Abbotsbury Railway

Explore the historically rich, golden hued village of Abbotsbury by wandering though crumbling ruins, which tower up to the sky, as well as those hidden, knocking at the ankles. Find ancient sculptures of long gone Abbots and holes from musket balls fired during the Civil War. Discover the medieval pond with the great tithe barn and popular pigeon house watching over the water. Delve down through narrow lanes, past a mighty Plane tree, with a rope swing hanging from its branches, to the elegant Swannery; a staple roast for the spiritual monks. Follow the South West Coast Path as it leaves the sea but keeps the views east over Chesil Beach to the Isle of Portland. Climb down into the valley, looking over to ancient stone circles on the slopes above, to arrive at Portesham where you join the old Railway line. Pass the sleeper shed (with original fireplace), ruins (taken over by nature) and the engine shed before arriving at the station. The building has been replaced but stands on the same spot of the waiting passengers, the platform still visible under the roots of the trees.

Distance:  4.5 miles/7km

Duration: 2-3 hours

Ability: Easy. One big climb near the start.

Max Height: 275ft.

Min Height: 33ft.

Total climb: 360ft.

Terrain: Tracks, paths, fields and roads.

Map: OLS Explorer 15 Purbeck and South Dorset

Start Point: Rodden Row Car park – payment required. (Postcode: DT3 4JL, Grid Reference: SY578852, What Three Words: parent.lamp.centuries).

How to Get There: From Bridport’s southern roundabout on the A35 take the coast road (Burton Road/B3157) towards Burton Bradstock. Continue on the same road for just under 9 miles, passing the famous view eastwards over St Catherine’s Chapel, Chesil Beach and the Isle of Portland. Once in Abbotsbury, turn left onto Rodden Row and the carpark will shortly be signposted on the right.

The famous view over St Catherine’s Chapel, The Fleet and Chesil Beach to The Isle of Portland

Bus: The village is served by the X53 Jurassic Coastal service and in summer months the X52 running from Monkey World to Bridport, via Lulworth and Durdle Door.

Dogs: In accordance with the Countryside Code and any notices on route.

Refreshments: A number of options are in Abbotsbury including The Swan Inn and The Ilchester Arms. Also, just off the route is The Kings Arms in Portesham.

Public Toilets: On Back Street, just on the right after the Ilchester Arms and at the entrance to Abbotsbury Swannery.

Neighbouring Walks: St Catherine’s Chapel, Abbotsbury Castle, St Lukes Chapel, Little Bredy, Portesham and Langton Herring

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