The Sum of Its Parts

Exploring England #3

Think of beaches and images of never-ending sand, wide blue skies and brilliant sunshine come to mind. But Chesil Beach, on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset is anything but sandy.

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The beach, formed at the end of the last ice age, is 28 km long, up to 12 metres high and completely composed of pebbles. The size of the pebbles varies from one end of the beach to the other. At West Bay in the north the pebbles are tiny while south at Portland they are much larger. It’s said that fishermen landing on the coast at night can pinpoint their location according to the size of the stones on the beach.

Fleet Lagoon runs parallel to the ocean behind Chesil Beach between Portland and Abbotsbury. The lagoon is tidal and at low tide there’s just a puddle of brackish water left. A boardwalk across the tidal flats is decorated with wooden carvings of local wildlife.

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After the bridge crossing, the pebbles begin. It’s an arduous climb to the top of the mound and the slope on the other side, down to the water’s edge, is just as steep.

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The beach may be vast, but each of its parts is tiny.

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Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Tiny

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50 thoughts on “The Sum of Its Parts

  1. Have you read On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan? A very interesting book. The author admitted to taking some pebbles of the beach while he was writing it, which led to a lot of complaints in the media! He eventually had to return them.

    • I haven’t but I did read about it. I must look it up on my Kindle. There are actually signs there saying not to take the pebbles because it’s no longer replenishing itself. I guess if everyone did, there would be no beach left.

  2. Good for the calf muscles! It has been a while since I clambered over Chesil Beach! Have you been on the spit at Blakeney Point in North Norfolk? And there is one near Lymington at Milford-on-Sea where you can walk to Hurst Castle. We took a little ferry boat over instead. Good post for the challenge and I am enjoying seeing your travels in England 🙂

    • It’s always good to get some exercise while on holidays. We haven’t been to either of those places – so much more to see in UK. I’m glad you’re enjoying my posts Jude, because I’m still in the first week and there are four more weeks of posts to go!

  3. I love the little wood-carved wildlife on the boardwalk. It’s no easy feat walking on pebble beaches like this. I did it one day in Iceland, with a fierce wind blowing, and it felt like the pebbles were grabbing my feet with every step. It’s interesting how the size of the pebbles varies from one end of the beach to the other. 🙂

  4. Amazing those pebbles. It “funny” that traces after the ice age are yet visible in many places on the earth. I lived 19½ years in a place where they were visible also. If You do not mind, my post is here:

    Ice age ended here.

    I loved also nice woodcarvings of Your post. Carvings are always my favorite. Happy weekend.

  5. Love the word brackish 🙂 🙂 Very descriptive! And I really like the carvings on the boardwalk too. Not my territory, I’m afraid, but it always looks fascinating. Good choice for the challenge.

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