spectacular red cliffs, made famous by literary giants such as Noel Coward, P.G. Woodhouse and Anthony Trollope.

  • Charmouth

    Gateway Town road sign

    Charmouth is a quiet seaside hamlet where time has stood still - the perfect location for a relaxing holiday. It is the best place along the Jurassic Coast to look for fossils.

  • Christchurch

    This section is being developed.

  • Corfe Castle

    This section is being developed.

  • Dorchester

    Dorchester is a historic market town with its roots in Roman times; however it is most famously associated with Thomas Hardy. With its elegant 18th century houses, broad Walks and bustling shopping streets, Dorchester has much to offer the visitor.

  • Exeter

    Old and new lie side by side to make Exeter a rich and vibrant city.

  • Exmouth

    Gateway Town road sign

    Exmouth, at the estuary's mouth, marks the World Heritage Coastline's western gateway and despite being one of England's oldest resorts, remains untouched by commercialism.

  • Honiton

    Honiton is famous for lace making and is also a major centre for antiques, with shops devoted to furniture, art and second-hand books.

  • Kimmeridge

    Long rock ledges, a pebbled beach line and rocky outcrops all make this bay stunning.

  • Langton Matravers

    This section is being developed.

  • Lyme Regis

    Gateway Town road sign

    The seaside town of Lyme Regis nestles in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the point where the rugged West Dorset and East Devon coastlines meet - the heart of the Jurassic Coast.

  • Ottery St Mary

    Ottery St Mary is a little town with a long history. Ottery's roots run deeper than Doomsday Book. In 1061, Edward the Confessor ceded the already established wealthy manor of Oterie to the Cathedral Chapter of Rouen.

     

  • Poole

    Poole Harbour is the second largest harbour in the world after Sydney, Australia. The Quay is a hive of activity all year round with a huge array of fishing boats, yachts, powerboats and pleasure cruisers.

  • Portland

    Gateway Town road sign

    Portland is an explorer's island with beautiful scenery and a mysterious quality of isolation, joined only to the mainland by Chesil Beach.

  • Seaton

    Gateway Town road sign

    Tucked away in the south eastern corner of Devon, is the beautiful, unspoilt Axe Valley. At the mouth of the River Axe is the friendly, coastal resort of Seaton.

  • Sidmouth

    Gateway Town road sign

    Sidmouth still has a unique charm, which has captivated thousands. Beautiful gardens, leisurely walks, Regency history, fine hotels, clean beaches and friendly shops - it's all here in this lovely seaside town.

  • Studland

    The lovely village of Studland is famous for its National Nature Reserve and beautiful natural bay. The village has an interesting Norman church with breathtaking views across the bay.

  • Swanage

    Gateway Town road sign

    The gentle shelving beach at Swanage, with its Victorian pier and fabulous views across to the Needles on the Isle of Wight, is hugely popular with families.

  • Wareham

    Gateway Town road sign

    Wareham is a fascinating and picturesque market town which dates back over 2000 years.

  • West Bay

    Gateway Town road sign

    Just south of Bridport is the pretty harbour village of West Bay, once known as Bridport Harbour. 

  • West Lulworth

    Lulworth cove is a stunning, textbook perfect, cove and the landscape surrounding it is some of the most outstanding in Britain.

  • Weymouth

    Gateway Town road sign

    Weymouth has so much to offer every visitor. Its fame as a seaside resort dates back over 200 years when King George III holidayed here.