Author: Lucy Culkin

Whilst basking in this glorious weather (ok, looking at it from the office window…), we are continuing our ‘get out and explore theme’;  so when I asked Guy, JCT programme Manager, where he would like to be today, he immediately replied the beautiful village of Abbotsbury, near Weymouth.

I think I may have been once or twice but after a bit of research I found out that you can take the “Jurassic Coaster” bus from Exeter, Poole, Weymouth or one of the stops in between. Check the latest timetable before you head out!

Abbotsbury’s sumptuous Suptropical Gardens are 250 years old . In gardening terms, they’re a living fossil! The rare and exotic plants on display are a feast for the senses, with gigantic ­leaved
gunneras, epic jungle rope bridges and even some laughing kookaburras, all the way from Australia!

The gardens are also home to their own slice of the Jurassic Coast, offering panoramic views across Chesil Beach.  The Swannery is even older than the gardens –600 years old! It was created by ancient monks who used the swans for food!

After the last Ice Age, The Fleet Lagoon was formed as water melted away behind Chesil Beach. The shallow, salty and weed­strewn lagoon was the perfect environment for nesting
birds to form a colony, and the swans thrived. Today, it is home to hundreds of nesting pairs of swans, and is the only place in the world where people can walk so close to so many. Visit the Children’s Farm, which is even older, ­ dating back to 1040! That’s nearly an entire millennium. It is full of cuddly animals which you can walk and feed.

We all know the Jurassic Coast looks its best from high up. One of the most spectacular views on the entire coastline is from St. Catherine’s Chapel, a beautiful old church that overlooks the village. From here, you can look east to Portland, and see how it curves downwards like a giant wedge. You can turn your head and see over to the rolling cliffs of West Bay, Golden Cap and beyond. Abbotsbury is definitely on my explorer list- you should try it too.

Written by Lucy Culkin- JCT Programme Manager


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